When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites." Genesis 15:17-21 (NIV)
That’s a lot of –ites. Now, the land promised to Abram wasn’t the former home of all of these –ites. It was their present home. You would think that if God gave the land, He would just hand it over. All of the –ites would get some sort of eviction notice. Maybe they would leave with an apology, “We’re sorry we were living on your land. We’ve packed up and will leave it in good shape for you. We didn’t realize that this was your land.”
God was very clear about the obstacles that Abram would face: childlessness, opposition, slavery, and then more opposition. You wonder why God gave Abram so much advance warning. Was God outlining a clear path through the murkiness of Abram’s thinking? Was God’s direction such a new thing for Abram that God simply didn’t want to leave any room for misunderstanding? Considering that the last time God communicated with humans was at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11), Abram definitely needed to grow in his understanding of a relationship with God.
God didn’t paint a rosy picture for Abram. We don’t always have as much information in God’s leading, but what we do understand is the difficulties are not necessarily counter to God’s leading. We enter a “spin cycle of success: Change, Conflict, then Growth” as Ed Young, Jr. puts it. The challenge is not so much in the difficulties as it is in our persistence. Our success comes when we complete the process. Failure comes if we stop.
Where is God leading you today? While we shouldn’t be surprised by problems, they are never comfortable. God is not intentionally trying to frustrate you. He is causing you to grow. If it feels like too much, God provides the ability to continue. Just ask Him.
Leave a Comment or Subscribe: galatians419.blogspot.com
More from Allen White: allenwhite.org
Facebook: Galatians419 Group