Trust in God’s Economy: Part 2–The Man

So then what will it take to have this kind of intimacy with God? Abraham will be our subject of study, as he was for the Apostle Paul in Romans 4. I will examine them in my favorite fashion of Levels of Intimacy with God.

  1. Genesis 12: the Answering the Calling of God: God calls an individual to leave his home and his family behind so that he can become something else, something more than he could have been on his own. If there is obedience to this calling then “You’re off!” The reward for his obedience was the first level of Intimacy with God: God appeared to him. (vs. 7)
  2. Genesis 13: is the Casting off of Compromises: God called Abraham to leave everything behind, but still Lot went with him. It got to the point where they had to separate. If Abraham had stayed allied with Lot, he would not have been able to enjoy the blessing of God to the fullest. In our lives, compromises look like any decision we have made that falls short of God’s character of design for our lives. The reward for Abraham after he proved himself trustworthy in this was God said, “After Lot was separated from him, ‘Now lift your eyes in every direction . . . this land I will give to you and your descendants.’ The borders and the full extent of the promise was shown to him
    Recently, I thought it appropriate to mention another dimension of this idea of God trusting us. I recently read in Proverbs 3:32 about the upright, “He takes the upright into His confidence.” If any are unconvinced of God’s trust, the wisest of men shows us that it is available.
  3. Genesis 14-15: is the Denial of Worldly Reward. Abraham rescued the King of Sodom, and gave a Tithe to Melchizedek, and denied any compensation from the King of Sodom. The reward: God said he’d protect and provide for him. Furthermore, He reveals something about his character.  This is where God’s blessing and personal revelation REALLY gets special. God promises to carry his own word through to completion to His own detriment. Abraham who cut the animals in two pieces, could not keep the birds away, but God moved between the two pieces of the animals showing He would bear the weight of the breach of the Covenant. This God is so trustworthy, but he only entrusts such revelation to those who will prove this level of trustworthiness for this intimacy.
  4. Genesis 16-21: the Casting out of the Bondwoman, the easy, less-than-perfect life we have created for ourselves. Abram needed to send away Hagar because her son was to have no inheritance with the child of the promise. In our lives, this looks like getting rid of every fruitless and meaningless pursuit to which we have devoted ourselves and invested our lives, so that God can know that it is Him we want. By this point in the story, God gives Abraham a new name, and a son.
             Also, at this point, it is worth noting that Abraham was given personal insight into his plans and even giving him a voice in affecting them. When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18, he said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am going to do?”
  5. Genesis 22 Fifth, the Sacrifice of the Promise. The final test of any believer (Trust-er) It was faith in God that enabled Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, not because he didn’t love Isaac, but because he did, and it says in Hebrews that he “trusted” that God could raise the dead. This faith is truly saving faith, but it did not presume on God, but waited for His call to give it up. His reward: insight into His secret plan to redeem the whole world, and a secure place in making it happen. Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56)

I have written of these things in brief, but they are worth deep seeking out in His Word. Abraham is the prototype for saving faith, and the more he trusted God, the more God entrusted Himself to him. This level of trust isn’t merely a calculating judgment for means-to-ends purposes. This is a personal revealing of one’s self and a bringing alongside of his friend. This is genuine friendship with God in the truest sense. This is how all nations can be blessed. More on that in the next article.

Encouragement: Pursue this intimacy with God. Abram messed up at the beginning and end of his walk with God and in the middle, but what remained was his trust in God. If you want insight on how to grow in Trust with God, I believe it is largely cultivated in the Fourth Stage of a believer’s life: Wilderness, so you can see my writings on the subject for more thought-food.

Here, I have provided spiritual guiding principles, but let the evil one evoke no condemnation in you. If it’s fear that makes you run from God, it is a lie of Satan. Still, this type of pursuit of God is not for everyone. Jesus knew this when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

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The Lonely Caravel

The agonies that stang awake
In solitude they prod the weather-beaten heart.
An outcry for lost love
In hope it can again be found.

The lips that crack, the tongue can soothe,
Only to let the liquid of your spit
Be evaporated in the cold and evanescent air
And your own soul’s water be depleted.

The cavernous hole your bleeding chest aches
To let another soul find rest therein.
These calls that welcome, become a plea
For someone, ANYone to come fill me.

The organ plays to fill a church
With painful piercing chords that filet my hurt.
Can the flood of beautiful sound drown woes
That clutch the mast and rise again in silent calm?

Trust breaks over me like glass
Upon a hardened shale piece cut from the mountain.
It shatters and makes a weapon not to be handled
By a child whose hand has never been sliced open.

Cries muffled by a pillow make my scream
A softened surrounds for a golden needlepoint.
The heightened sense of the sheets around my head
Swim noisily as I bury myself in them.

Such noise is the song of fissures in the fabric of our bosoms
Where friends beloved come and go, and good men break their word
The powders of such explosive interruption
Are loaded in a canon aimed for the hull of nearby vessels.

“Friend or Foe?” I cry aloft
But feign to hear their polite reply.
How can they know my ship will sink
If they board and take not the greatest care?

For in these waters, all men are pirates.
Their colors or flag make little difference.
I, a pirate like them, have a vessel of goods
And none to transport to, since I have no bay.

What’s this? A ship sailing less a standard.
‘Tis white! A great white shark no doubt.
To seem to play weak, only to prove the briggand
And use their own canon when drawn in close.

But nay, the song aboard their ship,
A song of thanks spills onto the waves.
As they pull in tighter, they cast me a line.
And pray we may lee our ships in tow.

My fever heightened, but my anxiousness was lightened.
My wonder was dazzled, and my canon upturned.
A song of my own filled up to join theirs,
Though a sharp eye, I kept lest they catch me unaw’res.

Twas the song of the humble I learned in that day.
From these once pirates, who had learned a new way.
To sail thankful and sharing, on the sea of the king.
And join ships that were starving, and feigned to be mean.

My bow broke waves and liberated spray.
My canon unloaded was pointed off the stern.
My cargo stores replenished from the friendship learned.
My own royal colors retracted and His white flag displayed.

To trust, and to wait on the Maker who is good,
To look with love on the people He came to save.
To chart out new seas, knowing this thing for sure.
He is the Captain of every Soul who surrenders to Him.

O Lord, my tired hull is heavy with precious cargo.
I fear none will take before it rots away.
Please show me that I matter to You,
And give me a fellow heart with whom to share this load.

The Woodland Wanderer

The wanderer is always earnest
He scans the forest with his eye
The cares of home bestir no tempest
But like a flock of blue birds fly.
His mouth is still: no smile nor frown
For such are worn in human play
But here, where neither home nor town
Is seen, the trees their calm convey.
His arms sway soundless, slow and sure
The wake is made through brush and thorn
A beaten heart is rendered pure
Of the riddling greed in which ’twas born.
 –
The power of silence sculpts his soul
Ignoring the “piffles” of muted feet
Like an Ent he roams o’er hills that roll
As life within seeks life to meet.
 –
All this the wand’rer knows full well
And journeys on, but to what end?
His tales no man will ever tell
Unless he takes with him a friend
 –
A friend to share the load he bears
To turn his face from bark to beam
To draw his heart with human cares
And lead him to the mountain stream
 –
The sparkling brook that brings him home
Where fears are stilled and hurts can mend
To this the wand’rer at last will come
When he has found a staying friend.