Newsletter February 2018
Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. (Genesis 12:1-4)
God called Abram (whose name He later changed to Abraham) to leave his family and go to a new country that He would show him. God promised to be with Abram and to bless him. So wherever Abram went he made sure God was at the centre of his life; he knew that it was God who kept him and sustained him, his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot.
One day Abram had to make a choice: an argument broke out between his herdsmen and Lot's. God had increased their herds and flocks so much that there was no longer enough room for them to stay together. Abram recognised that the time had come for them to separate. From now on Lot would have to make his own choices. And Abraham offered him a choice. He said to him,
“Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13:8-9).
Lot looked and saw to the west the arid hills of Judah and to the east the lush plain of Jordan. To him there was no question which of the two he should choose. So he made his choice and journeyed to the east.
Abram could have made the choice himself. After all, he was the elder. Lot would have had to accept whatever he decided. Yet Abraham left the decision to Lot. For him it made no difference which way he would go; he knew that God could bless him no matter where he was. While Lot looked with his natural eyes and made his decision based on what he saw, Abram looked with the eyes of faith to the Creator, believing that He was able to bless him anywhere and in every situation.
Are you like Abram? Do you look to God as the source of your blessing? Do you trust His promises? Do you seek Him and depend on Him to meet every need? Do you bring your requests before Him, believing that he will provide for you in every circumstance? Do you believe He is able to sustain you even when things around you look bleak?
Or are you like Lot? Do you live your life according to your natural perceptions and your own understanding? Are you guided by what you see rather than by the invisible God who created you? Do you limit the Almighty by thinking He can only bless you if the circumstances look right?
So often we limit God by what we see around us. We say, things aren't looking good right now. The economy is in decline. People all around us are struggling. We need to somehow get by; we can't expect too much in times like these.
Or we look at our own situation and compare it with that of others. If only I could have the opportunities they have. Surely things would be better if I were at the place where they are. If only I could be like them. Then God could truly bless me.
Or we may say, if only my circumstances were different; if I lived somewhere else. Then I could really serve God. Then I could truly be used by Him. Surely God could bless me if the circumstances were right.
Our God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is not limited by our circumstances. He can bless us wherever we are. He is not limited by the situation in which we find ourselves. He can do far more than we can ever ask or think. As He blessed Abram, He can bless us – that is, if we make Him the centre of our lives, as Abram did. The only thing that will limit Him is a lack of faith.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)