Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Three Little Words

New Year's resolution. Those are three words that can change someone's life. Every New Year, people make a commitment to do something different or introduce some new change into their life. Sadly, the best of intentions quickly fade as it becomes obvious that the individual was not fully invested in their chosen goal. Every year I commit to reading the Bible from beginning to end. There are always new and fresh truths that God has to pour into my spirit. As I was reading once again the story of Abraham, I began meditating on three little words in Genesis chapter 15. God makes a covenant with Abram after Abram fears that his estate will end up in the hands of his servant Eliezer of Damascus since Abram and  his wife Sarai are childless. The Lord reassures Abram that this will not be the case. Then God took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars---if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." (15:5) I wonder what Abram was thinking at that moment. If God had made some great promise to us, how would we respond? Some of us might be the healthy skeptic, "Yeah, right Lord, that's kind of way out there." Some may have even laughed as Abram's wife did when told she would bear a child in her old age. (Genesis 18:12). Others may have been so overwhelmed that the response might have been, "Whoa Lord, slow down. I can't wrap my mind around this. It's too big!" How did Abram respond? It's the three little words that changed his life, "Abram believed God..(Genesis 15:6a). I had to pause and take in Abram's response. There was no apparent hesitation and no in depth debate or discussion with the Lord. Abram's response was true faith. He knew who his God was and committed his whole heart to the Lord. Abram fully invested himself in the Lord's promise. His response was similar to that of a child. When a parent makes a promise to a child there is an automatic trust and a joy in knowing that what was promised will come to pass. The child knows that this adult is strong enough and powerful enough to follow through on their commitment. And so it is with our God. What He promises will be accomplished. God knew that Abram was committed because even though Abram "messed up" in agreeing with Sarai to engineer the birth of an heir themselves (Genesis Chapter 16) still God kept his promise. The Lord even changed Abram's name to Abraham ("father of many") to set him apart as God's servant. Abraham made a few other mistakes along the way like trying to pass his wife off as his sister (Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18) but God remained faithful to His promise. How do we know Abraham was really invested in God's promise, that he believed God? It was Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at the Lord's command. (Genesis Chapter 22). So as I meditate on those three little words, I have to ask myself am I invested in the Lord's promises? Do I simply believe God? New Year's resolutions are easy to make and easy to break if we just pay lip service to our intentions but don't really make the effort to commit ourselves to believing that our goals can be accomplished. I resolve to invest myself this New Year to believing in God's promises come what may. It was not easy for Abraham to follow God's leading but in the depths of his spirit, he knew the One in whom he had invested his whole being. What about you? What are you investing in this New Year? 
Blessings & Peace,
Pastor Sheree

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