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Seeds of the Kingdom

Which Way Forward?

by Denise Cross

2 November 2015

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Then Abram said to Lot, We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn't be quarrelling. So let's separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I'll go the other.
Genesis 13:8-9 GNB

I was recently reminded of the situation with Abram and Lot in Genesis 13. It seems they’d come to a place where it would have been detrimental to their relationship to continue together. There were two groups, and they weren’t working as one large family.

Abram, as the senior partner, made a decision that they should go their separate ways to avoid more conflict, and he gave Lot the choice of which land he wanted to inhabit. Lot was clear about his preference as we read in verse 10, ‘Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the LORD or like the land of Egypt’ (Genesis 13:10).

For Lot it was a no-brainer, the easier land was more appealing, and was his clear choice. Sadly, what seemed the best and easiest practically, was not such a good choice spiritually; ‘the local inhabitants were wicked and sinful against the Lord’ (Genesis 13:13). It didn’t have a happy ending for Lot’s family, especially his wife (read Genesis 19:26 to find out more).

But what about Abram? Amazingly he didn’t demand to make the decision on which land to have, but gave it to Lot. Whatever Lot rejected would become Abram’s portion of land. Would this affect what God had promised, the blessing He had intended? God had said ‘to your descendants I will give this land’ (Genesis 12:7).

I wondered why Abram allow Lot to make the choice. Was there any moment of doubt? Did Abram wonder if he might now miss out on something of God’s promise after giving Lot the choice? Whether Abram had doubts or not we don’t know, but when God spoke to him later on, restating His promised blessing on the land, it must have been very reassuring.

It seems that Abram was confident in His God, and trusted that whichever land he was forced to take, after Lot’s decision, God would use the situation to continue His perfect plan for Abram and his descendants. The issue for Abram was not ‘where I go?’ but ‘with whom?’

It’s not where we are practically, or even geographically, but where we are with God that’s the important issue. The next season of our life begins today. We may be in the same location, but are we moving on with God’s purposes? We may be changing location, but are we confident that God is working His purposes out, wherever we are?

Sometimes it seems we have little or no choice in future plans, because circumstances are decided around us, but, like Abram, we can remain totally confident that God’s not thwarted by circumstances. He’s always working in every situation to complete His plans. Nothing can spoil His purposes. ‘The LORD Almighty has sworn an oath: "What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done”’ (Isaiah 14:24).

Prayer: Father, help me to recognise that, even when I feel my future has been limited by circumstances, or the decision of others, that You’re always working Your purposes out in my life. Today I chose to keep my eyes on Your plans for my life, and not to doubt that You have plans for blessing, in whatever circumstances I find myself. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Denise Cross is the Corporate Prayer Ministry Director for Ellel Ministries. She is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.

 

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