There have been a few consistent thoughts as we left 2014 behind and are cautiously making our way into 2015. It feels to me as if 'cautious' is the operative word - there is something very careful about walking forward into this year.
For a couple of weeks now I have been returning to Genesis 15 and reading it over and over. It is a very short passage but it contains multiple layers of advice and understanding. There are such huge promises and undertakings expressed in short passages as God speaks to His friend Abram about what his future will contain - even future generations that Abram will never see. There are three key elements in this passage that I feel repeat over and over through the Bible, and over and over in our own lives. I have been strongly reminded of them in this time. God's pattern REVEALS, REVERSES, and RESTORES.
Abram is a childless man with no heirs when God comes along to tell him that he will be the father of a great nation, that his offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the night sky! God comes to REVEAL the future to a man who feels he has no future! It looks like a very barren end of the line!
Abram cannot see a way into what God is promising him, even though by faith he believes the Lord. It all seems impossible when he looks at it with his natural eyes instead of the eyes of faith. However in this place where the there seems to be a reversal of what has been spoken, God asks Abram to bring Him a sacrifice. Having been obedient to this request still Abram has to wait and watch over the sacrifice so that it is not consumed by the birds of prey. How often, in places of REVERSAL, have we needed to watch over and guard what has been promised so that it is not snatched away by doubt and unbelief? Have we been willing to sit keeping watch until God shows up? Gen. 15:12 tells us Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. How often have we sat, or slept, in the darkness that keeps everything from our view and struggled to survive in that place?
Then as God walks into the darkness the promises are spoken again, and Abram is given prophetic assurance of what is to come, not just in his lifetime but way beyond it. God RESTORES hope as He comes and speaks into despair and darkness His Word that all these thousands of years later we know came to pass exactly as He said it would. There were many battles to be fought and changes to be made, many challenges to be walked through, but everything that God spoke came to pass.
In Gen.15:1 God speaks to His friend Abram and says what I believe He is still saying to you and I today, especially in this year:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward."
To you and I this year I believe He would encourage us not to be afraid. As He works out all that He holds in His heart for you and I, He will indeed be our shield and our reward. Let us walk quietly and carefully with Him into this new year, watching over what we do know, holding on to the promises He gives us, and knowing that in His perfect time it will prove to be true. He will bring it to life with His presence, so we will continue to seek His presence above all else.
May we know His Revelation, walk with Him through every Reversal, faithfully knowing that He will Restore in His perfect time.