Sunday, January 15, 2017

Charlie, Abraham and the Everyday Believer

Our family dog's name is Charlie, and he is dreadfully spoiled.  But, regardless, he came to mind as I meditated on Hebrews 6:14-15, considering the example of Abraham.

14saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.

The writer of Hebrews cites Abraham as an exemplar of the virtue of patience in that he, Abraham, waited patiently for the promise of God (The Abrahamic Covenant) to be fulfilled in his life.

Here's how it goes with Charlie.  If he wants something from us, he sits and stares at us steadily.  A legion of strutting Prussians could march through the room and Charlie would be undeterred.  His gaze is fixed on what he desires from us.  Even though we have not formally covenanted with him to feed him and tend to his bathroom needs, we have created a high expectation that we will do so, based on our past care of him.  He fully believes and trusts that he will get what he needs (and often what he wants as well.  Did I mention he is well-cared for?  That is putting it mildly.)

So are we (well-cared for by God), although we often forget it and descend into fretfulness.
Or, at least, I do.  I've come to realize that my patience is short-lived.  :) . It's pretty good in the short term, but not very durable over the long haul.  Charlie, my dog, has more faith and patience than I do, at times.

I had a Christian friend years ago who said that, in prayer, she often reminded God of His promises, as they are laid out in Scripture.  Did God need reminding?  Is He forgetful?  Does he REQUIRE reminding?  Of course not!  In saying that, this woman was exercising her own faith in God.  She was reminding HERSELF of the promises of God.

As a Christian, I long for the fulfillment of this Hebrews 6:14 promise in my life.  I want to receive all of the spiritual blessings God will bestow. Why?  Because, I long for Him to multiply my influence in the lives of others, for the spread of the gospel, for the advancement of His kingdom. There are seasons when that seems to be happening and seasons when it seems to be languishing....or even dead.

But, I know that God is a good, good Father.  No matter .... marching Prussians or what ... I need to keep my focus on Him.  Because....... He wants to do this, to answer this prayer, to fulfill His promise, in the life of every Everyday Believer, if we will yield our wills to His.  No, He may not make our physical offspring as numerous as the sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17).  That promise was specific to Father Abraham (who had many sons...many sons had Father Abraham...)1 But, He does long to make our spiritual offspring more numerous than we can even imagine!
So, I am waiting on obtain that precious promise.  It burns in my heart like an eternal flame.

How about you?  Are you waiting for something from God, not something trivial or frivolous (James 4:3), but rather something that will unleash in you the full joy He offers?  If it is a scriptural promise or holy desire, keep your eyes glued to Him (Hebrews 12:2).  Don't waver in your prayerful expectation. The word "patience" is translated "endurance" in some versions.  As time goes on, patience feels more like endurance, doesn't it?

Remember these verses when you begin to fret:

29So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 30For all the nations of the world pursue these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, pursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:29-32

15The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:15-21



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