God’s promises are God’s business to perform.
Abram was shown the promised land and then told to arise and walk through it in Genesis 13. You might say, “He was shown what he would inherit and told to walk through the process of inheritance”. In other words, “You will have to try to do what only I can do to learn that you can’t do what only I can do.”
In Genesis 15, he is shown the stars, to see the expanse of his promise. He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Next is the covenant and the prophecy of four hundred years leading to Israel being delivered out of Egypt with a mighty hand in great wealth and then inheriting the land.
Promises are like that; they just get bigger.
In Chapter 16, Abram and Sarai try to perform the promise. Sarai gives Abram her maidservant Hagar, to bear her child as a surrogate mother. This brings conception by the flesh and strife in the home. In Chapter 17, thirteen years later, the Lord speaks again, “Sarah your wife, shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac”.
Now the faith crises
Old age has set in, complicated family ties continue, and name changes and circumcisions follow. Abraham does his part and waits for God to do His. God shows up at the tent of Abraham and says, in Sarah’s hearing, that she will bear a son in a year’s time. She laughs, then lies, then the Lord moves on.
Fight or flight
Abraham intercedes for Sodom because of his nephew Lot. Which brings the number of righteous people necessary, for the Lord to spare the city, down to ten. Lot and his family would be the ten righteous. But some of Lot’s daughters are married. Their husbands do not believe. So, the angel takes Lot, his wife, and their two remaining daughters by the hand and brings them out of the city before its destruction.
The city burns.
Abraham sees the smoke and his intercession has failed. He fears and departs to the city of Gaza for safety. Old patterns of protection come into play with Sarah again, known as his sister, and again she is taken to be another man’s wife. The Lord intervenes and saves Sarah, increases her wealth, and gives Abraham a new place to live.
Abraham had become fully convinced that what He (God) had promised, He was also able to perform. Romans 4, Genesis 21. Being fully convinced Abraham had gone from believing in the promise to glorifying God, Who alone was able to perform His promise. Abraham stopped resources himself, his responsibilities, and his part in the equation. Abraham believed in the Lord and in the Lord’s ability to perform. The Lord “accounted this to Abraham as righteousness”.
Believe in Him who raised up Jesus, our Lord, from the dead.
God is able to perform every promise He has made after we have tried and failed, given up and quit, fled, and fallen back into old patterns. God is able to perform His promises. All our losses are to learn His ability to raise life from the dead. When we believe, our faith is accounted by God as righteousness.
Our faith becomes strong when it is not dependent on us but on God to perform. Glorifying God takes our eyes off ourselves, our disappointments, and our death to the one who raised Jesus from the dead.
God is able and faithful.
Love Feast this Wednesday, June 7th, at 5:00 pm at The JC Café. Dinner together and then ministry in the sanctuary. We will have stations for activations of our gifts, calling, and inheritance in Christ.