“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King
KEEP BELIEVING THROUGH IT ALL
Genesis 15 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord’s Covenant With Abram
15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield,[a] your very great reward.[b]“
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Forward Thinkers, Genesis chapter 15 starts with the words after this so that means something of importance took place before chapter 15. Therefore, let’s go back and review Abram’s journey leading up to chapter 15. Forward Thinkers, we met Abram in Genesis chapter 11 as his family began their journey to Canaan (The Promise Land) and early in their journey, Abram’s youngest brother dies and Abram takes his deceased brother’s son Lot under his wings. Abram also marries Sarai who is barren and early in their marriage, Abram’s father dies and his other brother gets stuck in grief and Abram, Sarai, and Lot have to continue the journey alone.
Quick point, Forward Thinkers; sometimes when those around you quit or give up, you must keep going because one day your path will guide them to a better place. Abram had to keep going in spite of the obstacles he faced early in his journey because he had to pave the way for future generations to follow. Forward Thinkers, our journey is not just for us but those coming behind us also; so we can’t afford to quit.
In chapter 12, the Lord makes Abram a promise to bless him and make his name great but only under the condition Abram leaves his father’s land. God is clearly making a point in order to go forward; and to go where you’ve never been before, you must let go of some things from your past and trust Him to guide you. Everywhere Abram went, he built God an altar and worshipped him publicly. Forward Thinkers, we must remember to keep God first everywhere we go.
Right after receiving the promise of greatness Abram, Sarai, and Lot entered into a land of famine and Abram made a faith mistake by allowing fear to choke his faith and he lies about Sarai being his sister instead of his wife. God steps in and stops Sarai from being mishandled by the foreign king and they return her back to Abram unharmed. Thank God for saving us from ourselves when we mess up.
Abram comes out of famine wealthy, demonstrating God has the power to bless us anywhere and at any time if we continue to walk by faith and trust him. Forward Thinkers, over the next four years, we must walk by faith and trust God through this Trump administration.
By now, we are in Genesis chapter 14 and Lot is taken captive and Abram goes to rescue him and defeats the enemy, causing an evil king to offer Abram an opportunity to acquire the wealth of the world by selling out the people. Forward Thinkers, I wonder how many leaders in our community have taken this offer to sell out the people for their own selfish motives. Forward Thinkers, this time, Abram passes the faith test and refuses the offer to sell out the people and boldly declares he will trust God to bless him no matter what the world has to offer him. Can someone reading this today thank God for another opportunity to make better life decisions?
Forward Thinkers, never forget our decisions determine our destiny.
Now we are ready to continue our journey in Genesis chapter 15, as the Lord confirms his covenant with Abram. The Lord tells Abram, don’t be afraid; and today, I declare that Forward Thinkers will never allow fear to overcome them. The bible says God didn’t give us the spirit of fear but he gave us power and authority and God has not changed his mind. Therefore, we must overcome our fear and dominate in 2017.
Forward Thinkers, there are 2 promises of protection in verse one:
God says, I am your shield; guaranteeing no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Forward Thinkers, if God is fighting our battles, we should have supernatural confidence in every situation.
God says, I am your rewarder; meaning that everything flows through God and if we keep our trust in God we can make it through anything.
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless?
Forward Thinkers, Abram is totally transparent with God and asked God, what can you do for me? Abram was not being ungrateful but truthful. Abram realizes in spite of all the stuff God had blessed him with, he still feels incomplete. At some point, the house, the car, the degree, the fame, and the money stop being enough to fulfill us. Abram is saying, ‘God I thank you for the stuff but I desire to do more for you and I totally believe you promised me more’. Anybody feel like Abram? Lord, I desire more than stuff I need you to usher me into my purpose.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: Forward Thinkers, notice, God is not upset with Abram’s questions but God honors Abram by reconfirming his promise. No matter where we are or what we’ve been through we must have the faith to trust God at his word. Until God says something else. run with whatever he last told you.
6 Abram believed the Lord. Forward Thinkers, if you’re going to embrace your journey and reach your full potential, you must be able to believe the Lord is actually able to carry you through it all. We must really believe the Lord is our Shepherd and we shall not be in want.
“I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” The Lord tells Abram, remember I am the Lord who brought you out of your past situations and set you on your current journey. Forward Thinkers, God is still able to guide us in this thing called life.
In conclusion, there is a very important key we must look at here in chapter 15. The Lord continues to confirm to Abram that he will have many sons and the Lord never mentions the fact that Abram’s wife Sarai is still barren. Barren means she can’t have children. Forward Thinkers, what this tells me is my faith is more important than my current facts. In 2017, we must increase our faith so the facts from Washington, D.C. or any other place won’t be able to stop us from achieving our Godly plans and purposes.
God is telling us he’s ready to do something great to and through us but the question is do we have the faith to embrace our journey and go for it in 2017.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.