Just days earlier life was going so well. All of a sudden, everything changes. Who would have thought that in the subtraction of things, that we could see gain? Just when you think things are leveling out or just when there’s a little financial peace that settles, just when you think you accomplished something great (at least in your own mind), or just when you achieve a type of professional confidence, loss hits. Failures, losses, setbacks feel like we have been shoved down a tall ladder of successes and we are left with nothing, empty hands, and the feelings of loss.
All of a sudden you are stalled in the middle of wonder, the desert, the deep waters of faith and wondering how to tread water, or to keep your head ABOVE the fears and dangers that are consuming your mind and strength. You wonder how we are going to make it through. Where will we find the strength for the next step? Is it because we tend to believe that the loss will never bring a gain?
Sometimes in our losses, we have to look for the gains. Is it true that less is more? When fear is present we have a choice, to see a failure or turn it into a perceived loss to see the victory in the release of the circumstances. Could it be the stripping or the pruning brings bigger fruit-bearing?
Genesis 13:14 – 18 “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. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring[a] forever. 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. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
Back up to the beginning of Genesis 13:1 …”Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord. Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 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. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.”
Abraham had devoted his life to following and obeying God. Just as wealth came to his household, there was trouble. Dissention within the ranks of success and then division. His story continues: Gen. 13:8 – “So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 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.” Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.” Lot made his choice, and chose the best land by appearance. As it turns out, Lot chose evil over good.
Oh if only, we stood on God’s promises instead of looking at our perceived failures. What if we considered the strength and joy of pleasing the Lord in faith, instead of letting doubt and fear overcome us and our moving forward in obedience? Is it possible to override human reasoning and trust with confidence as we move forward on what our heart tells us over our brains?
If only we get to the level of survival upon the wings of a prayer, the trust of our Savior, and the affection of God’s heart! We could see that less IS more! If only, we could see that God is always on our side, that His heart is ALWAYS for us, and the everlasting way we are loved.
“I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ, then I know that there is none but Thee.” Oswald Chambers.
We have these promises to move forward on when we feel like we have failed:
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” All still means every last little thing in my book and “him” is referring to Christ. Perhaps when it looks like we failed, we were attempting to do things on our own strength, or reason, or ability. Last time I checked, Jesus has the LAST word about every victory.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” We aren’t supposed to find our confidence in the flesh (or minds for that matter) but in the Spirit that dwells inside of us. Sometimes, it takes a loss of pride to see that we have to be a vessel for God to work THROUGH us.
In conclusion: The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God. Once we obey, the nature of God is opened up and we see things and His promises in a new light. Our “yes, God” and “Have your way in our lives, Lord” are born out of our obedience. By obedience of our lives we say “Amen” meaning a “so be it!” to His promises that God has already given! Christ has guaranteed our success and makes us adequate. Understanding His great love FOR us and is at work FOR us, how can we fail?