Thought for the day: God wants all so He can increase us

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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.

Let’s pray:

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.

 

A flashlight check into the corners of your heart: How much light are you walking in?

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John 8:12 – I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

 

I thought I broke my toe when I hit it on a heavy boot that was left in our dark the hallway by my son.  He came home late and just took off his work boots right where he was standing, except that where he was standing was smack in the middle of where people walk.  I wake up early in the morning, so it’s dark as I stumble to the coffeemaker. I have lived in my house for over 16 years and I could make my way though it blindfolded.  But when someone puts an obstacle that doesn’t belong there in my path (like a pair of work boots!), all of sudden I am writhing in pain hoping to God that my toe isn’t broken!

Isn’t our walk in this world like that? We think we know our way around but all of sudden something goes sideways in our life and we’re scratching our heads wondering what just happened. We hit an obstacle that we didn’t see coming and suddenly what was a routine day becomes a painful moment.

So is Jesus promising in this passage that we will never be caught off guard if we walk in the light of His presence? I believe He is.  While it seems like a radical and impossible promise, I think we can see how that is exactly the way Jesus Himself walked when He was on the earth.  There wasn’t a verbal attack, a storm or a personal trial that caught Him off guard.  He was ready and prepared for everything that came His way – even for the cross.  He predicted His own death down to the detail of how and when it would occur and He predicted the responses of His disciples in the aftermath of His death.

So why don’t many of us walk in the light as He is in the light?  Let’s unpack that a little.

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