Jul 7, 2012

Lessons from Abraham - Part 1

Have you ever noticed how specific, intense, and downright unbelievable the dreams of God really are? And yet, all over history is splashed the stories of people who accomplished the dreams of God for their lives. What kind of person does it take to live out the miraculous dreams of God?

It takes a person like Abraham...

First, God calls Abram (as he was still called then) out of the land of his birth. He doesn't tell him where he's going, only to start moving.
Lesson 1: God doesn't always tell us the end of the story right away. Sometimes He just expects us to follows His step-by-step instructions.
He lets Abram take a little rest of about 5 years in a nice little country, but it's not quite the Promised Land yet, so soon Abraham is on the move again.
Lesson 2: God won't let us get comfortable anywhere short of the Promised Land. In His great love, He makes sure we won't ever be happy with second best.
Within a little time, Abram is settled in Canaan, the Land of Promise. He is, perhaps, thinking that he has accomplished God's will and can now enjoy his rest. But God has other plans...
Lesson 3: The plans of God will last your entire life. You will never run out of His good pleasure or reach the end of His plans. The adventure won't stop short, and the process will not be boring.

Abraham and his nephew began to have troubles. So Abraham partitioned off the land and allowed Lot to take his pick of where he would live with his flocks and family. His pick was, of course, the best land, and so it was settled. But God came once again to Abraham to remind his that ALL the land of promise would belong to Abraham's descendants.
Lesson 4: No one else can steal your promise. You can turn from it, deny it, or ignore it and lose it that way, but no other person on the face of the earth can stand between you and God's dreams for you. This should erase all fear, all striving, all jealousy, and all self-protection.

Abram does a good turn for an ungodly king. The king, understandably, is very grateful, so offers Abram a reward. Abram refuses the reward on the grounds that he does not wish it to be said that a man made him prosperous.
Lesson 4: God's plans don't need the help of our logic, our human strength, or anyone's better ideas. There will always be a shortcut or "Plan B" presented. Don't take it. As Jim Elliot said, "God always gives His best for those who leave the choice to Him." Let God fulfill the dreams He gives. He is well able.

...and the story is just beginning...

One summarizing thought on this first part of the story:

God doesn't expect super-humans. He doesn't even expect above-average humans. He expects obedient humans. And in obedience, He expects complete obedience. Not the half-hearted, wishy-washy, unsure of what He said, uncertain as to what He meant, unwilling to listen close enough to figure it out sort of pseudo-obedience that we tend to offer. He really wants a heart that is set earnestly on Him. Like Abraham's.


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