Sunday, July 29, 2012

Promises

A devotion my friend Liz gave me this weekend. Quite appropriate, don't you think? July 28   For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Galatians 3:18   It was when Abraham had no children that God told him his offspring would number as the stars of the sky, as the sand on the seashore. But Scripture records that Abraham believed God anyway. ‘Okay, Lord,’ Abraham replied, ‘I don’t know how You’re going to do it, but if You want to bless me in that way, it’s fine with me.’ And God said, ‘That’s the faith that will justify you, Abraham — just believing in Me.’ Some time went by. Again, the Lord appeared to Abraham. ‘I am your shield and your great reward,’ He said. ‘That’s great, Lord,’ answered Abraham, ‘but I still don’t have any kids. The years are going by, and I’m not getting any younger.’ ‘Abraham,’ said the Lord, ‘let’s cut covenant.’ In Abraham’s day, when two parties wanted to seal an agreement, they would cut an animal in half and meet each other in the middle, thereby saying, ‘We’re dead serious about this.’ So Abraham got a bullock, cut it in half, laid it out, and sat there waiting for God to show up. He waited, and waited, and waited, wondering where God was. When birds started swarming around the carcass, with stick in hand, Abraham stood up and shooed them away. Time passed, Abraham’s eyes grew heavy. He head started bobbing, then slumping, and finally he was out. Sometime later, he awoke, looked at the bullock, and saw it had been barbecued. God had come when Abraham was asleep and had moved all the way through the carcass. God didn’t meet Abraham halfway. He did the whole thing, saying, ‘Abraham, this promise I’m giving you is not based upon your agreeing with Me and doing your part. No, I’m going to do it all, and I’ll even do it while you’re asleep.’ (see Genesis 15) God still does it all, precious people. Your salvation, the blessings which are poured upon you, the work of the Spirit which flows through you in ministry — it’s all God. ‘Don’t I have any part to play?’ you ask. Yes. Your part is to shoo away the birds of unbelief that will invariably come and pick at the promises of God’s Word. Whatever God said He will do is an accomplished fact — yet vultures of doubt, and buzzards of cynicism will come and say, ‘God’s not going to use you. He’s not going to bless you. You haven’t been praying enough.’ Peck, peck, peck. Your part is to chase away those birds by saying, ‘Lord, You told us You would supply all our needs according to Your riches. You told us You would never leave us or forsake us. You told us You’re preparing a place in Heaven for us. You told us You would give the Holy Ghost to us. Thank You, Lord.’

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