In thinking about today’s topic, the question of just why so many people seem to give up on the call of God in their lives; why we so often find ourselves or others we know stalling like a car on the side of the road. And as I began to look at different personalities in scripture, I found some of the same tendencies in them as I see in many of us today.
I’m sure you have come to those moments in your life when you looked at the Christian experience and wondered what in the world was happening; what happened to the joy and the peace that was or maybe even use to be yours… and what about all the power we hear so much about?
When we begin to experience those moments I want you to know that you are simply going through a process; the process of time.
This is an experience given to the Believer by God where we get to put into practice the things He has already demonstrated to and taught us.
It’s our time and place of maturity.
What we can’t allow ourselves to do during these breaks, or moments of silence, is to begin to lower ourselves to what I like to call our own best reasoning.
These are the moments when we are to call to remembrance the truth of the Proverb recorded in chapter 3: 5-7:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
In Genesis chapter 12 we are introduce to Abraham, then known as Abram. Abram is given a directive by God to leave his home and go out to the place where God would lead him. As with us, most often, at first all went well.
Abram goes out and has fellowship with the Lord on the road, but then came the trials and that’s when we see the human weakness of Abram. He decides to go into Egypt.
Here we have the promise of God’s gift of a son to Abraham. Abraham is 75 years old when he receives this promise and then for the next 25 years, he goes through the process of maturation. A period where not only is Abraham removed from those family and friends that God commanded him to back in chapter 12, but where the character of the man is being transformed into the likeness of God Himself.
How this transformation achieved:
Perhaps there was a day, a time, in your life when you felt that you knew what it was God wanted of you. Or at least you understood that it was the right thing for you do in living for and giving your life to the Lord.
These moments often come to us after we have suffered through a particular trial. Like Abram and Sarai had in not having a child and being ridiculed by a culture that valued children and the creation of heirs for the continuance of the family linage.
Abram is 75 years old when he is called of God and given a promise of great goodness. Gen 12: 4.
List of trials overcome through the process of time.
1. Leave your family and identity behind.
a. Gen. 12: 1-3 – Told to leave all that was who he was and knew.
2. Trust God in the face of trials.
a. Gen. 12: 10 famine
b. Separation continued.
c. Lot, Abram’s nephew, go your way the promise enhanced
d. War on the road 14 years into the journey fellowship with high priest. 14: 5
e. Covenant made with God 15:6
1. Once separation unto God is achieved the next level is revealed.
f. The alternative path offered 16: 2
1. The flesh comes up with another great idea. Oops!
g. Abram name not changed 86 years old Ishmael born
1. Gen. 16: 15 - The flesh produces fruit. It has consequences.
h. Covenant reinstated Name changed from Abram to Abraham 99 years old.
1. Chapter 17: 1-2 God revisits Abraham
i. Abraham in friendship interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah 99.
1. Gen. 18: 23-33
j. @ 99 Abraham still slips in the flesh 20: 11 “I thought…”
1. There are still many times when we fail but the growth of the Spirit still works in us.
k. Age 100, God brings Abraham to the next level of maturity and brings the promised child to life.
1. Gen. 21: 1-4 – Isaac born and circumcised.
l. Abraham had to get rid of the work of the flesh.
1. Gen 21: 12 – Ishmael kicked out.
m. Finally Abraham has arrived to the man he was called to be… Gen 22: 1-8, 12.
a. Isaac is believed to be from 18-20 years of age.
b. From age 75 to 120 Abraham’s journey has lasted. 35 years.
c. Joseph had about 25 years of processing from the pit to the throne room of Egypt.
d. David spent over 20 years from the anointing of oil until he sat on the promised throne of Israel.
So what we see here is a process, a process through which time is the mechanism of change. As we go through the various wars… the highs and the lows, and we learn to look to God first and trust His word preeminently. This is the place where we begin to live in that place of friendship with God.
Don’t be discouraged by your apparent failures. God sees the end from the beginning and He knows His plans for you are good and not evil, but to bring you to a pleasant end. Remember, He has the process in hand and He’s pulling for your success.