How many of you have ever gone star-gazing? Have you ever tried counting the stars in the sky before? Any recorded success? (*Smile*)
Some of my best moments in an otherwise unspectacular day would be when I go on evening walks with the kids.
Invariably I would turn my gaze upward and look at the thousands upon thousands of tiny sparkly specs dotting the sky. Somehow in those moments of star-gazing, my worries turn into relief, my fears into rest. The vastness of the sky frees me from the enclosure that would otherwise loom over me.
Through the life of our father Abraham we can learn what it means to live in the realm of God’s possibilities, and look at our everyday life through a different set of eyes.
Genesis 15:1-6 – The Lord’s Covenant With Abram
1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”
5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
I found it personally helpful to break this story into the 5 Ps:
1st P- The Physical Limitation
The TENT – this represents the natural habitation where Abraham lives and sleeps and has his being. It is his place of familiarity and comfort. But the tent is also representative of our bodies – our earthly realms – and the natural limitations of our physical man.
Abraham has grown so comfortable living inside his four walls that God had to take him out to gaze into God’s dimension world. Abraham never in his life thought that he would be a father of a son, let alone of many nations, but the day that God took him out of his usual dwelling place, He broke his glass ceiling and showed him what is supernaturally available for him.
2nd P – The Parameter
It was at this point that God brought Abraham outside and said to him – “Look now toward the heavens, and tell the stars, if you are able to number them; and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be.”
You see, Abraham had every odd against him. They were past child-bearing age. His body was as good as dead. Sarah’s womb was dead. There is no way humanly possible for them to conceive a child.
But God enlarged Abraham’s realm of thinking into what is possible for God by getting him to gaze at the stars.
I believe God wants us too to come out of our physical limitation and turn our gaze upward. Look at what God is able to do. Let Him take you higher, farther and deeper than you can ever go. Step out of your natural living into a supernatural life where the Lord God is One who sets the rule. Don’t be bound by what your natural senses dictate.
3rd P – The Promise
“Your descendants will be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand in the seashore…”
I feel like God is saying 3 things in His Promise:
1) I am LIMITLESS
If we ever think God is limited and finite it is because we have a constrained understanding of who God is and what He is able to do. Let us capture the vastness of God’s dream for our lives by enlarging the canvas of our understanding and faith by counting the stars…
2) I alone define what is POSSIBLE
God is speaking of hope – of a dream fulfilled, about daring to dream in God, about beliving in Him for the impossible, about restoring broken hope and becoming faith filled.
3) I will strengthen you through your POSTERITY
I find it a great encouragement to remember that the most remarkable legacy I will ever leave in this world is not the organization I build, nor the success I pioneer, but the family I birth. Are you a parent with young children trapped at home? Count your children as a blessing and not as a burden – this is a paradigm shift, but we need to begin seeing our home as the training ground where our true discipleship begins, and in shaping children we will be shaped by God.
4th P – The Predicament
However, the promise did not happen straight away. It was another 25 years before Isaac the promised son was born
In the meantime, Abraham and Sarah tried their best to help God fulfil God’s promise in their lives by involving Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant…And what they did in the flesh to fulfil the promise in the Spirit backfired.
Have you ever wondered why God had to make Abe wait for 25 years before He fulfilled His promise of a child? We may also ask: where is the healing God? Where is my family salvation? Where is my prosperity? Where is the Christian husband that I so long for?
There is a conflict between the promise and the predicament. Tension. Life hangs on a thin, fine balance.
5th – The Pivot
Yet on this thin balance of promise and predicament, lies a pivot. A point where all his hopes hang.
Romans 4 v 13 states that:
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
God had to strip Abraham out of his ability to produce so that the whole world will receive the promise of salvation that comes from faith alone. God had to wait until Abraham’s body was really as a good as dead so that Isaac was truly received as a product of faith.
It will not be something good in Abraham that he did to earn the promise…this was done exactly like this for the purpose of justifying and redeeming mankind to God – so that the basis of our salvation is by grace through faith alone!
This is where Oswald Chamber’s term – “The Discipline of Seeing” bears so much meaning to me. Seeing God in all circumstances, keeping our mind stayed on God even when the odds are against us, keeping our faith resting on His promises alone and not my emotions – is what will carry us to “hope against hope”. This is when our hope gives wings to faith.
Abraham kept looking towards the sky – He kept counting the star. The longer he looks, the stronger his faith grew. He no longer consider his own body, his own impotence, Sarah’s barrenness, his mind is now preoccupied with what God says He is able to do. (Romans 4:19)
I believe as Abraham kept gazing towards the sky, something happened within him. It wasn’t a pointless exercise. In fact I believe that God was beginning to expand His mind and draw His imprint upon it like a blank canvas.
Oswald Chambers said that our “creative mind is the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to him. This is our greatest asset of faith when trial comes because then our faith and the Spirit of God will work together.”
We too need to set our eyes upon God and in what He is able to do, for what we behold, we become.
“Lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power and not one is missing.”
May I invite you to join me in star gazing today? May God revive the dreamer within us…. May we not live small lives where we are just operating in the natural, but step out into the realm of all God’s possibilities today.