Genesis: Day 11

Abraham & Sarah

by

Today's Text: Genesis 17:1-27, Genesis 18:1-15, Hebrews 11:8

Genesis 17:1-27, Genesis 18:1-15, Hebrews 11:8

God is not a God of coincidences. He is not a God of chance—one who rolls the dice, takes a gamble, or who is ever even pleasantly surprised by an outcome. He always knows and always times and has always planned.

I reminded myself of this when the assignment for this devotional came across my email today, and the scripture read:

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.”
-Hebrews 11:8

Six months ago, a day after our wedding, we moved to a city farther west than either my husband or I had ever lived. And today—six months later, almost to the day—we began our morning looking through real estate and job listings back on our home coast. We didn’t plan on this; we bought our house planning to be here, planning to work and grow old in this city. But God doesn’t submit to our plan, we’re learning, and the loss of my husband’s job three months ago made that clear.

We all love the afterglow of a miracle—the job we never expected, the house we loved on the spot, the small graces and big changes. We love to talk about how God provided and blessed and brought and showed. But few of us talk about the fear, the angst, the trepidation we brought to the prelude.

My husband furrowed his brow this morning and listed out his fears, and I listed mine. We compared lists. At least one of us was near tears: it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We had a plan; this wasn’t it.

By faith: Without sight, without a plan, without the surety of a miracle, Abraham went.

Abraham obeyed: He listened, he heard, and he obeyed.

When he was called: He was a man bent to hearing God, always piqued by God’s voice, God’s care, God’s Word. He knew he was called because he knew the sound of the One calling.

To go out to a place: To leave the comfortable, the known, and the planned. He went further out, not further in.

That he was to receive: Meaning, he had not yet received it. The promise was there, but the inheritance was not.

An inheritance: Something has to die in order for an inheritance to come.

And he went out, not knowing where he was going: Without sight, without a plan, without a surety of anything except that God would go with him and there would be an inheritance—he went out.

God is a God of providence and planning, and this verse came across my desk on a week when I need both. He is provident, providing in the right moment. He plans, making a way where the path seems unclear. Our only call is to hear and to obey. Whether to stay or to go, to take the job or leave it, to buy the house or sell it, to marry the person or not, to write the letter or not, to make the phone call or not, to leave the church or to stay. He makes the way.

Like Abraham, we balk at the impossibilities (Genesis 17:17). Like Sarah, we laugh at the promise (Genesis 18:12). And even still, God makes a way. He has already made the way.

A friend of mine used to say faith isn’t faith if you can see where you’re going—and that sounds better than it feels. Blindness in the midst of decision-making seems the antithesis of good planning. How do you know what to do? Where to go? Who to be? What to buy? To behold, to see, and to know God are the pinnacle of the Christian’s pursuit—how do we hold faith and sight in the same hand?

I think of Abraham today—the land he could not see, the inheritance he could not hold, and the stalwart hope he had in God. This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own.

Lore Wilbert is the Director of Community and Formation at Park Church, Denver, and writer at Sayable.net. Find her on twitter @lorewilbert.

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  • Phylicia

    Thank you Lore for sharing your story and just how this ‘assignment’ came at the right time for you and your husband in the midst of major decisions and struggle! I skipped my morning worship yesterday in the rush to get going and out the door but somehow, God still had grace and brought today’s message at the right time. All in His planning. My husband and I are in a very similar situation. We’re in the middle of moving to a nearby city and we’ve been overwhelmed with having to leave our current rental by the end of this week (since our landlord sold the house), pack our belongings and store them (since we do not have a place to live yet), and trying to just trust completely in God’s timing, even though from our perspective it seems off. Today’s study reminded me of how this is a complete leap of faith and how God really wants to remind us He has a plan and it doesn’t involve us knowing the details yet! We know He lead to this move and new job, we just have to trust Him to pull all the other pieces together. I’ll say I’ve had a couple breakdowns and stress reactions but today’s devotional brought so much comfort; especially the section describing how we tend to talk of how God lead but forget to include the struggle of faith in between. Thank you for sharing! A definite encouragement!

  • I’ve been doing my own study in Genesis and a friend introduced me to she reads truth. I finished up chapter 18 today, and decided to check out this website for my next bible study when I stumbled upon a study for one where I’m already at! God definitely spoke to me even more through this devotional and I just wanna say thank you for such sweet, true words!

  • Yishi Teh

    I used to get caught up thinking I need to have faith or if I do something or make a certain decision would it mean that I don’t have faith in God? But during a sermon at church I heard that even Abraham though it was said he had faith, during the long time of waiting he agreed to try to have a son of his own with Hagar. Despite God telling him multiple times that he would have a son by Sarah. That certainly doesn’t seem like the awesome faith that we would think of right? The mercies of God are boundless and whatever little we bring, God counts it as faith. So I stopped worrying about the little details and trusted in God’s goodness. Even if we “missed” hearing His call or stumble during the time of waiting, there is no mistake we make that is too big for God to fix. His love never fails!

  • Leanne Holguin

    I say I have faith in God and I believe I do…but the thought that faith isn’t faith if you can see where you are going really makes me think. I am a huge planner and the unknown stresses me out, but this is when we must trust in our faith and actually blindly have faith. It sounds so scary and I don’t want to be scared…right. Does fear come with faith?

  • How do we know if it’s God telling us the way, or if it’s just our own thoughts?? Do we ever really know?

    • Rebekah

      Yes.
      “My sheep hear my voice”

      Check out RansomedHeart.com for a lot of great material on hearing God’s voice in prayer.

    • Anne Marie Boudreaux

      I totally understand Megan. I need to be more diligent in keeping up with my scripture study. in

    • Phylicia

      For me, personally, I’m specific when I pray and talk with God. I’ll tell Him I really need it to be crystal clear. I’ll tell Him how I feel as if this door is opening for me to walk through and I’m going to step forward in faith, but to please, Lord, slam it shut, shove me out, if it isn’t His plan! For example, my husband and I had been debating on whether or not it was time to move from our town and my husband’s job. We prayed a lot about it and a couple job opportunities came up with just talking to others about our decision on whether to stay or go. We followed a job-lead and asked God to show us if this is the job we were to take and if He wanted us to move. The next day, our landlord from our current rental informed us they sold the house and we needed to vacate in 30 days. We believe that was God answering our prayer and telling us — “It’s time y’all! Time to move!” Right now we’re struggling with finding a new place to live in a new city, but still trying to have complete faith in His timing and plan for us. Hope that helps! It is hard, however, I believe if I am clear with God and really ask Him to clearly lead me, He will.

      “The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.””
      ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

      “There is one thing we can be sure of when we come to God in prayer. If we ask anything in keeping with what he wants, he hears us. If we know that God hears what we ask for, we know that we have it.”
      ‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

      “”Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks will receive. He who searches will find. The door will be opened to the one who knocks.”
      ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

  • This so speaks to me. The fact that this young couple moved so far away, and then due to job loss is now back looking for jobs 6 months later sounds eerily familiar, and I’m so comforted just knowing that someone else is walking through something similar. My husband and I were set to do a cross-country move with our family of 4 last year, and over the summer things didn’t work out, so we ended up almost back where we started – except that now I don’t have a job. With me being out of work, we are living a bit differently to be able to keep our kids in the same schools they were in last year, but it has been a real struggle. I am so grateful for our continued faith as well as for our family, our strong church community and those around us who support us. This was a really good reminder that we are not the only ones going through this, and how incredibly strong Abraham was to do what he did when called upon to do so. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • A.C.

      Yes you are not alone. My husband and I found ourselves in a similar place a couple years ago, except on the other side of the world. We were following our own plan, not God’s. But we so badly wanted it to be God’s plan for us, that we looked for and twisted every opportunity that we could to declare it was His. In fact, He even gave us a pretty clear warning NOT to go!
      But our God is so merciful and patient. He performed a huge miracle to get us back where we were supposed to be, when we felt like we would be stuck there for years. But I truly believe that miracle came after I humbled myself before him in prayer and tears, coming forth with my sin. I know He heard my confession, and His miraculous working came shortly afterward!
      Are we where WE want to be? No. We’d love anything to go back to that place, but it’s not God’s plan for us right now and we have to make peace with it, and know that He needs us here and has something in store for our lives where we are.

  • I needed to hear this! I wish I could take the pain of uncertainty away from you but I so appreciate your honesty. He is such a good, good Father. Thank you for this.

  • Thank you for your openness and insight. I almost cried reading it, in a good way.

    God is good. All. the. time.

  • I am a little late, but I so needed this today. Those of you that are praying for me, thank you.

  • I am in need of prayers. My fiancé & I are finally getting officially married this March & since making this decision we have been struggling financially & emotionally. I can’t help but think negatively that God doesn’t want us together. We’ve been together for 5 yrs & have 3 kids we raise together. After accepting Christ in my life I’ve been praying that he would come to know The Lord & accept Him in his life also so that he is able to lead our family the way God intended. Right when I was ready to give up on our relationship (without him knowing that I was truly ready to leave), my fiancé tells me that he wants to try to accept Christ in his life. Since last August he has been going to church & trying to learn more about Christ. He even wants to volunteer. He had an alcohol problem that he finally accepted as a problem & has been determine to ask God to help him rid of it. God has been working in him & changing him so much the last couple months. I am so thankful for God’s goodness & grace. I have making the prayer -“as for me & my house, we will serve The Lord” & My fiancé told our daughter just a couple wks ago as they were singing – “we only listen to Christian music here from now on bc our house is a house of The Lord’s!” I can only smile & praise God for that moment. After all I’ve experience & seen- after knowing how good our Heavenly Father is.. I still struggle with not trusting & completely surrendering to Him. Instead of waiting patiently for The Lord I have been an impatient, ungrateful wreck. I don’t even know how we are going to pull this wedding off honestly, & most days I still question if God wants me to marry him if all these things are coming up. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the term- “when it rains, it pours.” That’s where I’m at right now. Sometimes I feel like we can’t catch a break & all I want is to hide from the world & be in the presence of my savior ….. But then life awakens me & I get confuses me again. I don’t know what to do with my relationship, my job or my life & I’m afraid to live. Though I know God’s perfect love casts out all fear .. I am still struggling with fear of the “What Ifs”..
    “Is there anything that impossible for God”? – No, nothing. He is bigger & greater than all things. He is God over the storms, & I am His! I pray that I live out my life like I completely believe in that. & I pray that for all of you also. Thanks SRT community. You gals have been a great source of encouragement for me!

    • Olivia

      Thank you for sharing this. I’m praying for you today, Kieu!

    • Kim

      Also praying for you Kieu. Surrender to God is something that has been a challenge for me lately as well. I feel I need to be “doing” something when the best thing I can probably do is surrender, pray and trust. God wants the best for you and your family. God is bigger than our doubts and fears. Proverbs 3:5,6 has been a constant reel in my head over the past year and Psalm 37 as well. Praying for clarity and peace to you sister!!! xo

  • I remember the year when God clearly asked me to be a full time housewife and leave the role of providing to my husband. As someone who has an independent spirit and has always been a breadwinner, this was a tough decision for me. I had fears of what other people would think about me, having no career, and having no baby after being married for years. With a heavy heart I chose to obey God and that began an intimacy with Him that I have never experienced before. Staying at home gave me a lot of free time and a few months later, God led me to SheReadsTruth. That was the time when I started falling in love with Him and His Word, I began journaling, started a blog page, and had ample time reading Christian books (something I didn’t pay attention to before because I was so busy) and I have met new inspiring, godly friends through the SRT community who helped me so much to grow in my relationship with Jesus. Within the same year God sent me a group of single women in my local church to disciple, to invest my life into, and God has allowed this simple obedience to bear fruit as I also see them leading their own groups now. It’s been 4years since I blindly obeyed that call, and those years has been the most fruitful years of my life so far… I am still waiting for God to fulfill His promise that He will give us a child. But unlike before, my joy, my identity, and my worth is no longer anchored on whether I have a career, or a baby… My greatest joy and identity is now anchored on being God’s Precious Princess alone.

    I am still waiting for His promises. To the baby that I am still not holding, the financial breakthrough that we have been praying, the freedom from bondages and salvation of our entire household… I am peacefully waiting to His appointed time, knowing that He is EL SHADDAI (Gen17:1) — God Almighty, All sufficient, Limitless, Having Complete Power, NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR HIM! (Gen.18:14)

    “She believed that God would keep His promise.” – Hebrews 11:11 (NLT)

    • Mahagony

      How beautiful said…God bless your journey and obedience to him. How wonderful to have found your identity in Him, the King of Kings.

  • Kasey Summers

    Something I pray all the time is Lord, give me more faith! Help me trust you more.

    • Mandee

      A beautiful, but (unnecessarily) scary prayer!
      When we pray for courage–God provides situations for us to be courageous.
      When we pray for patience, God provides situations to be patient.
      When we pray for faith… God provides the opportunity to walk blindly in faith.
      May we faithfully choose to walk blinded by His Light in complete reliance on Him.

  • Michelle

    At first I used to think that The Lord was calling me to break up with my boyfriend because I had too much pressure to do so from my family members. I have been praying a lot about it lately and all of a sudden last week I was having a conversation with him when BAM! The thought popped into my head and spoke “he’s the one”. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I have known him for six going on seven years and, after the second time dating, I finally think I know what was going on. At first I thought God was telling me to trust that He would provide someone better for me to marry. However, after doing some Biblical study, praying through some difficult thoughts, and conversing with some church leaders, I think The Lord is leading me somewhere else: I have heard the call for eventual marriage, but first I must trust that God will continue to work in him and in me to make us ready. I am blindly trusting that God will provide. It feels so good to finally have that feeling in my heart that knows he is the one for me. I’ve been praying to feel this for a year and a half and although it took this long, I can see how much he and I have grown. Seeing how Abraham blindly followed God only knowing a promise gives me courage to follow God when I have no idea what’s in store for me in this relationship. All I know is that God must have put this thought into my head and He “will carry it into completion”.

  • The hard part for me is, how do you know what is God’s call, rather than just circumstances? If I knew He was calling me to something completely different than what seems to be working out, I would follow Him blindly. But it seems He often directs through mundane things, and we can’t see that it was His direct sovereign call until looking back later.

    • Haley

      Jeannie
      I often have the same thoughts. Am I so disconnected from God that I’m unable to differentiate his voice from the others I hear? Furthermore, how am I to know whether God is calling me to do something, or to go somewhere, or if it is my own desires? I once heard a speaker say that God molds our desires to match His will if we are only open and willing, but I still find it difficult.

      • Jen

        I am in the same boat Jeannie & Haley. After college I thought I would save money and go on some mission trips and eventually do that instead of a career, but there are other things falling into place and it’s so hard to know which are from God and which are just what I want.

    • Kim

      Also here! Is it God’s will or my own desires/fears?

  • These words touched my soul today: “This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own.” Thank you for being His vessel.

  • “Is anything impossible with God?” Oh how I should remind myself daily of this. I catch myself getting so caught up in the ‘planning’, control mode that I forget to let go and let God. Sometimes he has different plans, and at first if they weren’t our plans, they just don’t seem right. Like how could that happen to me? But, He has a different chapter wrote down. Let us walk by faith and see by His light !

  • Abby Borja

    “This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own.”

    I needed to learn this kind of faith. I want to live by faith and not by sight. Oh Heavenly Father, teach me how to trust in you.

  • Like many of you, I also needed this today. I start student teaching tomorrow, and though I know God has called me to teach and pour into the lives of kids, I feel inadequate to do so and I am extremely nervous about transitioning into this new chapter of life. But like Abraham, by faith I will walk in the will that God has for me and lean on His promises as I do so.

    • Traci

      Good luck! I taught for 7 years before deciding to stay home with my babies. I remember that night before student teaching as well (I taught middle school) and feeling like most of those 8th graders were bigger than me and I couldn’t do it. You can do it and God gave you the strength and the courage to finish school so that you may bless these students with your knowledge! Be confident, be kind and God will show you the way!
      Oh – and there’s always one kiddo (especially in middle school) that wanted to try to throw you for a loop! Roll with it and laugh! Don’t get discouraged! xoxo

  • I really needed to hear this today.Planning brings me so much comfort. I love planning. Planning my day, weeks, life…my life has been filled with to do lists, and dream careers since I was in elementary school. Although planning is good to an extent, failing to trust God and becoming independent of God is not. Throughout this Devotional I can see just how much I need God, and I am so thankful that He is good, and wants the best for me.

    • Adedayo Adeyokunnu

      I’m a planner too, I like to plan my life to the deets…my space, my time, my resources etc. But God has always had a way of disrupting my plans and letting his will be fulfilled instead…it’s been so hard letting go of my plans for God’s will…but this year I’m praying for faith to believe. I want to trust him with my desires and be adaptable enough to follow his plans when he says too. Amen!

  • Jennifer

    A very powerful message that I needed to hear today. My husband was injured over a year ago and has yet to be released back to work. We have been struggling with these issues, and I needed this reminder today that I cannot make a plan for us alone. I need to slow down and hear His voice and know that in His time, the way will be clear. Thank for for a great message.

  • Hello Ladies!
    I could use some prayer.
    It is now 2016 meaning I am about to graduate High School. Back during freshman year, I had military in my mind, not something I would have ever considered. I tried ignoring it until last year when I decided to join my school’s JROTC. I originally planned on majoring in Psychology after taking a class Junior year but have consistently been told that it wouldn’t be a good decision for a major. Halfway through the year, when applications should have already been sent in, I stand incredibly confused. I have visited some universities but nothing has really clicked. I’ve spent this whole time telling others that “I’m just trying to figure it out” when God already has it figured out and asks for my trust.

    • Churchmouse

      Have added you to my daily prayer list. So proud of you for desiring to clearly know God’s will for your life. Will pray you get the clarity you desire. Blessings.

    • Beth

      Hannah – I’d like to tell you a story… Kind of long – bear with me. Ten years ago I started my senior year of high school. I had previously been in the band (making me a band geek), weighed 220 lbs at 5’4,” was not good in school, additionally, I hated it – was horrible at studying and simply not interested! The mass of people around me were applying to colleges, getting accepted to colleges, “knew they’re life’s plan!” I felt confused and behind. In the summer before school started my dad asked me, “if I pay for a personal trainer, would you want to do that and would you put the effort forth.” He saw my sadness and state of health and was probably worried about the road I was going down. Of course I said, yes!

      Throughout that year, I worked with my trainer and lost over 60 pounds. My reason for telling you this is that somewhere in the “I’m a clueless, fat, failure stage” moving to the “wow, I can do/be anything I want to be” stage, I saw a commercial on tv for the Marines. My grandfather and his father and his father had all been in the Navy, and I guess the fact my dad’s generation skipped that tradition and I was not able to make the weight or fitness standards the military had never occurred to me. But now, what was stopping me.

      I had been looking to go to college to do nursing, but I was denied acceptance. Ten years ago, almost to the day I stepped into the recruiting office. I ended up finding out that Navy Hospital Corpsmen provide combat medical coverage to Marines and so I talked to the Navy.

      Here is my chance I thought, you get to do a field you were looking at to begin with (medicine), you get to help people, you get a pay check, you can take college for free while active duty plus if you finish the four years they give you the GI Bill which covers housing cost and tuition costs after you are out, you can travel to see the world, pick up the family tradition, etc!

      When I talked to the recruiter that first time, I was told that I needed to loose about five more pounds and then we could move forward. I did, they sent me to Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) and I passed what I needed to and received the date to leave to boot camp a year from that point. I graduated in May 2006, still loosing weight, worked part time at my gym, and worked out three times a day planning for what I thought would be a strenuous boot camp. All was rolling on my confident plan that I continuously told people was God’s blessing for me, I feel this is really God’s plan and I know this is where He wants me to be.

      August 2006 I played a game of volleyball, sprained my ankle pretty intensely. I gained a few pounds back throughout the next few months during healing, recovery and rehab. January 2007, my church and family throw me the going away party, ha – I kiss a guy – ha, and the next day I hug my parents and siblings and head off!

      Here’s the kicker – I was several pounds over the Navy’s limit, missed the measurement by a quarter of a percent and there was nothing the recruiters could do – I couldn’t go. Makes it awkward next time I see everybody (especially the kiss, lol).

      To finish this long story, I was mad. Mad at God and myself and the measurement! But, I had the opportunity to take a temporary job and sorted things out. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue down the road of the Navy or go to tech school or just veg out… Lol. Eventually, I got over myself, continued pursuing the Navy and left for boot camp in August of 2007. There were ups and downs during those eight months and the devil even had a stronghold the day I left but I can say I’ve been active duty Navy as a Hospital Corpsman for 8.5 years. Met and married my husband of seven years, just had our second child, have been working on my college degree, and plan on doing more time with the Navy.

      Let me encourage you – if you are unsure about joining the military, unsure about college, unsure about life – just remember Genesis 18:14, “Is anything impossible for the Lord?” He can use you whatever you choose.

      If you want a connection to ask questions about a Christian woman in the military, please email me at [email protected].

  • Caroline

    The timing of this devotional is absolutely incredible today. I have been struggling because complications were thrown into my long distance relationship with the man who I know that I am going to marry. He got a promotion (Yayy!) but this means that it will be near impossible to see each other. I selfishly became upset even though this was great news for him and for us in the long run. It was just hard for me to see the immediate light when all the things that I know and love were so abruptly changed. God does incredible things and sometimes you just have to have faith to see the light. He is so good! We must forget about our earthly desires and look to him in times of need. God can do all things.

  • Arleisha

    What a powerful devotional today! This speaks to me in so many ways…with all that is going on in my life and the life of loved ones around me. Thank you Lore for being a vessel for God to use with this wonderful devotional. It encourages, challenges and causes me to stop and remember the wonderful attributes of the Holy One we serve! I will be praying for you.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us today, Arleisha! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Diane Huntsman

    I think of Abraham today—the land he could not see, the inheritance he could not hold, and the stalwart hope he had in God. This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own. Amen

  • Today’s essay was amazing. Something has to die for an inheritance to come. Jesus had to die, and we inherited what he earned. What he deserved.

  • Maria Baer

    Oh I’ve been praying to God for weeks and this devotion today is like balm to my soul. Six months ago I got married and uprooted my life. This decision and everything that came with it we made after much prayer and confirmation from God. It was a leap of faith unlike any I’ve ever taken before. Now I find myself in a place where I am so blessed and content… yet there’s a little fear in the back of my mind that is creeping more and more into my heart about the possibility of losing the house I planned on growing old and now left behind, if I cannot rent/sell it since I haven’t found a job and truly, this is something that is mine to deal with and not my husband. I’ve been praying, yes to find a resolution, but most importantly for continued faith when it starts to fray. And this verse from Hebrews about Abraham’s faith is just speaking to me. So blessed for this devotion today.

  • Churchmouse

    “It is in that openness that He meets me and leads me.” Such truth, sister. I have found that when I open my first and give Him my open hand, that very peace you speak of comes quickly. Thank you for sharing your journey

    • Beverly

      Indeed! Drawing near, open handed with my whole heart brings so much peace. Grateful for your encouraging thoughts!

  • ” Something has to die in order for an inheritance to come.”
    oh yes! this has me thinking this morning. What in my own life needs to die in order for me to receive the abundance God has already promised? My self-will, my plans, my comfort? Yes! Thank you for sharing this :)

  • “This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we cold ever trust our own.” This hit home. This is the kind of faith that I want but struggle to have because I am a planner and think my plans are great and giving control to someone else, even God, is difficult. I am slowly learning this lesson, and I hope improving in this area,
    as I am in a season of waiting.

  • Oh how this speaks to me!!!! I needed this today! We have been in this place so many times. Each day Satan tries to attack me having me doubt where I am. To make a long story short I was born and raised in Texas and upon remarrying in 2006 my husband and two kids moved to Wyoming. After spending 8 years in Wyoming we decided we were called to move back to Texas. However, after multiple jobs for my husband and buying a home in a town we thought we were to let our kids graduate from High School, things were not what we thought. My husband was in a pit, after going to work one day and his boss telling him to go home. He poured his heart out to God and asked Him to show him the way as we were both two months into no employment, but the bills kept coming. We ended up having to file bankruptcy (which we are not proud of) and it is not Biblical to have to do so. (we have repented for this) It was at that point my husband reached out to a previous employer in Dayton, Wyoming and the response was “we would love to have you and your family back here.” My husband made the move and the kids and I came about 6 weeks later. Things have not been easy as the kids have had struggles with yet another move and being so far from family, Satan constantly tries to work on our weaknesses to make us doubt. It rips my heart out to hear our kids say they miss family! I have moments when I miss our little Texas town and question did we do the right thing? I continue to pray, I continue to seek His voice, face and path. I pray we are doing the right thing, however I know if it was a wrong turn, God will use this turn for His ultimate glory!! Praise be to Jesus! I have to remind myself if we have the entire plan for our lives laid out in front of us, what would we have to look forward to? We wouldn’t need to seek Jesus if that were the case..how boring that would be. I am thankful He continues to draw us closer and grow us!! I need God each and every minute of everyday!! I am thankful I have Him! I will continue to seek and pray wholeheartedly and rely on my God!!! I am so thankful to have read this today…I really really needed it!!

  • What do we do when we want to obey God but we listen and don’t hear him telling us what we should do?

    • Pam B

      God speaks to us in different ways. Little nudges in our spirit, through His Word, and through other people. There’s not always an audible voice.

      • Churchmouse

        Abide in Him. Just keep close. Stay in the Word. Remain prayerful. Seek wise counsel. And be willing to wait. There is something to be gained even in the silence.

  • How often I have found myself in a… “well, this didn’t work out as expected, it must not be what God wanted for my life. I’ve messed up because if this was from God it would’ve worked out. I must fix it, change it, or go another way.” …place.
    But I’m learning that God is very much outside of my best laid plans and good intentions. I’m learning that sometimes He brings me to those places of not working out so that I will trust Him more than my circumstances. He just wants me to keep walking with Him, to keep trusting Him. Faith in action. Because even if I get off track, He uses my mess (as He did often for Abraham and Sarah) to bring me back and set my sights right. It’s my living and my walking that He delights in.
    As I type this, I am in a season of waiting – in my own quiet, spacious place. God lovingly brought me to this place – kicking and screaming – because He knew what my weary heart really needed. Rest. But I don’t come from a family of resters. We are doers and movers. And so this foreign place I have found myself in feels so… foreign… and not right so therefore not from God, says my old way of thinking. My “it’s not working, fix it” mentality has tried to step in so many times. But each and every time I have taken things into my own hands, I have face planted.
    I believe that God been using my uncertainty and confusion in this season to draw me closer to Him, because He alone is a God of Peace (1 Cor 14:33). And although I don’t see much purpose in this place, He is changing my heart each day. I believe He is preparing a way in my heart and life for something new, bringing me back and setting me on a fresh path.
    Because for so long, I had been going my own way, dancing with the ways of the world and all its pursuits to happiness. Growing farther from myself and Him, while going nowhere. Yet, He did not create me for that life. And so He brought me to this place *because* He heard my prayers. I wanted a different way, but did not know what that looked like. And what I thought the Christian life looked like, I didn’t want because it didn’t fit me. But thankfully there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to loving and walking with God (Amen!)
    Our God is great and He is faithful, so faithful. We may think we know what is best. But ultimately, He knows and He uses all our hiccups and missteps for good. I am grateful that I don’t know all the paths I will walk. (Never imagined I would type those words and believe them!) As someone who likes to know and have a perfect plan in place, I’m learning that sweet surrender and openness to Him is best. It is in that openness that He meets me and leads me. He gives my heart peace and assurance. He is the anchor for my eternal hope and my daily strength. Thank you, Jesus.

    Praying that I may continue to grow closer to Him in faith. That when I am called, I too, may obey and go!
    8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11)

    • Pam B

      Beautifully said! I can totally relate to your difficulty in waiting. I am also in a time of waiting right now and the control freak part of me is not happy. I have been praying a lot lately about giving over control and for peace and calm during this season of waiting. My heart knows that God has a plan and it will be great; but my mind continues to want to jump in and take over. Praying we both learn and grow even closer to God during this time in our lives.

      • Beverly

        Continually learning and growing closer to God during the in-between season… will be prayerful over you too, Pam! Grateful for your words.

    • ~ B ~

      Hi friend, sweet Beverly. You are often in my heart and I feel like I’ve lost touch these last couple months with you wonderful ladies. I especially loved your words here, “He gives my heart peace and assurance. He is the anchor for my eternal hope and my daily strength…” So thankful that He is our anchor. I would be lost at sea were it not for His holding. Love to you!

      • candacejo

        “I would be lost at sea were it not for His holding.” ♥♥♥

  • I needed this today, as I woke up feeling discouraged about a promise that has yet to come. Thank you for this devotional; very encouraged.

  • Thank you for this devotion today! This was so encouraging.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us, Lauren! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • VioletSlats

    Glory to GOD! HE is faithful, true righteous, holy, all powerful the only true GOD & alive! Thank GOD!!

  • Such a great reminder as I think about what I want to do after high school. There are so many options, so many decisions to make, but I need to have faith that God will lead me in the right direction, at the right time.

    • She Reads Truth

      Rebecca, praying for you in all of your decision making! Thanks for joining us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Sisters, please pray for my mom. I’m struggling badly this morning, as I think ahead to her post cancer check-up this week. God, forgive me for these fears and doubts that continue to grow when I think about the “what if.” With people dying around me from cancer left and right, it becomes so easy to stray from your message of peace and succumb to the darkness, and then I am wracked with guilt for even having these thoughts considering how far you have brought my mom and our entire family. Please give me the strength to focus on your Word and share it with my mom because I know she is even more overwhelmed than I. I lift her up to you Lord, as well as everyone affected by this awful disease.

    • Bryce

      Lifting your mom and family up in prayer Joanna. I pray that you will cling to God so tightly, and feel his peace and comfort:, “This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own.”

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you and your mom. So grateful you have each other to lean in on and walk through. God is there, sweet friend. He knows your anxious thoughts. He walks right beside you both. He will give you the strength you need for today. And then tomorrow, He will give you the strength you need for then. He is so good at that! Praying big for you

    • Carly B

      Praying for you and your mom to know God’s peace.

  • I am encouraged by the comments this morning. I am a planner and like to be in control. I am learning to be content in my Lord and trust Him. I know he knows best, but don’t always respond with a sweet, meek, submissive spirit. Sometimes I go along kicking and screaming. My girls and I often talk about handling some of the situations faced by Abraham and Sarah. When we try to work out the details it doesn’t work out as well as if we let God lead. God can still get glory and will remain faithful, but we could avoid unnecessary heartaches, grief, anxiety, and trials. So grateful for a God who is long-suffering and faithful.

  • Amy Riker

    God speaks to me this morning through SRT and its many wonderful sisters.

    This weekend was a weekend of doubt; of fear; of anger. I find peace in knowing that, even when I doubt…
    – with Him, anything is possible
    – His light shines through me and draws others to Him
    – He gives me vision
    – He uses me
    – He asks me to step out, or leap, with Him

    I’m so thankful for the wisdom shared here.

  • Today’s devotion is such a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to me. He’s provided me with a job I never saw myself doing, yet I know I will enjoy. He’s provided me with an assistantship position to help pay my graduate school tuition. In the last year, these were the two big things I was most unsure of. He’s provided and worked out the things I felt were impossible. He’s been faithful, yet here I am, still questioning if this is the right path. As I start my new job, my second semester of graduate school, my second semester as a teaching assistant, and begin working on my thesis, I am full of uncertainty. I am anxious and my type A personality needs to have a plan in place to tackle it all. This morning, I have to ask myself, “why?” Just as the Lord promised Abraham he would have a son and be the father of many nations, he has promised to be with me, each and every day. I don’t know what my future holds or when things will happen for me, but instead of questioning God’s timing, I should rest and remember His promises to me. As this new chapter starts for me, I may be unsure, but He already knew I would be. I think today’s devotion is His way of reminding me that He’s got this, I need only to trust Him.

    • Jackie Hammel

      As someone who has been in your exact same shoes at one time, not that long ago, I can sympathize. I always have a plan… but then I finished graduate school and didn’t know where to go. I had to be blind in my faith that God would provide, and He did and continues to do so, even when I no longer see a path or have a plan for my life – now it simply is. And that’s okay. For I am anchored in God’s promises for me, as I know you will be, and I remind myself daily that God love’s me; God is good; He is in control – He knows what’s best; and, God is enough. He is enough. It’s hard to relinquish control to the unknown – but He knows what path he wants you to take, He knows what’s best. He shows up to take over, not to provide what we think we need, because He supplies Himself. And, I have learned that that is how we grow closer in our walk with Him. I pray that you leap into the unknown with an open heart and trust that God will guide you and fulfill all His promises to you – even if you don’t know what they are. I pray that He will grant you peace from your doubt and worries and that this new venture you are embarking on will be a fruitful and enlightening one. May God bless your journey and may you find grace and joy in it.

  • In my life the best moments have come after I trusted, walked out in Faith, & believed He would provide. Through an unplanned pregnancy at age 20 with THE WRONG guy, God showed me it was simply a redirection into what He meant for my good — a child who would bring this wild party girl down to earth & give me so much depth and joy in my life. When I got remarried & then let go from my full time job on the same day as my new husband 4 years later, I was angry at God and frantic to provide my own solution to the problem. But He Was always there, & when I came up short I realized I could never measure up to the provision God provides! He led us to start our own company, which has been ultra challenging & yet rewarding in all kinds of new ways, & I can’t wait to see where He leads us next.

    Whether we realize it or not, God’s hand is always in our life, working out the details of our story based on our choices — but He is always there. My prayer is that I would notice the hand of God sooner, and see the detours & re-directs as an opportunity to praise Him for His guidance, not be mad at Him for ruining my plans. He always has our best interests at heart! May our good God take what is not intended for us, & give us exactly what we need, whatever that looks like. And may we be quick to see His hand in every circumstance!

  • Caroline

    So true! Thank you Lord that you don’t how is our future so we can put our faith and trust in you! Thank you for calling us out onto the waves where it doesn’t make sense. Thank you that you have a rich inheritance for us and you always fulfill your promises! You never delay and you are capable of all things impossible! http://Www.In-due-time.com

  • Churchmouse

    “God is not a God of coincidences.” So true but hard to realize when you’re in a rough spot. In one month, 37 years ago, I got married, moved across the state leaving family and friends and started a new job, far more stressful than my previous one and with a huge learning curve. As hard as it was I was glad to get out of my hometown and was ready for adventure in this new life. I was so so happy! Two years later, we moved to within an hour of family back home and five years after that we moved right back into our hometown. Not what I had planned. I attended a Bible study, not to learn about God or deepen my faith, but to make friends. It was a parenting study and we had no children and no plans to start. Two years later, our daughter was on my knees and I was leading a Bible study of 75 women. What?! Fast forward and I served on staff of our church, doing ministry I loved. I was so so happy! But two church splits occurred and we were gone. On top of that, there was betrayal by a person I considered a close friend. None of that was part of the life I envisioned. I felt like God had led me on a very circuitous route that led to a dark hole instead of my promised land. The ‘so so happy’ was gone. I held onto His hand with my eyes shut tight. Like you do when you’re on a roller coaster and you don’t want to see the next big drop or sudden curve. Fast forward to today and here we are still in that same old hometown doing ministry in that second church and realizing that His hand is more than enough. The twists and turns along the way taught me that God truly is not a God of coincidences. He knows what He’s doing with my life and He is absolutely trustworthy. I don’t know what changes may lie ahead but I do know His hand is always there. Praying for us all to hold on tight. He won’t let go. He’s a good good God.

    • Paula

      Oh, affirming words that I needed to read today.

    • Kylee

      What a timeline, Churchmouse! & I love that you saw God in the twists & turns, I think I might have my eyes closed too tightly sometimes to see He’s always with me. Very encouraging. Thank you, have a beautiful day friend!

    • Emily

      ” I don’t know what changes may lie ahead but I do know His hand is always there.” Thanks for this perspective, Churchmouse! Needed to read this today.

  • Katherine

    What does it look like to be “blinded by the light of our Father”? How do we apply this to our lives?

    • Churchmouse

      To me, it’s to be in His presence. To study and learn His Word and to live His way. I am blinded by His Light when I abide in Him, when I surrender my will to His. Then His Light shines through me and draws others to Him.

    • allison

      Blind faith to me is leaning and walking into a promise God gave me in Nov. 2014. God knows everything before, now and after. He knew what I was going to go through so He gave me some promises and visions to get me through some of the worst of worst days, but with these promises He gave me I am able to pick my head up and grow and know and wait and keep walking forward toward His light. I Believe. I am in the middle of some coming true in my ministry that I do and some I am still waiting on. I call it a beautiful mess.

  • DeLancey C

    I love that God reiterates his promise to make Abraham fruitful but then specifies that this child will come FROM SARAH (Gen 17:16). God had made Abram the promise of heirs 13-14 years earlier and Sarai doubted (and obviously Abram too) and so she told Abram to sleep with her servant (which he did). It’s almost like they thought God needed some help along the way. How many times do I do that? While God doesn’t verbally give me covenants, I still find myself trying to help him out. Offering suggestions, repeated prayers about the wrong thing, constantly wondering if God is just up there waiting for me to tell him my script (that is obviously perfect – ha!). I needed this devotion today. Abram knew God’s voice, he listened to God, and (best of all!) God still used him even when he sinned, gave up, and laughed. We serve a wonderful, loving, patient God!

    • April

      Isn’t that so good??? Abraham’s faith was not perfect and neither was Sarah’s. But God doesn’t need our faith to be perfect – He is still faithful to us. I am SO thankful.

  • Oh, do I understand your place, Lore Wilbert. I will be prayerful over this season for you and your husband. As I read through the scriptures and the post, my heart fell on two thoughts; our move from New Orleans, LA and God calling Abraham to circumcise. When we found out we were moving to New Orleans I wasn’t anticipating loving it. I went knowing it was the right thing, but what happened when I got there blew me away. Instantly, my kids and I loved it, for so many reasons. We immediately found a church with wonderful people, our neighbors were wonderful, we were homeschooling for the first time in an environment rich with history and atmosphere … it felt so good to be there. But in a very short time, things took a huge turn and my husband’s season turned back into one of despair and he was soon insisting on divorce, again. Something was different though and this time, God was clearly asking me to step aside and go, which meant leaving NOLA. I cried so much, asking why God would bring me to a place of such immediate emotional connection only to ask me to leave in 5 short months and with a broken marriage. My heart hurt and this move was one that I was reliant on provision in its entirety, as we did not have the funds to pay for the move four states up on our own. God provided many miraculous things for me in that season despite the feeling that I was walking blind into rough terrain. As I thought through this time in my life, Abraham came to mind. God requiring circumcision and Abraham immediately going about it. I can’t imagine that his camp was thrilled when he explained the practice or that he was received very well, but he persevered. As I worked through this I remembered that with covenant God requires some form of witness to it, His covenant with Abraham, circumcision … covenant with us, the removal of sin from our lives. This circumcision would have been painful for those involved, given their ages, I twist and turn at the thought, but it was necessary. Our covenant with God doesn’t require that we bear witness with a physical pain, Jesus guaranteed our covenant, He took the punishment or witness that was ours to be witness to God’s covenant with us. With that, though, God asks for the removal of sin in our lives and often times that doesn’t come without emotional pain. We wrestle ideas, habits, insecurities and fears. We look at the edge of the cliff we are on and wonder why God would ask us to leap from a secure place; will He catch us, will He provide safety, will He protect us? We hesitate, as I did in leaving New Orleans because God’s requirement of us just doesn’t make sense to our rational minds. How would leaving my husband equal saving my marriage? How would sending a son to the cross equal salvation for all? God doesn’t think as we do, He doesn’t see what we see. His heart is for our refining, our redemption and our future even when we can’t see that. Sometimes change is painful but God’s promises ensure His care and keeping of us and when we are standing before the forest God sees the other side. He promises that if we walk with Him, He won’t leave us as He found us. Christ is our covenant, our security, our redemption, when we journey through dark places, He is with us and He has already assumed the pain in our place. Prayerful that I remember, in all seasons, God’s great love over me. That I recall He, my loving father, is only asking me to step out in faith, He won’t ask me to leap without Him. ~ B

    Please forgive my rambling … Monday. ;)

    • Joanna

      Thank you for your words this morning. They have lifted me up.

    • Beverly

      B, I’m grateful for your thoughts this morning. I love that He will lead us out of what is most comfortable and good in our eyes to His better path. I know those times that I walk outside of what I know – often with trepidation – into the uncomfortable, He is always faithful. In spite of me and my feelings. He always works for good.
      I especially love how you write this: “He promises that if we walk with Him, He won’t leave us as He found us.” Grateful!
      Hope you have a marvelous Monday, B!

  • More often than not, I get pulled in by the lure of certainty, by the call of the comfortable, and by the hope of security. It is much harder to follow God like Abraham and reject our own plans and intentions than we’d like to believe. Honestly though, the story of Abraham and Sarah is reassuring in that way. Although Abraham took some big leaps of faith and was willing to go wherever God called, he didn’t always have the perfect response, namely hiding his relationship with Sarah from the Egyptians or having a son with Hagar. He tried to take matters into his own hands too, but the only hands that the plans of the heart safely rest is with the Creator. Jesus, thank you for your patience in our unbelief and hunger for control. Drawn us deeper into your will and further from the seemingly solid, but barren land of trusting in our own plans and will.

    • Kylee

      I, too, crave certainty and security in my life. But I know in my heart God wants us to take risks for His glory — if there’s no skin in the game, what’s the risk? What’s at stake is our comfort, but God has not promised a comfortable life, but one to the fullest if we live in Jesus! Thank you for your honesty this morning; it’s nice to know I’m not alone in how I feel, and that He can work through our insecurities about the future to draw us closer to Him!

    • DebbieinAZ

      Amen

  • Rosemary

    I have such issues trusting promises. I actually find it easier to trust God rather than to trust humans — humans have a much worse record of letting me down!

    It’s the everyday promises that are hard for me, such as my husband’s promise to love me, or even simpler everyday promises like “I don’t mind picking up the tip this time,” or even, “I don’t want to hurt you.”

    I doubt people’s intent for sure, but I also doubt their basic human abilities. How can anyone promise to love forever?

    But if through faith God can transform me, can help me keep impossible promises like “I will love you for the rest of my life,” then God of course can do the same for all those ordinary people whose promises I have such a hard time trusting.

    In a way, refusing to trust everyday human promises is like not trusting in God. God is what gives us all the strength to keep those promises of love and kindness to each other.

    And so I hope that faith can help me lean into trusting everyday love, everyday promises. Because as the last few chapters we’ve read in Genesis have made clear, God may well be dramatically present in the smoking pot of fire and the flaming torch passing between the divided animals, but God is also in the quieter everyday bread hastily kneaded and shared among strangers.

    It’s harder for me to believe in the latter than in the former, but nothing is impossible with God…..

    • April

      “God is also in the quieter everyday bread hastily kneaded and shared among strangers. ”
      This struck me this morning. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and for sharing your struggles. Praying God gives you grace as you trust the promises made to you simply because you trust the God who cares for every detail of your life. Also praying that when the people you love fall short and fail in the promises they’ve made, that you’d experience more of the Lord, count it grace, and together with them find grace to promise again and believe again.

  • These deep truths about faith are so much easier to read than live. To step out of comfort with uncertainty of where your foot will land takes a level of faith I am not sure I have. I want to. God is holding my hand, building my faith one tiny step at a time. Blind me with your light, God. Keep pulling me deeper.

  • candacejo

    I’ve heard all of my life that Sarah laughed when told she would have a son but never have I noticed that Abraham also laughed! “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old?” Sarah laughed to herself but Abraham fell down on the floor laughing! Nothing deep or philosophical here, just love it when I see something I’ve never seen before.

    Praying for the writer of this devotion today that God works everything out for you both in His good time and in His good way. Some things that happen are just LIFE but our God turns them into something for His glory!

    Seeking after the faith of Abraham today. Blessings to all. ♥

    • ~ B ~

      Interestingly, I remember Abraham laughing but I didn’t recall that he did so in such a way … falling upon his face. That seems so profound in God’s presence. Hope all is well and that you’ve been spared from the weather madness. Many of my STL folk have had a horrible experience. ~ B

  • I think of Abraham today—the land he could not see, the inheritance he could not hold, and the stalwart hope he had in God. This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own….
    I want me some of that faith…that stalwart hope in God…
    Here I am LORD, lead me, guide me, direct me…in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen..x

    Hugs and love this amazing Monday with its wind and rain…wrap up..dear SIsters..xxx

    • candacejo

      Lead me, guide me, direct me, amen! We’ve had our share of wind and rain here in the States, Tina! So much flooding everywhere and then yesterday morning we woke up to bitterly cold temperatures and snow. Winter has finally arrived. Blessings to you, stay dry and warm! ♥

    • ~ B ~

      Love to you this morning Tina! Hope this Monday finds you well! ~ B

    • Beverly

      Here I am, Lord…! Yes, me too, Tina!
      Yesterday, in New England, we had 30+mph winds and torrential rain all day… but today, sunshine and blue skies. Such a beautiful reminder that He comforts me and shines His light on me after the craziest of stormy days.
      Have a lovely and blessed day, Tina!

  • Abraham and Sarah. This story always reminds me of how different the Lords timing is from mine. I cannot imagine giving birth to a child at 90 and my husband being 100! Even though they lived soooo much longer than we do now 90 was still past child bearing. It takes energy and flexibility to raise a child, both of which at 61 I am shorter on than I was in my 20’s and 30’s. How was Sarah going to do it at 90+ and Abraham be a romp around the tent dad at 100+! But then it is not ours to question how it will be accomplished because if God deems it then He will give you what you need to make it happen. By faith Abraham believed and did as he was told and Sarah followed his example and the Lord blessed them with a son, Isaac.
    Father, please instill in me the trust in You to live my faith knowing that you are always with me, that you hear my prayers and that you will answer them in your time and your way. Help me to learn patience and to gain from the lessons you put in my path during my period of waiting. And when You answer my prayers help me to recognize the answer as the one that is best and most blessed because though it may not be what I expected it is what it should be.

    • Tina

      Amen!!
      Every Blessing dear TGBTG…XXXX

    • DebbieinAZ

      Amen! Praying that with you for all of us this morning (evening where you are?). Blessings to you and all of us. Amen!

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