So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents.
There he built an altar to the Lord.
It’s a good lesson to learn. As we look at the year ahead, there is a ‘land’ stretching before us ready to explore; there are works prepared for us to do, challenges to be faced and victories to be won. To walk with confidence, we need to be rooted and grounded in a relationship with a God who is good – and whom we perceive to be good to us all the time.
Sometimes this is a tough one – especially when the Evil One has wrought destruction in our lives, when we don’t understand, or when breakthrough is slow in coming. At those times it is tempting to believe God is not good, or that He is withholding good from us. (This was the fundamental temptation for Adam & Eve.) The fact is we live in a fallen world, & the people of God are not immune to its ill effects; however, Jesus’ battle-cry is, ‘I have overcome the world!’ [John 16:33], and He invites us to stand in relationship with Him, in order to see that victory spread through our spheres of influence.
It’s a steep learning curve, partnering with the Lord to advance the kingdom – it’s not a spiritual 'one-armed bandit' where we put in our prayers, declarations, righteous acts or whatever, pull the handle down, and out comes the desired result. As we see with Abraham, faith & the receiving of promises comes out of relationship – and like him, we don’t always get it right; sometimes answers or victories are elusive, (and sometimes we'll never know the reason why). But the Lord’s promise is, first of all, that He will never leave us or forsake us [Deuteronomy 31:6]; and secondly, that in those times of devastation or failure, He will take whatever the Evil One throws at us & transform it into something beautiful [Romans 8:28].
The psalmist writes:
proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…..
For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!......
For surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered……….
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree…….
proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.’
Let’s take our eyes off what He hasn’t done (in our perception), and focus instead on the truth of who He is, & the many blessings which are continually poured out on us.
Let’s build our lives on two profound truths, as we journey into 2018:
He is good to me all the time!
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