The God of My Master

In Genesis 24 Abraham sends his servant to find a bride for his son Isaac. He assures him that the angel of the Lord will go ahead of him on the journey and bring him success. True to Abraham’s word, the hand of the Lord caused a fortuitous meeting between him and Rebekah who became Isaac’s wife.

Genesis 24:48 highlights the servants response to the favour of the Lord. It reads as follows:

“And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son”

The servant refers to the Lord, as the Lord and God of his master Abraham. This was Abraham’s most trusted servant who had charge of all that he owned. I am certain that he saw the hand of the Lord move many times in the life of Abraham. This event, was yet another in support of the intimate friendship that God had with Abraham, and the great love that he had for him. When the servant saw the supernatural hand of God intervene for the sake of His friend, he had no other response but to worship!

I wonder how many of us live lives of such intimate friendships with God, that other’s come to know God, through that very friendship. When others witness a divine act in that relationship, they have no option to say: “Yip, that is the God of Susan all-right!” Essentially our friendship with God, becomes the catalyst for others to recognise His existence and divine nature. And, as with Abraham’s servant, those who recognise Him, have no option but to worship Him, and acknowledge Him as their own.

Have a blessed day!

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Sojourning 101

Abraham had a habit of building an altar to the Lord whenever he entered a new territory, or when he encountered God. I am encouraged to do the same  as a way of staking a claim for God both in the spirit, and in the natural realms. We who are born of God, consider ourselves to be sojourners on earth, with heaven being our true home. Our journey often takes us to unexpected places, often far from home.

Abraham was told to leave his home and go to a place which God would show him. During his travels, a famine in Canaan forced him and his wife Sarah to go to Egypt. Upon leaving Egypt, Abraham travelled South to camp between Bethel and Ai. Genesis 13:4 tells us that it was the very place where he once lived and first erected an altar to the Lord of Hosts. It is further written that he returned to call on the name of the Lord at this very altar, upon his return from Egypt.

Abraham never fails to inspire me through his relationship with God – it is truly a life worthy of imitation. As the story of our life unwinds and we travel this earth, it is essential to our faith that we always return to our foundations in Christ. The altars in our life are reminders of God and who He has been to us.  They are testimonies of his character and nature; and they are so interwoven with our own lives, that we hardly know where His story begins and ours end. We must like Abraham, return to these landmarks, if only to remind ourselves of the land He once gave us. It is in this land that we are secure in the faith, because the altars represent the assurance of who He was, is and will be to us who call on His name.

Perhaps circumstances has forced you take a turn in Egypt. Remind yourself of what the Lord has done for you,  and how in the past when you called upon His name, he answered you and met you in that place.

 

Taking Territory

I have enjoyed reading about Abraham very much. I am drawn to his relationship with God. He was not a man who engaged in pious religious acts, and yet his relationship with God permeated most every part of his daily life. As he sojourned the earth, God was His constant companion. Where Abraham walked, God was sure to be at his side. They were as a pair of explorers breaking ground and taking territory for God.

When Abraham left his home, on the instruction of the Lord, he came to Canaan. Genesis 12:7 provides us with some detail: “ Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him”. In the very next verse we read that Abraham moved to a place between Ai and Bethel, and again he built an altar unto the Lord, and called upon His name. In Genesis 21:33 we read how Abraham wins back the well that people tried to steal from him. In response to winning back the territory, Abraham plants a Tamarisk tree unto the Lord, and there he calls upon the name of God.  It is enormously significant that whenever Abraham entered new territory, or took ground, he would build an altar to the Lord and worship Him.

I believe that taking ground in the spirit and in the natural is inextricably linked to worship. We, like Abraham need to lay down a marker in the spirit and in the natural, declaring that the land is now under the reign of the Kingdom of God. Yes, the land was promised to Abraham, by a God that does not lie. And yet, Abraham habitually built altars unto the Lord God as and when he took new territory. Abraham was not passive in his worship or in His pursuit of the territory that God promised him. He was very much intentional and such a natural and instinctive response can only be borne out of relationship. Let us be equally deliberate and focused in taking land for God.

 

 

Trained Servants of the House

We who call on the name of the Lord, are all called to serve in the house of God. And, it is so that sometimes such service takes on unexpected forms. We find an example of this in our father Abraham’s household.

His relative Lot is taken captive by a war party, and in response, he mobilizes his household. Genesis 14:14 picks up the story: “When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan”.

Abraham trained his servants for warfare, precisely for such an eventuality. It is so with the servants in God’s house also. We each serve in various capacities in the house, but, there comes a time that we need to make war to recapture that which was taken from us. We find further examples of this in the book of Nehemiah, where people of various professions assisted with the building of the wall. My favourite example is found in Nehemiah 3:8, where a certain perfumer laboured in the building project. He was no builder, but he joined the fight regardless.

We are all warriors and we have all suffered loss, or had our walls broken down at some point. Perhaps it is time for us to mobilize ourselves in the pursuit of that which was taken from us, and fight for the restoration of that which was broken down.

Unbreakable

Jesus said in Mark 10:9 that what God has joined together, let no man will separate. Jesus was of course referring to the union between a man and a woman. And, it is so that there are often attacks on the union between a man and his wife, because marriage represents the mystical union between Jesus and His church.

When Abraham was due to enter Egypt, he feared that his wife Sarah would be taken from him in account of her beauty. Such was her beauty, that he further feared for his life at the hands of the  men of Egypt. Driven by fear, Abraham convinced Sarah to say that she was his sister. As it happened she was taken into the home of Pharaoh with the intent of making her his bride.

Genesis 12:17 recounts the Lord’s response to this act by Pharaoh:

And the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.

 

Sarah was subsequently released with a blessing to Abraham. We learn that God is true to His word. He has declared that what He has put together, he will not let others set apart. Bear in mind that Pharaoh,  was arguably the most powerful and influential ruler of the day, and he had to bow to the word of God.

The Lord God,  delights in the sacred union of marriage. If our hearts are set on the preservation of that union, He will turn the world upside down for us. If your relationship is under threat, invoke the promise of God for your union, and then, watch Him work to preserve His promise and your union.

The High Places of the Flood Planes

Trials, tribulations, storms and floods – a challenge by any other name. Despite our personal and emotional reference to such experiences; it is so that God often does His best work in these circumstances. In fact, the flood is very often God’s chosen vehicle to promote His sons.

The flood that Noah and his family faced, was so extreme, that its flood levels rose above the mountain tops. When Noah had endured the flood however, God remembered him and the hand of the Lord brought the Ark to rest. Genesis 8:4 provides the detail: “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat”.

I love the fact that once the flood was over, and Noah’s time had come, he came to rest on  a mountain top. It was the flood waters, directed by the hand of God, that brought him to this high place. Noah’s story compels us to view future  floods as a source of promotion. We should be further encouraged by the fact that throughout the process of Noah’s journey, he was oblivious to the fact that God was lining him up to rest on this high place. And, because he was unaware of God’s strategy, it leaves us in no doubt where his positioning came from. It can only be God, because chance is not that kind. If you are currently in a flood, rest, because you are about to be promoted.

Mobilised by a Flood

Noah spent more than a hundred years building the ark, and upon the Lord’s instruction he and his own entered the vessel. Having then been sealed in by the hand of the Lord, he waited for the flood-of-floods. The ark was to be his place of safety and refuge during the flood.  But, until it rained however, and the waters rose Noah was confined to a wooden house. It was the flood that mobilised Noah, and turned a wooden box into a boat.

Genesis 7:17-18 reads: “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters”. It was the water that lifted the ark, and it was the same water that moved it about. How often does the Lord not mobilise us with a flood. It is often the discomfort and challenges of life, that lifts us above our present circumstance and moves us to where we need to be.

I imagine that Noah was moved about a great deal as he drifted upon the waters. I further believe that he did not once fear, because in the midst of all the movement, and shifting, Noah found comfort and rest in the ark. It must be so to for us, the sons of God. As we are mobilised by the hand of God, and we face our own trials and challenges, we must always be rooted in Jesus. He is the true and eternal Ark of Refuge for us who believe – our comfort and safety.

Let us not fear the flood, but embrace it, for it may be the very thing that propels us into our destiny. Let us further embrace transition  knowing that like Noah, in the midst of movement and transition, we are rooted in the ARK.