Sunday, 19 March 2017

Covenant Journey - Genesis 15

It started with the command 'Go'! What would it take for us to go? A word from your spouse, your pastor, or God directly? Back in Genesis 12 Abram (name later changes to Abraham) was told to go, to dislocate from father and family. Yet he would go with God's promises spoken directly too him. A descendant of Noah, Abraham becomes a man at the centre of God's covenant promise.

We heard last time how covenant can be thought of as God's movement to us, providing for us, that requires a response. As with Noah the principle of through the one God will bless the many applies. In fact with Abraham there is another principle also at work: Abraham is one man among the world population, and from him just one son Isaac will be chosen, and then just Jacob (and not twin brother) is chosen, and then descendants who will form the 12 tribes of Israel. This is the principle of God choosing one for specific purposes - and those purposes will be to bless the many.

In Genesis 15 Abraham has a big vision, with God re-affirming that He is in control. Using the canvas of the night sky God says his descendants will be numerous. Maybe God has seeded something in you, perhaps whispered, an underlying feeling, or even shown in glorious techni-colour. It might be too big for you to believe, too much to unfold the full implications right now. If so, learn from Abraham's response.

Firstly Abraham believed, and that in itself was righteous in God's eyes (verse 6). He held a simple basic underlying belief that "God will do this". Secondly Abraham did however question - he was still childless, so humanly speaking it didn't add up. Taken together we can see that Abraham pondered but didn't dismiss the revelation . Yes it might take years to work out, yes it might be confusing along the way, but can you hold the belief and journey with God?

In further revelation Abraham is told that it will be 400 years before his descendants properly inherit the land. Thats a heck of a wait! For the long road Abraham (and descendants) are going to need a sustained simple belief that God will fulfil His purposes. At the Countess Free Church we talk of rhythm & diet, recognising that our faith in Jesus is not supposed to be just an 'in one moment' thing. To sustain our walk & ministry we need to set a good beat and then add other patterns on top. To grow we must ensure our diet is right and has a variety of different nutrients.

Abraham had to journey, literally moving from one land to another. His descendants had to do the same. Whilst moving their rhythm & diet would have had to change - different food would have been available, different routines required when travelling. As a church we have altered and developed our ministry patterns, e.g. changing from Messy Church to Imagine format events. These required changes in our rhythm & diet. No doubt future developments will need further adjustments along the way.

Each of us as individuals must learn to adapt for the tasks God is calling us to do. Follow that whisper, that desire, that vision God has planted in you, and set practices that will sustain you. On what journey is God calling you to go?

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