February 6, 2017

Genesis 13:17 “Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

I wonder if Abram thought about the seeming paradoxes of God’s promises to him. He has just parted from Lot, who chose what seemed to be the more settled, prosperous way, but he himself is still a nomad, wandering from place to place. God here tells him to keep walking, but it is to see the totality of the land that will be given him and his descendants. Because we see only in the short term, we often fail to recognize the validity of God’s promises in the long term. It’s not that the short term is unimportant, it’s that it isn’t the final answer. For every believer, the final answer isn’t until Jesus’ return as Lord, so any seeming defeats we have right now fade to unimportance in comparison. Humanly speaking, it can be hard to hold on to long-term promises of God in the face of immediate circumstances that seem like disaster, but that is what faith is all about, and faith is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The question that faces us is whether we will accept the gift that God offers.

I have certainly been going through training in this over the past few months in relation to the land next to the church. I would still be thrilled if the Lord worked a miracle and caused the land to be sold to us, but this morning’s reading is a reminder that God’s plans are much bigger than this plot of land. In the past, God directed me to do what He here told Abram to do, and I have indeed walked the length and breadth of the City of Omura, both in prayer walks and before that, in putting tracts at fully 80% of the homes in the city at the time. The Lord has given me the vision of Omura again being the foremost Christian city in the nation, and that definitely involves the whole city. I am not to let my faith be crippled by past results (as I have seen them) or even by present circumstances, but rather know that my God is omnipotent, and if He says something, that is going to be. I am to keep myself available as His instrument in fulfilling His plans, but I am not to insist on how that is going to come about, or I run the risk of missing Him entirely.

Father, as long as I have walked with You, I still feel I have so much to learn. Help me not rebel against Your lessons but accept them with gratitude and praise. May I be a demonstration of faith to all who see me, so that they too may be brought into right relationship with You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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