GOD’S REVELATION FOR DECISION MAKING (YEAR 2011)
Pope Gregory prepared a calendar and as a result we are beginning this year . Some people live under the impression that this calendar was prepared by God and we need to follow it strictly.
The fact of the matter is that Christians as such don’t have a new year in this manner. This is the reality. But the motivation behind celebrating the New Year is many times that we compare ourselves with others. Hindus celebrate a New Year. Muslims celebrate a New Year. Parsis celebrate a New Year than why not us .Hence, it has hardly got anything to do with dates.
What I want to emphasize is that time begins with God / God is the origin of time. And the current time is a small piece of the overarching plan of God. And we hail this piece of time as 2011. God has told me that 2011 is to be an year of abundance. People take New Year resolutions like ‘I wont drink again.’ This is a good thing but we also need to go beyond towards better things.
Those that are born again and bear the revelation of the Kingdom do not have to consider Satan as a potent enemy that they have to fight every day. For them, it’s God on one end and them on the other hand. Their focus is narrowed down to what God is strategizing for His Kingdom upon this earth.
It’s not like how some people excuse themselves with, “Satan made me drink.” The Bible clearly states that Satan has been bound by Christ. Jesus himself stated that he entered the strong man’s home and he bound him. He then set the prisoners free forever. Jesus took over his home. Hence, Satan has been plundered therefore how come he opens a bar and forces people to drink. He is bound so he might struggle a little and try to make false attempts but nothing beyond that.
Terah – the man of vision and Abram – who walked in his father’s footsteps
We generally hear about Abraham but let us begin with Terah because we shouldn’t ignore this character.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran. Gen 11: 31-32
Terah and hence, Abraham is a descendant in the family line of Noah’s son, Shem. About 2600 years have passed after Noah’s time. A few generations have past. Terah has three children. One is dead. Lot is without a father.
Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. Josh 24:2
We see here that many descendants of Noah have rejected God and gone astray. Terah is mentioned as the father of Nahor and Abram [Haran isn’t mentioned because he was not alive then]. They worshipped other gods. They were idol worshippers. This is the context of Terah.
But something has happened. He is caught into something. He has caught a revelation. And he begins to implement it. It has not been referred to but we see it in his actions. When he was serving other gods, he saw something and there’s a dramatic change in his life. In his time, no one would leave his heritage and native place. But we see that suddenly, Terah, takes Abram, Haran’s son Lot and Abram’s wife, Sarai and leaves Ur, in the southern part of Iran to go to Palestine, to Canaan. Something extraordinary has happened. His life has made an acute turn and hence he doesn’t want to remain settled in his land. He begins to say, “This is not my place. This is not where I should be. God has destined another place for me.” And hence he takes a historic step. He leaves his heritage, his native place and goes towards a new place.While going towards it, he reached Haran. But he died there.
His destiny was Canaan. He wouldn’t compromise. He wouldn’t accept anything less than what God had ordained for him, destined for him. What we can learn is not to compromise with a little. Just because we get something, doesn’t mean we sit back and become content. We are made for larger things because we have a greater father. We think of greater areas. This is an important step, a historic step.
Terah received a dramatic revelation of the living God. He was moved away from his native land. The encounter with God shook him into action. Now, we see God’s purpose for Abram. They are in Haran. Terah is dead. God appears to Abram. Naturally, in these conditions, Abram might move back. His father’s vision was Canaan. For his father, the destiny was Canaan. God gives him a vision so that he doesn’t move out of his father’s journey. If God wouldn’t encounter Abram, his natural reaction would be to go back to Ur. He was in an unknown land and unknown people so He might not have continued his journey.
But God’s purpose was to instruct Abram to walk in his father’s footsteps. History in the Bible is filled with sons walking in their father’s footsteps. This important facet of Abram’s attitude is looked over many a times that he honoured his father and walked in his footsteps. His father had seen something and he began to walk into that. He got into it and he didn’t leave it. He wasn’t satisfied with little and incomplete obedience. He walked in his father’s footsteps. People of revelation are never satisfied with incompleteness. They are giants. They carry revelation. God wants his people to be a people of revelation. He doesn’t simply want a religious crowd that simply engages in rites and rituals. He wants a people who are always ready to hear and see what he wants to show them. They are committed to bringing it into manifestation.
And we see this quality in Abram. Terah died when he was 205 years old in Haran. Now, God spoke Abram. But how did he know it was God. When Moses encountered the burning bush, he asked, “Who is this?” He had been raised in a foreign religion so he didn’t know God. But here, we see Abram never questions God. When‘God speaks to Abram’, he doesn’t ask anything. This means he was familiar with him. When God met Terah, he was still an idol worshipper but now things are different. Abram knows God. Why? Because he had received something from his father, he had heard something from him. He had gained it in his company. His union with his father had made him familiar to God’s voice. And so he didn’t question him. He immediately recognized him as the God who revealed himself to his father.
The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
Just as God had showed his father, he was taking him ahead in that. He was not to turn back. God asked him to leave three areas :
The first was his country. God wanted to ask him to leave his boundaries. The ‘country’ represents a boundary or a limit. God was asking him to leave his boundaries and limits. Many a times we limit ourselves. ‘I cant do this.’ ‘how can I?’ ‘I am not educated.’ Moses told God that his speech wasn’t favourable. But God didn’t consider that. Your limit is not a problem in the Kingdom of God. Our weakness or limit is not a problem for God. God asked Moses, “What is in your hand?’ And it immediately became a snake. It was something beyond his ability and capacity.
Therefore, the first thing God was impressing upon Abram was that he had to get out his own comfortable box. He had to begin to enter God’s arena. That’s God’s message for us that its time to enter God’s arena.
The second point is ‘relations’. That is our company and union. Leave the people you are related with, those that you are joined to. Come out of it. When God wants us to walk with him, we have to leave those that we are joined with. We have to get beyond social commitments and entrapments. People glory in such relationships and are proud of it. But the Kingdom principle works differently. God asks us to leave all of them behind. Join where I show you. This is God’s nature. He is a covenant God and covenant is his nature. Relate yourself with me and the one I show you.
Manubhai left his relatives and joined the ministry of God 21 years ago and he’s been doing that till date. The Kingdom works differently. It leaves no choice.
The third thing that he asked was to leave his father’s home. He was asking him to leave his safety zone. Jesus wouldn’t allow the man who wanted to go bury his father. We make our home our comfort and secure zone. God asked Abram to leave this safety and comfort zone. We need to leave this zone for the Kingdom. We have to follow God his way, not our way according to our conditions.
God puts these three things before Abram –
Leave your limitations
Leave alone your social bindings
Leave your comfort / security zone
And when, this was done, he said, go to the country I show you. This means God asked him to walk into the revelation God showed him. See what I show you and walk in it. And reach that place. And therefore, God is a God of revelation.
A man or woman of God is a person of revelation. They are not a religious but they have seen something so they want to reach it. They wants to see God’s revelation into manifestation. One who makes excuses is not a person of revelation. When we see something, we want to communicate it.
And then, he said something more. He said that he would create a new people out of Abram. This is not about Muslims. The key word here is ‘create’. I will bring a ‘people created’ through you, not made. They would be a people divinely created not manufactured. They would be created from above. I will create a new community through you. It will be a community of the Kingdom, a people of revelation. And it is said about these people,
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.”
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.”
The people of revelation are a people of blessing. I will make you a blessing. Kingdom people are a people of blessing for a nation. They are not a group who simply sit in a hall and sing choruses. Kingdom people live in God’s boundary. Here, God gave Abram a position. Whenever God calls someone he gives him a new name and a new identity. God does something like this here. God tells him that he will be a blessing. People would be blessed if they go to Abram. Abram would be the key for blessings. He would be a blessing for many. The same is true for Kingdom people. Our advice, counsel or revelation changes the directions of peoples’ lives.
Abram’s new name was ‘blessed’. His identity was being blessed. God shows us something. He brings us into his new relations and bindings and he takes us into his arena and boundaries. He makes us enter into his strength and capacity instead of our own capacity.
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him;
He continued to follow the revelation. God showed him a city that he was building. Abram followed what revelation God showed him. He left all and followed that purpose. He came to the east boundary. He built an altar exhibiting his security and commitment in God. When he went to the other end, he built another altar. He built two altars. He built the first altar – verse 7 in Shechem and when he reached the other end in v 8. He pitched a tent and made an altar there west of Bethel. He exhibited and declared his commitment to God’s vision. The altar was a symbol of commitment and dedication to His covenant and to the completion of his commitment.
He who has ears let him hear.
The year 2011 is going to be an year of abundance and new revelation and new boundaries and a new bright future.