Genesis 13:14-18 NIV

[14] The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. [15] All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. [16] I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. [17] Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” [18] So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.



Notice how it says that God only speaks to Abram after he parts company with Lot.  It doesn't tell us why.  However, we all know there are some personal and private conversations that can happen only when we are alone with those we are closest to.  Perhaps God was just waiting for some ‘alone-time’ with Abram.  Could He be waiting for some time with you today to speak into your life His love, desires and purposes?

Look next at what God says.  He reminds Abram of the covenant He made in chapter 12 when He first called him.  Promises of land, offspring and blessing.  I’ve discovered that most of the time when God speaks to us prophetically it is to confirm something that He has already said at a different time or something we are already sensing ourselves.  Rarely is a word from God a total left-field surprise.  Normally it’s a gentle nudge to take action on what He has already spoken.  When it is a total surprise and doesn’t really align with what we already know or sense, it’s then that it needs to be tested and more discernment is required.

God’s promises are now looking more concrete than ever before.  It’s one thing to hear God speak to you – it’s something else to see His word come to pass in your life.  He tells Abram to look all around him.  It’s all going to be his!  Take a walk, check it out.  Touch the soil, see the expanse, smell the air, feel the joy.

Not long after I became a Christian around the age of 15, I began to receive a series of prophetic words.  Even though they came in different places from various people, they all said pretty much the same thing: God was going to place me in church leadership and I was especially called to preach His Word.  At the time it was daunting, exciting, and, to be honest, somewhat unbelievable.  I would get so nervous doing a Bible reading in church or the school assembly that the words on the page would become blurry and I’d have to make up what I thought it should say and hope for the best!  Not the most promising start to a preaching career.  But then over time I started getting asked to speak at youth fellowships and Scripture Unions.  Although terrified, I took every opportunity I could as I needed the practice.  Now, 25 years later I re-read those prophetic words and see how God has fulfilled so much of what He spoke back then. 

What God has already done leads to faith for the future and worship in the present.

God speaks to Abram about his countless offspring even though he’s old and childless.  Nowhere, here at least, does it say that Abram questioned God’s promise.  I think Abram realises that if God has already fulfilled so many seemingly impossible promises, he can have faith that the Lord will keep His word for what Abram has yet to see.

Perhaps you have promises, prophecies and words from God that have yet to be fulfilled.  It can lead to frustration and doubt.  ‘Did God really say….?’; ‘Maybe I’ve made too much of a mess…..’  Can I encourage you to go back a re-read what He said; see what has already come to pass; what has been fulfilled?; remind yourself of specific times when He has been faithful; trust Him for what lies ahead.

Then fix your affections on Him in worship.  Abram again builds an altar to the Lord.  It’s a visible sign of devotion.  Of saying: ‘Thank you God for keeping your promises.’  As you reflect on your life and remind yourself of His faithfulness, let it fuel the fire on your own altar of worship.  And as you praise Him for the past, remember that He who has been faithful will continue to be faithful.  He is a promise-keeping God.