"I'm looking at the names I wrote. One impression strikes me with near gale force. The friends who made the list are all friends who do something for me. It's not what I do for them that got them on the list; it's what they do for me.....The people on my list respond to my concerns. They use their resources on my behalf. When I have a need, they meet it if they can. I like that about them....So I am left with and obvious fact. The people I most cherish in all the world are people I can count on to do for me what I most want. I suspect if you wrote down the names of the six people whose friendship you most value, that same fact might be obvious to you as well"Does this fact prove we're all "hopelessly mired in disgusting self-centeredness?" The author states; "It never occurred to me to put God's name at the top of the list of my best friends"! He continues; " Sometimes God seems like the least responsive friend I have. Depending on an unresponsive God in the middle of crumbling dreams can be tough on faith. Relating personally with a God who is less responsive than friends with less resources is difficult".
My thoughts on this:
Man, I have thought those same things. Many times over. If I can call one of my friends and they will give me what I need or at the very least offer words of encouragement and prayer, then why would I call and rely on a God that seems at best, uninterested in my life? At worst it seems He is actively engaged in my untimely demise.
I confess I made the same list of friends the author suggested and I came up with the same result. God did not make the list. Its not that He is not my friend, but I simply don't think about Him in that manner. If you ask me to make a list of my top ten friends, my mind instantly goes to the flesh and blood friends. I simply don't think in terms of the spiritual realm as my default manner of thinking. Instead I am focused on the flesh and blood realm. The one I can see and touch. The one that can do for me. The one that can help me....
I'm embarrassed that the One I trust my salvation to for eternity does not make my top ten list in terms of who I think about first. No wonder He does not respond when I call. He recognizes His status on my list. It would be like someone who is a casual friend on Facebook, you know, someone you met at a party or meeting once and on the spur of the moment you swapped "friend" status and then never spoke again and then a year later, calling that person out of the blue to invest a million dollars in some business idea you have. In fact, this happened to me once. What do you suppose my response was? Uh no....good bye.
The people on my list....its a short list....are people I love deeply. There are others and I love them too, but the ones on my list are actually people who can do nothing for me. I love them anyway. However, these are people who would if they could. I love them for that. I would do for them if I could. The love me for that.
BUT, I who can do nothing for Him, am on the top of His list. The Bible says I am. And He who can do everything for me, is nowhere to be found on my list. I feel exposed. Naked. Looking for cover. I need some spiritual makeup. Cover my blemishes. Something to hide behind. A nice worship song or perhaps volunteer at church for a project. I can hide my lack of friendship with duty.
I will not mask selfishness with duty again.
Instead, I will be transparent. I will stand with my soul naked before Papa. I will say out loud. "I have tried to use you Papa for what I want. I have insisted that our relationship be one sided. Me first". I will let Him see me for what I am. Helpless and ashamed of my behavior. I will fall down and repent. I will fall down and worship. I will not rise until bidden. He is Papa but He is also Lord God Almighty and He will not be engaged in a one way relationship. For those who insist on self, (idolatry) He is the wrathful and vengeful El Shaddai.....the One who will share glory with no man.....for those who surrender self, He is Papa.....gentle, loving, kind, generous, protective Papa.
I am in His embrace......