Friday, March 9, 2007

Friday's Devotional: Learning from the Patriarch's

I decided to start posting a Friday devotional. It will consist primarily of what I have been learning throughout the week in my time in the Word.

God has been teaching me a lot about the faithfulness of His promises, and how since He is the Creator and I am the created, I do not get to decide what is best for me. I’m reading through Genesis right now, and this week have been reading through the story of Abraham.

Faith is not easy, but it is what we are called to. It’s not easy to trust when we don’t know the outcome of a particular situation. I need constant reminders from the Bible that God always knows the outcome of my circumstances, even if I cannot see ahead of my surroundings. And the answer to my uncertainty is not to frantically try and micromanage the outcome. The answer is always more faith, more hope in God.

In Genesis 12:10-20 Abraham lied to Pharaoh by saying that Sarah was his sister. He was afraid that Pharaoh would see Sarah and want her for his own, and in turn kill Abraham. But Abraham did not enter Egypt without hope, God had told him, in verses 2 and 3, that he would make Abraham a great nation. That promise did not change upon entering Egypt, in fact it should have given Abraham more courage to tell the truth—God had promised him life. The external circumstances looked bleak, so instead of falling back on God’s faithfulness, he trusted in his own feeble ability to protect himself—which backfired.

But God does not leave Abraham there. He pursues him. He chases after Him and conforms Him to the dictates of a Holy Creator by making Him trust. He continually puts situation after situation in front of Abraham saying “I am your God, I will fulfill all I have promised.”

In Genesis 15:4-6 we begin to see a change in Abraham. God still is promising Abraham a son, and Abraham believes God’s promises and the faith is credited as righteousness. Abraham had no tangible thing to hold onto. He only had the Word of God, and he trusted it. We must trust the promises of God. All of our attempts to take matters into our own hands are professions of unbelief—which ultimately lead to death. Death is waiting for us if we consistently usurp the authority of God over us and take control of our situations. We don’t always know why God puts us in periods of trusting, and sometimes we may never know. But we have the Bible to tell us that He is faithful, and “no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!” (Psalm 84:11b-12).

That is what God does to us to make us trust Him. He knows exactly what we need to conform us into the image of Christ. Everything is about Christ. All of our circumstances, all of our suffering, all of our waiting, all of our sorrows—all of these things are meant to lift high the King of Kings and conform us into His likeness.

When we begin to feel like God is not answering us quickly enough, and we want to give up on this Christian life all together, we must remember that our Creator really is Sovereign, and He has not left us. There is an answer coming, even if the only answer we ever get is that Christ has redeemed us. There is no other place to go. We either can walk in the light of Christ knowing that God will work all details out for our joy and good and His ultimate glory, or we can walk in darkness following the wide road to death. We can either believe God and receive the credit of Christ’s righteousness, or we can go our own way thinking that we know best. One of my new favorite songs by Keith Getty starts out like this:

“My hope rests firm on Jesus Christ, He is my only plea. Though all the world shall point and scorn, His ransom leaves me free.”

The blood of Jesus Christ that paid my ransom should bind me to the Cross forever and cause me never to run away from trusting the great promises of God. Choose today whom you will serve.


stellerblue32 said...

thank you courtney. this was honestly very encouraging for me to read :) thank you

cdt said...

You are welcome Katie. You are very sweet. I am grateful that the Lord ministered to you.