...just like Abram
We’ve been slowly working our way through Genesis for our Weekly Encouragement, and so we’re going to continue with Abram this week. As we know from chapter 12, God called Abram out of Mesopotamia, and he eventually landed in Egypt with his wife - Sarai, nephew - Lot, and his tribe. There, he made some mistakes, but God’s grace covered it all.
In Genesis 13, Abram was forced to leave Egypt, per Pharaoh's request. He and his entire tribe, which was quite large, traveled back “...to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram called on the name of Yahweh there” (Genesis 13: 3-4).
This is an interesting place. It’s the place where God first spoke to Abram, and it’s a place where Abram returns and calls on the name of God. It’s interesting to think about God and His plans when we’re alone or with a fellow believer. These moments are usually encouraging, peaceful, and exciting for me. But then I go back to the real world and face all the messy stuff, just like Abram. I fall short. I think I’m doing what’s best for my life, and I’m reminded that God is indeed in control of all things, not me. So I back pedal, go to God, and realign, just like Abram.
We get a number of things aligned routinely for general maintenance: our cars, our backs, our focus, our bodies, and more. What’s stopping us from realigning our faith? Is it fear? Is it anger? Is it a difficult person or relationship in our life? Is it trust, or a lack of trust? Maybe it’s hurt and heartache. Or boredom or just plain exhaustion. Personally, I’m not sure if I can pin it to just one thing. But, I know that I need realignment regularly to stay connected to God and my faith.
What does realignment look like?
1. Praying. We have access to God at all times and in all circumstances and emotions. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Sometimes there are things we don’t want to say aloud to someone else, and we choose not to. However, God knows all and hears all. You can trust Him. From the quietest parts of your heart or with words from your mouth, you can share it all with Him. He wants to hear.
2. Scripture. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Reading Scripture is an excellent way to connect with God. It’s His living Word. If you struggle to understand Scripture, try a different version of Bible. The Message does an excellent job of breaking it down with modern day language, as well as The Story. NIV and ESV are good translations to start with too. I personally like HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible). I have the HCSB Study Bible, and I love connecting the Scripture with the historical content in the study notes. Find a Bible that works for you. If you still have trouble understanding something (or many things), that’s normal too. Ask God to “...open [your] mind to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45) and ask someone who is familiar with Scripture to help you. You can also find a number of teachings online.
3. Find an Accountability Partner/Friend. It’s hard to do anything alone. Find someone that will pray for you, pray with you, and encourage you in your walk with Christ. That may not come from someone in your immediate circle or family, but that’s OK. If you can’t think of anyone, pray. Ask God to show you someone.
You see, just like Abram, God speaks to us in various ways. He’s committed Himself to us through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. However, the spiritual battle all around us is real. Satan wants us down and out, distracted, scrolling or entertained with the newest show/game, and away from God and the church. It’s our commitment to God that fades. Despite the failure, sin, hurt, and pain we feel, when we take time to pause, breathe, and realign with God, we can recommit our lives to Him. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas and our Savior’s birth, let us make a spiritual recommitment to God, in the place where He has us, just like Abram.
What does realignment look like for you?
I hope you have a great week! Subscribe to the weekly encouragement with your email address below. How are we almost to December already?!