Earlier this week, i read an entry in my quiet time journal of a word the Lord had given me fifteen years ago:
“Trust me as Abraham did, as Isaac did and as Joseph did. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Me and I WILL direct your steps. Be faithful each day to do what I have put before YOU.”
In obedience to what we knew was His direction, our family had just stepped out by faith on what we described then – and still do – as a Genesis 12 journey – “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you…. (Genesis 12:1). Just like He had promised Abraham -- it would be a “land” He would show us aswe went. It wasn’t a land that He had alreadyshown us. But He promised He would show us aswe went. My family and i were to trust Him like Abraham had trusted Him.
We were to trust Him that no matter where He led, He would provide for our every need. In Genesis 22, we read that God directed Abraham to “take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). As Abraham and Isaac made that journey to the top of Mount Moriah, they walked faithfully and obediently – trusting God. i am mindful that Abraham was an old man, and Isaac was an able-bodied young man. So, when Abraham placed his son on that altar, Isaac laid down willingly – trusting his father – and trusting his Heavenly Father. In our own journey, my family and i were to trust Him completely, like Isaac had trusted Him.
i will be honest and tell you that the harder part of our journey has not been trusting God like Abraham did, or even trusting Him like Isaac did. The harder part for us has been trusting Him like Joseph did.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers. They conspired to kill him, but settled for selling him into slavery. Joseph served his master faithfully and loyally, only to be abandoned and imprisoned over a false accusation. Joseph befriended his fellow prisoners, only to be forgotten – at least for a time – by one who had promised to return the favor. Joseph’s attacks never seemed to come from his “enemies”. They always seemed to come from those who were close to him. Before i go any further, i need to make a clear disclaimer that our family and so many dear friends have been our greatest supporters and encouragers in our journey – so please do not read anything to the contrary in what i am about to say. But i will confess to you that some of the greatest challenges we have experienced in our life journey have come from unexpected sources – from within the family of God. That’s the place you least expect it. Those are the challenges that often are the greatest. Where we are to be encouraged, we feel abandoned. Where we are to be built up, we are put down. Where we are to love one another, we experience betrayal. That’s when we’re to trust God like Joseph did. You remember that it was Joseph who said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (Genesis 50:20).
You may be experiencing an “Abraham moment” in your journey today, not knowing where you are heading. Or it may be an “Isaac moment”, not knowing how God will provide. Or it may be a “Joseph moment”, and you’re feeling abandoned and betrayed. My word of encouragement to you, no matter what wilderness you may be walking through, is:
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph is faithful! Trust Him as Abraham did, as Isaac did and as Joseph did. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your steps. Be faithful each day to do what He has put before YOU… and leave the outcome to Him!