Debbie Salter Goodwin
Abram sat under the stars, away from conversations with his tribal compatriots, away from management responsibilities of how to move so many people so far: and God confirmed again that Abram was on a protected journey with a great reward waiting.
How do you believe God’s promises when nothing around you makes you believe they are possible?
It is the oldest question anyone has ever asked God. I think it is harder now that we are GPS people. Plug in an address and simply follow the directions. We want our answers from God to be as clearly articulated, preferably by daily text, to leave no room for misunderstanding. Uncertainty paralyzes us or worse. Uncertainty pushes us to choose for ourselves. Autonomy slithers in so quickly.
Questions. We have questions. We don’t know what to do about our questions.
What did Abram do with his questions? He asked God. He seemed to take the confident perspective that if God had favored him with promises, he could be trusted with a question.
This was no small question. God promised a nation to an aging tribal leader who had no genetic heir. “How will I know this?” he asked. Just like Mary and Elizabeth asked, Abram had questions about an unknown journey.
What are your questions for the journey you are taking? Where does it feel like God’s promises are far-away impossibilities?
God reminded Abram of His answer to all his questions at the beginning of their interchange, “I am your shield.” (Genesis 15:1)
No one went to battle without a shield. God is saying to Abram: I will battle for you to believe my promise. I will wage all war to free your soul from doubts and questions that enslave. I will be the shield to keep your questions from harming you.
God’s shield is His record of faithfulness. God has brought you out of something or wants to. He has provided something you couldn’t provide. Was it direction, comfort, compassion, hope? Review that time. Make sure today’s question leads you to another reason to trust God’s shield rather than pushes you to manufacture your own.
The only way to the cross is take your questions with you as well as God’s shield. The first without the last will deplete you. But with God’s shield of faithful presence and empowerment, you will find the right answers or better questions.
Scripture to guide your way to the cross . . .
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 15:1
Where is God telling you that fear is unnecessary? How does defining God’s shield as His faithfulness give you a new reason to put away fear?
The Lord is my light and my salvation . . . the stronghold of my life. Psalm 27:1
What might God’s light reveal that you can’t see? How does His stronghold protect you against questions that will not help?
Teach me your way, O Lord and lead me on a level path. . . . Wait for the Lord! . . . Wait! Psalm 27:11, 14.
What is the connection between asking God to teach you and waiting for His answer? What happens when you stop waiting and find your own answers?
In the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle. Psalm 27 5
Safety is not a circumstance; safety is the full power of God shielding you. Live under that shield today.