How many of you are carrying a heavy promise into 2022?
Maybe you feel like the seasons are shifting under your feet, and a new sunrise is warming the horizon, but you’re almost afraid to stare at it too long.
Are shivers of doubt plaguing you, needling their way through your confidence like frost? What if I’m wrong? What if I’ve misinterpreted God’s promises and I’ll just be disappointed again?
In the midst of navigating this maze myself, I’ve taken comfort and guidance from Abraham and Sarah’s story.
These two were given a heavier promise than many of us have ever experienced—the promise of a child at 100 and 99 years old! This child would be the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to multiply Abraham and make him “exceedingly fruitful”, the father of kings and nations, the bearer of a covenant with El-Shaddai Himself! God was very specific that this promised son would come through Sarah, Abraham’s elderly wife. She would be a royal mother of nations. And the way she and Abraham handled this promise tells us a lot about how we should handle ours.
In Genesis 15, when God first promises Abraham a son through Sarah, Abraham (Abram at the time) wonders aloud how he will be sure that this will come to pass. He’s already made peace with the fact that he’s childless and his inheritance will go to his servant. But God adamantly declares, “That man will not be your heir, but a son from your own body will be your heir.”
God solidifies this promise with a Covenant in which He shows Abram the stars representing his offspring, renames him Abraham, and establishes a powerful connection of blessings with him and his descendants. God seals the vow with a blood sacrifice of animals. Which brings us to an interesting verse that I’ve always passed over before.
Genesis 15:11 tells us, "And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away."
This verse prompted a question in my spirit, a question I’m asking myself as I share it with you.
Are we guarding the Covenant we have with the Lord?
God is the originator. He provides the Fire. He’s the Author and Finisher of our Faith. But we live on Earth where birds of prey still swoop down to try to pick apart the sacrifice of our praise. The vultures of the world, the flesh, and the devil lurk on the outskirts, trying to tear into what we have been given, trying to defile the beauty of the promises by inviting us to doubt them, reason them away, or laugh at them, as Sarah did (Genesis 18:12).
We are the royal bearers of God’s sacred promises. No enemy vulture has any right to steal from us. But they’ll still try to gain a foothold, to see if we’ll let them get close. Like Abraham, we need to stand up and drive them away.
Revisit what God has promised you today. Start with His Word, and then ask the Spirit to remind you what He’s specifically given to you. Search through old journals, phone notes, or blog posts if you need to.
Then, ask Him what little foxes are trying to spoil those vineyards. Where have you been given the authority to slam evil doors shut and drive the vultures off?
As we close the first month of a year that is already full of the promises of God, make a fresh commitment to fight doubt with the weapons of praise, worship, and declarations of trust in the Lord. That’s how you guard the sacrifice!