Visualise Abram sitting at the entrance to his tent, numb and gut empty watching the dust cloud raised by Lot and his departing household slowly fade away. Was Sarai there with him? We don’t know, the Bible is silent on that, but, we do know that God dropped in for a chat with Abram.
What do you do when you know a friend is disheartened and depressed? Do you leave them to get into a better mood, or do you call or visit and try and cheer them up? Abraham was called a ‘friend of God’. As good friends do, God, his Friend showed up at Abram’s silent tent to chat with him and cheer him up. In fact, God does better than that, He promises Abram a portion greater than what had been taken away from him.
“… all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever… Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” Gen 13:15-17
God was saying, “Abram, go explore the land, discover its boundaries, search out its horizons. I have given it to you.’ The land became Abram’s because GOD had decided to give it to him. Abram’s ownership of the land was not dependent on his perambulation of the land. It was a gift to him. Sadly, we often make it a conditional gift, dependent on Abram’s ability to claim the inheritance by walking. The land was his as a gift, but, his use and enjoyment of the land, however, was dependent on just how many of its hidden oasis and pasture treasures he discovered. No matter how rich and fertile the land was, it would have been of no use to Abram if he did not find them and use them. To do that, he had to get out and explore. And that was God was asking Him to do.
In Christ we have received a great gift – the gift of eternal life. Somehow we tend to think of it as life after death; the life we will experience in heaven. But this is how Christ defined eternal life.
And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. John 17:3
Sadly, instead of getting up and exploring the heart of God and getting to know the height, the depth, the width of His love and the unimaginable treasures of who He is, we spend our time trudging wearily keeping rules, watching ourselves to see if we have matched up to some impossible standard. While He waits. Waits for us to get tired with trudging and striving; for us to stop obsessing over our progress; for us to lift up our eyes and look into His eyes… and discover that He is waiting for us to settle down for a chat, for Him to unfold stories and treasures and guidance and whispers of love and in that communion to discover that He it is who has qualified you to inherit. He has begun a work, He will not rest till He has completed it.
Arise! Get up and explore! Discover if you can the boundaries and limitless horizons of God’s love. Search out the hidden depths of His heart. Delight in the sweetness of His character that you discover. Rest in the strength of His arms, secure in the knowledge that as His redeemed child He will do all that He needs to do to work out your completion. Open up the riches of your inheritance in Christ Jesus. Arise!
The Apostle Paul made this his prayer for the church in Ephesus : ‘May God give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. That the eyes of your hearts might be opened to know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints… who Christ IS and who He is in you… and that you would know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’
Christ in you and you in Christ! Arise, explore!
* I have loosely paraphrased and merged Paul’s prayer in Eph 1:16-23 & Eph 3:14-21