Letting God Choose
A daily devotion for June 5th
5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7 And quarreling arose between Abram's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
8 So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left."
10 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
14 The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, 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 moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.
The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him,lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.(Genesis 13:14-15)
Lot had lifted up his eyes and chosen for himself; now God says to the man of faith, living in his tent on the hillside,
Abram, lift up your eyes. Where? Everywhere—to the north, the south, the east (the portion Lot chose), and the west. All the land is his!
This land is consistently the symbol for us of the fullness of life in the Spirit of God; the life of joy, power, love, and glory; the life of refreshing ministry to others. Surely this is what Paul longs for us when he prays,
[That you] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19). This is all yours, if you are willing to let God make the choices of life for you. Lot will never know this! Nor will we, if we make our choices on the basis of what we see, relating to the materialistic, commercial standards of those about us. But if we are content to have what God gives us in life, all the fullness of Christ will be ours.
Then God said to Abram,
Not only do I give this land to you, but I will fill the land with your descendants. That is,
I will make you fruitful beyond belief. I will make your life one of such blessing that after you are gone, there will be those who will stand up and say, 'I received my spiritual life through that man; there came to me strength for my journey through him; he has been a great blessing to my heart and life.'
Then he said to Abram,
Arise, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you. The land is all that Christ will be to us through the eternal ages to come. But God is saying to us,
Don't wait for it. You don't have to wait until you die to enjoy this. You can have it now if you will possess it in Christ. Walk through the land. Possess it—now!
Wherever Abram wanted to move in that land, God opened the door for him. The whole land was his. The Canaanites and Perizzites had to move out when Abram came in. Thus, the Spirit of God declares to us in Romans 6:14:
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Whenever you want to be free from the weakness, ruin, and power of sin, you can! The land lies open before you. Possess it!
Everyone dwells in a world exactly like that of Abram and Lot, a world in which material values constantly clamor for us to make a choice. We have only so much time to invest, and we are pressured to try to grab the best for ourselves while we can. We can say with Lot,
I want what the world can offer me now. I want the cities of the plain. Or we may wait with Abram, content with our tent and altar, enjoying the blessings of the land by faith now, and waiting for God's fulfillment of all His promises in that wonderful age yet to come.
Father, give me grace to let You make these choices for me. Create in me a hunger for the fullness of the land. Make me discontented with my present possession of it, and lead me into the full knowledge of the love of Christ.
Life Application: Daily there are many choices to make. Are our choices leading us more & more into the full knowledge of the love of Christ? How does this equate with our contentment?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.