February 09, 2015
So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac .God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.
He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:1-4)
God meets us where we are. He has plans of good and not evil awaiting us. He has good works planned before the foundation of the world for us to experience for His glory. But all of God’s steps are made operational by His promises and our faith. God has designed it this way, of course, so that we will live in dependence on Him and He continually does what is necessary to keep us walking in faith.
REASSURANCE IN A SEASON OF TRANSITION
This was true of Abraham. God had made promises to this father of our faith. Now, through his grandson, Jacob/Israel, he is fulfilling them. Israel had set out for Egypt, but he stops to make one last sacrifice to his God in the land where God had sent his grandfather, Abraham. No doubt, he is wondering if this move to a distant land is right—if his leaving will negate God’s promises previously given.
But when Israel offers his sacrifice, God comes to him.
The Lord was not obligated to appear to Israel. It was God's initiation that caused Him to, once again, reassure him at this point of transition. God reassures Israel that He is not going to retreat on His promises. He encourages Israel, lifted him once again from fear to faith, so that he can move ahead in confidence.
But do not miss that this appearance from God came at the altar of Israel’s making. Israel was seeking the Lord. This was a fresh surrender of his life to the purposes of God. And God met his surrender with the fresh wind of His presence and His promise.
ARE YOU WAVERING?
There will be many times in our lives when God speaks and we walk in faith, but a transition moment comes that causes us to waver. It is not inappropriate for us to ask God for fresh reminders from His Word and by His Spirit. He is mindful of our frame that we are but dust. He graciously meets humble men where they are as they look up in surrender to their covenant-keeping God. He will speak afresh to us if we wait expectantly on Him.
Where are you slipping in your faith? Where is your belief crisis right now? Offer fresh sacrifices of your life to Him. Turn to Him in humility, like a child to a faithful Father, and see what He does. You will find Him more interested in speaking to you than you can imagine. For that is the nature of His grace and the measure of His faithfulness.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.