Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidences, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
There are a couple of passages of scripture that really push my boundaries concerning what I believe about God. One of them is found in Genesis chapter 18. God is talking with Abraham, and He explains that because of the corruption, wickedness and outright evil the destruction of Sodom was immanent. Abraham, out of what I can not imagine to be anything other than a love for people, begged God to not destroy the city.
He begins by asking, “What if there are 50 righteous people in the city, will you still destroy it?” Talk about bold! I wish that I was that bold in my faith with God. All to often, I approach the throne of grace with a timid, “God, if it is what you want… please,” or “It’s a tall order, so if it doesn’t work out, that’s ok, I understand,” or “God, this is what I want, but do what you want.”
Abraham went on a bit further after God agreed to not destroy the city for the sake of 50, “What if the number of righteous is 5 less than 50? Would you destroy the whole city because of 5 people? (Genesis 18:28)” Wow, even more bold! And to think that I am afraid to ask for healing of one person to glorify God, because it might not happen. Abraham asked God to save an entire city for the sake of 45 people who would be with God in heaven if they got caught up in the punishment for the rest of the city.
Abraham’s negotiations keep going until finally, he asks God, “…What if only 10 can be found there?” God’s answer? “For the sake of 10, I will not destroy it.” Abraham, because of his faith and boldness talked God down from saying, “I’ll destroy the city,” to “I’ll spare the city if I can find only 10 righteous people.”
My faith seems pale in comparison to this. I am not sure that I ask boldly for anything really. I was talking with a friend the other day who said that their elementary aged kids pray: “God, you need to do this, because I ask, and your word says that if I ask, you will do it.” Wow! I didn’t really think to ask how many of their prayers are answered, though I wish I had.
Now there is also a balance to this: God is almighty, and He is High and Lifted Up. He is to be respected and should be talked to like a King. It is also important to note that all of Abraham’s pleading and negotiations with God were for naught, as God was not able to find the 10 righteous since He destroyed the city anyway.
So, I leave you with this question: If you could ask God for anything, boldly knowing that He would honor your request, what would you ask for?