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.
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September 17, 2020
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The rapid spread of the church in the New Testament can only be attributed to two things: the gracious, miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit and the bold witness of His followers. If God had not moved, nothing would have happened. If believers had not shared the gospel, the movement would have stalled.
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