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Inspiration

Seeking with Abraham Part 2

If you’ve looked around my website, you’ve seen that the topic of Seeking the Lord led to a book by that title. What’s it all about? Here is an another excerpt from chapter 1 to give you an idea.

Abraham had a lifestyle of seeking God, but in this beginning episode, we see him seeking God’s promises. The first promise was for his own land:

He was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. (Hebrews 11:8)

Abraham’s Faith

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9–10)

You might be wondering why was faith needed to live in the Promised Land. For starters, one man cannot truly possess a country, let alone a land filled with Canaanites (Genesis 12:6). Abraham would need God’s protection to move into a place with an established culture, economy, and false religions. Yet Abraham was not just seeking a physical land but the City built by God (Hebrews 11:10) where there would be peace and rest (Hebrews 4:1).

Here is an important point: while Abraham had been given earthly promises, he did not lose sight of the spiritual long-term reality. This is really significant because Abraham only saw part of the promises fulfilled during his lifetime. The rest would pass on to his descendants.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)

Abraham and his early descendants believed God. Recognizing that this world of sin and sadness was not their final home, they desired

a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16)

 What does this have to do with seeking God? Remember, Jesus said that your heart is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21). Abraham showed that he treasured his relationship with God and that his heart was in heaven. His pursuit of God’s promises of an earthly inheritance was an act of faith that demonstrated he was really seeking the Lord. Abraham lived several big acts of faith (notice I said “lived acts of faith” not “did acts of faith”) in addition to the normal day-to-day faith that he showed. Now the question is, what act or series of acts of faith are in your life that demonstrate you are seeking God?

The early church leader James challenged people who hoped to show faith without actions. We can’t do it.

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18)

Just as humans cannot see faith in God apart from actions, God desires us to demonstrate that we are actually seeking through actions. Otherwise, if we say, “I’m seeking God,” but are not doing anything, we are really just fooling ourselves.

Where’s My Son?

That was just the beginning of Abraham’s story. Now let us consider another part of his life in relation to seeking God—looking for a child. Remember, God told Abraham he would become a great nation in Genesis 12:2. Yet Abraham still had no children to turn into a nation. At this point we get a great reminder that Abraham is human and not some Super Saint floating through life on a cloud. Just like you and I would do after waiting a long time for something we expected, Abraham asked God, “What’s going on?” Here is how the conversation went:

But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one [servant] born in my house is my heir!” (Genesis 15:2–3)

Abraham essentially said, “Look, God, you haven’t given me any kids like You promised. My servant will inherit the land!” In his statement, Abraham showed he was a practical person. God had pledged, and Abraham was simply asking what was going on with His promise. God responded.

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:4–6)

God assured Abraham that his own son, not a servant, would get the land. Then He challenged him to count the stars. Of course, Abraham could not count all the stars, yet the Lord said his descendants would be just as numerous. This was quite a promise. However, God did not say when the child would appear. What was Abraham’s reaction? He believed in spite of being old. This trust demonstrated Abraham was seeking God.

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