STRIVING / SURVIVING / THRIVING
With the Highschoolers we have been meeting at Joes on College at 6:45am on Wednesdays to study the bible together. We have been looking at Galatians and something hit me in a new way, something fresh. Same words – in a new way. They ARE ALIVE! This book is ALIVE – and God is doing new things in new ways.
We were reading Galatians 4 and it reminded me about the Story of Abram and Sarai. They had a promise from God, a covenant even, about having a Child and being parents of thousands of generations.
THE STORY OF Gen 15 – Gen 21
Today we are going to look at this story and see where there was STRIVING, SURVIVING and THRIVING with the promise of GOD!
We will be jumping around the story so here is the references.
STRIVING / SURVING / THRIVING
Genesis 15:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT) The Lord’s Covenant Promise to Abram
15 Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”
For Abram – or Abraham by the time it happened. WAITED 25years for this illogical promise to be fulfilled! 25 years! Abram couldn’t see HOW God was going to fulfill His promise – so he took into his own hands. God already knew HOW He was going to do this. What he asked from Abram – was to trust Him and to have faith in the covenant. He had already blessed it.
Remember Abram was confused when God told him this. He was in His tent. He could not see it, he didn’t get it. God took him out of his tent and asked him to LOOK UP. Abram needed to see it from a different perceptive – he needed to be reminded of the promise. God reminded him that the promise still stands true. God reminded him often of this covenant. (Gen 12 – Gen 15)
Genesis 16:6-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.
When Hagar (the servant) was treated harshly she ran away. This story tells us that the Lord met her on the road in the wilderness. Often God mets us on the road, on the road in the middle of a season we find ourselves in. The place we find ourselves in, in the place we often has placed ourselves – and God meets us there again – and with his Amazing Grace – helps us find our way back home. Gen 16 + Gen 21 are two examples in the early part of Genesis. – this was not even her promise to hold. It was someone else’s!
When we study and remember and see what God has promised. He has a good track record. He doesn’t let us down. Despite our lack of faith, our trust issues, our backsliding… he is CONSTANT and FAITHFUL in ALL SEASONS.
What are you waiting on? In what was has God seemed to let you down with a unfulfilled promise.
He has not failed us. He made a covenant – a binding promise. Even when we don’t see it. Even if we don’t believe it straight away. When HE SPEAKS IT WILL HAPPEN – IT MAY ALREADY HAVE HAPPENED. We MUST take the word of the Lord very seriously.
The way we see things is not the way God see things. The fulfillment of the promise (or in this case, the covenant) is on God, not on us. We may not see HOW God will work it. But we are called to Believe and walk by FAITH – not by our sight.
How often in our lives do we miss the promise? How often do we STRIVE to fulfill it in our our strength. How often are we in Survival mode with our faith – asking Him to prove Himself to us…
How long did Abraham and Sarah wait for the arrival of their promised heir, Isaac? God
first revealed to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations when he called him to leave his country and go to the land God would show him. Abraham was 75 years old. Fifteen years later, when Abraham was 90, God renewed his promise to both him and Sarai (Sarah) Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son. That’s a total of twenty-five years.
How long did the Israelites wander through the desert after leaving Egypt on their way to the Promised Land? Forty long years. It certainly doesn’t take 40 years to get from where they started in the Nile Delta to reach Jericho – It should have only taken 11 days.
How long did they wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit? Remember, Jesus had said to them, “I send the promise of my Father on you, but stay in Jerusalem until you have been clothed with power from on high.” How long did they wait for this mystery to occur? Fifty long days.
12years to be made whole!
Luke 8:43-48 New Living Translation (NLT)
43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, [a] and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
WHEN YOU WAIT FOR THE PROMISE. THE PROMISE STANDS! THE MIRACLE IS JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN.
WHEN YOU PURSUE HIM… not only will the PROMISE and the MIRACLE still happen… but you will be MADE WHOLE and have the RELATIONSHIP.
Whats on the other side of the promise. Joy – Gen 21:6
What is the last thing God has told you, or instructed you to do? Go back to that.
Often people say, I can’t hear His voice… I don’t know what He wants me to do, or where to go… what was the last thing he asked of you.
In your life – WHERE are you STRIVING. Where are you SURVIVING. Where are you THRIVING? What promises are you holding on too?