“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
This is a promise. Given to Abram. From God. Maker of Heaven and Earth.
God’s view about the promise was from outside the box, a holistic view, not tamed by human experience. God’s promise was based on HIS ability, resources, knowledge.
God in his awesomeness reached down to Abram and gave him insight into what was to come. In just one sentence God told Abram that his lineage would become a great nation.
That is a mic drop promise.
God picked an ordinary man. And to be honest, he did not pick a spring chicken. He picked Abram, a man who was already seventy-five, with no children of his own.
It seems that after the initial shock of the promise wore off for Abram, and he was trying to wrap his mind around the impact of this promise for him and for his immediate family scenario.
He made a point to tell God how the promise was to play out. He took God’s promise and packaged it in Abram’s box and handed it back to God with a tidy bow on top.
“But Abram said, ‘Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son. So my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.’ Abram said, ‘Look, you have given me no son. So a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.’” (Genesis 15:2-3 ICB)
Abram’s view about the promise was from the inside the box of his limited experience and understanding. Abram could only see one path, one timeline, one way to get from where he was standing childless in Canaan, to being the Father of many nations.
From inside the box of his own understanding the promise must have felt like walls closing in on him. An impossible task. From inside the box he saw roadblocks, mountains and obstacles. From inside the box of his understanding Abram saw the limits of his seed.
The Bible makes it clear. Abram believed what God said.
Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Even in his belief, he thought he knew how the promise would play out – the only way it could based on human capabilities, resources and parameters.
This verse came on the heels of Abram’s statement about his current situation. It was as if he was telling God, “I hear ya, but it just doesn’t make sense based on what you’ve provided.”
I love the honesty Abram comes to God with. It reminds me of the Father who was praying for his daughter to be healed, “Father I believe, help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24
Like Abram, we too receive the promises in the Bible out of what is known to us. We receive out of our limited experience and human intuitions. We believe God, but our unbelief surfaces as we recount our own ability in comparison with the promise.
Abram’s response reminds me of the countless times I have said to God through my actions, “I gotcha Lord, I hear the promise, but I’ll take it from here.”
We see the world through the corrugation of the box we live in. The box of our human experience. Then God shows up, poking a hole in the corrugation. In the box of our understanding we only see what is in front of us. We only see what we can grab hold of, and what we feel as though we can control.
From inside our boxes God speaks a promise over us or reveals a promise to us through his scripture. And like Abram we respond with “yes God!”
And when the shock of the promise has worn off we go back to our comfortable place of what is known, we go back to what we can see, what we have experienced and what is explainable.
And often we go to work, trying to make God’s promise to us become a reality. This actually makes me chuckle as I think about it. Because I so often want to do the heavy lifting that God never intended me to lift.
I want to lift the weight of his promise. As I lift my dinky 5lb weight of my understanding, I knock my knuckles on the ceiling wall of my box. I mean seriously. It always comes down to who’s in control and who’s not!
Promises in the Bible, written for us as God’s own children are woven through each page of the holy scripture. We encounter these promises. They shake us. They rattle the walls of our box and even chip away at the box walls one corrugated layer at a time.
The God-sized promises, the God-sized dreams planted inside of us, only possible through Him. May we believe in the impossible. May our belief not be limited by our experience, what we can see, our understanding and desire for control.
My prayer for us, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that the walls of our boxes would be broken down over time as we encounter the love, faithfulness and mercy of our God and Father.
Heavenly Father, I come to you with a heart of praise, grateful for your goodness to us, your children. I thank you for the promise spoken to Abram thousands of years ago. I thank you that even still today we are benefactors of this promise. We have been blessed because of Abram.
Father, I ask where you have spoken dreams, promises and planted a vision that you would help to break down the walls of our boxes that keep up believing small, thinking small and living small.
Your promises are for the nations. Help us to be vessels of the promises of your Holy words carried out on the earth. Help us to join with you, to believe despite our limited understanding.
I thank you Lord that you move and work, you are faithful. Stretch our view from inside the box until our view is outside the box. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear and understanding to perceive your promises with greater clarity.
Bless each dream. Bless each promise. Bless each dreamer. Bless each one who has the courage to say “yes” to your promise, to believe when it doesn’t make sense.
As your promises come alive for us may we fall more in love with you. May we see and experience your faithfulness. May we experience your mercy and grace like never before.
Thank you Lord. Thank you Father. I love you King Jesus.
Listen to this song. And be blessed today as you rest in the promises of God’s promises and faithfulness.
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