In Genesis 26:4, God promises Abraham that He will multiply his descendants, make them as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all of the land that Abraham has been sojourning in.
Gen 26:4: I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed
But what is important to notice is that this promise is reiterated to Abraham after he had pursued heart-wrenching obedience to God by offering his only son, Isaac, as an sacrifice to the Lord. (See Genesis 22) God stopped him from this action and provided a ram in the thicket as the sacrifice, but Abraham’s heart was purified in the crucible of testing and he came forth as gold.
After this testing in the Refiner’s Fire, Abraham received that word in the Scripture we just read. I believe that this timing is not coincidental as I believe that the God Who instituted the law of sowing and reaping understands that what we sow in our lives is what will be multiplied. God didn’t want Abraham’s self-life and self-determination to be what was multiplied as the stars in the sky. He wanted the faith that would propel Abraham towards radical obedience to be what was multiplied in the earth. So once the dross had been burned away and the lone heart of desperate longing for the Lord was left, God spoke the word of multiplication over Abraham and his seed.
The depth of purity of Abraham’s trust and devotion to his God, was the breadth of the multiplication of his descendants. Abraham’s descendants, both natural and spiritual descendants, are billions strong now and this corresponds to the depth of his faith.
When God allows us to go through the crucible, it is to refine us. He doesn’t want to multiply wrong motives and our self-life. He wants to multiply us but He needs our worldly attachments to become infinitely small so that He can become infinitely big.
Religion keeps God small and most people are happy with that arrangement because they can maintain their lusts and desires along with what they believe is God. But if truly have God, we have a fire – a Consuming Fire. And this Fire will not allow the weeds and thorns to strangle the harvest and overtake the fruit we can produce for the Kingdom.
If our hearts are truly toward the Lord, we will welcome the Refiner’s Fire. He is loving and gentle toward us, but unrelenting toward anything that will steal our destiny and possibly rob us of our eternal place with Him.
Galatians 6:7: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Dear heavenly Father, we come to You as the Holy Fire. We know that your holiness is as pure and consuming as fire and we desire to be changed and purified. Father, we can’t purify ourselves or even desire to tear our hearts away from the attachments of this life. Our family, friends, and achievements are all to us at times. But You have called us to higher life where we can hold on to You with all we are and also enjoy the blessings of this life without those blessings owning our hearts in trade. We are yours. You purchased us with the blood of your Son. We are also the children of Abraham and as such, we can tap into that faith that takes us beyond what we see with our eyes into a trust that radically obeys. Holy Spirit, please do this work in us. As the days grow darker and the day of Your appearing comes closer, we need to cross the line and be all in with Jesus. No more games. No more comfortable religion. No more halfway obedience. All in – by Your grace alone. In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.