Recently I contributed a series of devotionals for a group of men from my church. I thought I’d repost them here. It is a five part series around the theme of God being in charge of things.
This is part 5. The other posts in this series are here.
Things have slipped, what now?
In this series I’ve asked the question How would things look if God was fully in control. We’ve discussed various examples from scripture where this has happened. We started off by looking at the world as a whole before the fall, at the life of Jesus, and at the Tabernacle and Temple. In all of these examples Gods dominion was absolute over a place or person. We then looked at Abraham, and how God was able to take control and move sovereignly because of Abrahams response to the character of God. Finally I want to look again at Abraham and talk about putting God back in control when you’ve grown distant from Him.
I won’t post it all here, but I’m referencing Genesis chapters 12 and 13. Abraham arrives in Canaan – sent with a promise from God to inhabit this new land. He builds an altar at Shechem, then moves on to a spot east of Bethel and builds another altar. Then a famine hits, so despite God’s promise to Abraham he departs for Egypt. There he lies about his wife Sarah being his sister, annoying Pharaoh, and gets himself deported back to Canaan. Talk about things spinning out of control for poor Abraham! Once back in Canaan he wanders from place to place until finally he arrives back at Bethel, the last place he had built an altar to the Lord. There he cries out to God, separates from Lot and God again speaks to him. His life is back on the track God intended for him.
Right where I left Him
The lesson I take from this is that Abraham reconnected with God by returning to Bethel – the last place he had encountered him. Whenever I’m feeling dry and distant from God I ask myself whether I’m looking for him in the right places. I try to go back to the last time I really encountered God. If you’re anything like me God is usually right where I left him! He is after all, the same – yesterday, today, and forever. Some people need to get out into nature, some people need to withdraw to their place of prayer, others need to get lost in worship. Personally I have my closest encounters with God with my bible and a cup of tea, before anyone else is awake.
I’ve tried to look from a few different angles this week at our role in Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. In what ways can we impart Gods wisdom, order, thinking, and potential into our world? In our families can we bring peace to a fractured relationship? At the office can we ask how something might be done if God was in control of it? In our finances can we look to restore order where there is chaos?
But most fundamental is our willingness to submit to God in a world that as 1 John 5:19 tells us is under the control of the evil one. Being able to locate and submit to God amongst everything else that constantly vies for our attention is crucial. Above all else we were created to live in close proximity with Him, so draw near to God and allow His kingdom to take hold in your life.