GOD TOLD ABRAM HOW TO LIVE
Today, I want to stay in Genesis and talk more about the qualities of Abram. Yesterday I talked about the wrong choice that Sarai made, and today I want to look at what Abram did right.
Chapter 16 of Genesis dealt with Sarai encouraging her husband to sleep with Hagar. Now 13 years have gone by and we come to chapter 17. In our fast pace instant society, think about this, Abram waited 13 years. He didn’t have a Bible, but as we can see in the passage, Abram remained faithful and kept believing in God. That is pretty impressive in itself.
When Abram was 99 the Lord APPEARED to him. God gave Abram specific directions on how to live his life. Pretty simple, anyone can remember these two commands: Serve God (me) faithfully and live a blameless life. And with the commands God gave Abram a guarantee–to give him countless descendants.
Please, if you are new to Bible study, realize that many of God’s commands are followed by a promise. When reading through the Bible look for these promises. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He has done for others He will do for you. There are conditions we must meet before the promise is fulfilled in our lives. Do what God tells you and then receive the promise.
I WAS FILLED WITH PRIDE,
IT WAS HARD TO HUMBLE MYSELF BEFORE GOD
And then the way in which Abram responded to God’s promise is so right, so totally right. “Abram fell face down on the ground!”
For me, when I was young, I was an atheistic, arrogant intellect who had said in her heart she would not kneel to anyone or anything. For me, when I became a Christian and acknowledged that God was real and Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior was a big deal. But that wasn’t near as big a deal as the first time I bent my knee to pray and to worship God. I can still remember that time in my bedroom thirty some years ago. Everything in my flesh said “don’t do it.” The pride, the arrogancy screamed “don’t do it.” But I bent my knee and knelt and praised God.
At the time all I knew was how hard it was for me to humble myself. There are so many verses that tell us over and over that God hates the proud. He will humble the proud. Those who are unteachable will be broken. If we don’t humble ourselves, God will humble us.
So, for each and everyone of us, it is a big big deal, when we die to self (a Christian term) and choose to live and obey Jesus Christ. The world may never know, but God knows. He knew when I knelt and worshiped and He was pleased.
GOD KNOWS US VERY WELL, HE SEES EVERYTHING ABOUT US
God sees your heart. He sees every speck of pride, greed, selfishness, and jealousy. Those things don’t please Him. But when God sees humility, generosity, selflessness, and an attitude of encouraging and cheering others on, He is pleased. And God knows why we do those things! If we are doing them with a motive of love–love for Him and love for others we have done exceedingly well.
When God sees a humble heart that turns to Him and craves hearing His voice and listening to, trusting in, and loving Him and others, He is VERY VERY PLEASED. His face shines on those who live this way.
GETTING TO KNOW GOD