Abraham, I am God Almighty….
Oh, I so desire to live a life of holiness and please God! The desire consumes my thinking. So, I have begun to pray, asking the Lord to make me holy enough that I can be poured out for others. That through that holiness Father would work in my life, that others would be blessed. That through my holiness, my willingness to lay down my life to my own desires, that others might be saved. Even if it means that I have to pour out my own blood for them – have it Lord!
The above prayer might sound holy to you. It might sound Biblical to you. It might sound like the heart of one who desires to give all for the sake of the Gospel. But, I’m going to challenge you to think deeply about it, in light of the Word – because to me – the sentiment of the above prayer is reprehensible. It’s reprehensible because it implies that there is ANYTHING that I can do to become more holy…or please God more. The work of Jesus is totally complete and needs nothing from me or my efforts.
NOW, lest you misunderstand me, before I go any further, I want to clarify something – I do believe that we are absolutely called to give of ourselves to others in ministry and love for the sake of the Gospel. I believe passionately that we are called to embrace the things that Father has for us to do in the Kingdom. But, I also believe that the Bride has allowed her thinking to become skewed – just enough to make what we are believing a matter of self exultation, rather than the glorification and magnification of our Lord and Savior. Please, allow me the privilege of explaining what I mean.
When the Lord came and spoke to Abraham, He said, “I am God Almighty, walk before Me and be blameless that I may make covenant between Me and you and may multiply you greatly.” God Almighty. It sounds like He is all powerful, doesn’t it? Yeah – well, He is – but that isn’t what this name of God means. It means All Sufficient One. You have a need? He is sufficient. You have a problem? He is sufficient. You have a fear? He is sufficient. There is NOTHING – NOTHING – NOTHING that can come into our lives that His fullness is not sufficient to take care of.
Walk before Me. I always wondered about this – if Abraham walked BEFORE God, he would be the one leading. So I decided it COULDN’T mean that. If it meant like walk before My eyes, that would mean that God was only an observer in Abraham’s life. For a God that had just said, “Abraham – ain’t NOTHING in your life – now or in the future – that is more than I am sufficient to take care of,” it just didn’t seem like Hands-Off Observer was the posture that He would take.
The phrase “walk before Me” is actually two different words. One of them, halak, does mean to walk – it’s the same walk that God and Adam did in the garden – it’s a forward movement – it’s a going forth in life. But the second part of that phrase that we translate “before Me” in Hebrew means “to faces of Me.” Hmm….”Walk, moving forward in life, to faces of Me.” Face of God. Ever heard that expression? Unlike the Face of Boe in Dr. Who, the Face of God isn’t one face – it’s His character. It’s the fullness of who He is. It’s all the glory and all the wonder of our God. Our Lord was calling Abraham to a life of complete submersion in Himself. (WALLOWING!!!!)
That in itself is worth stopping and meditating on, isn’t it? “Walk, moving forward in life, in the fullness and wonder of who I am…” and be blameless. Ahhh, here’s the catch, huh? In order to do this, Abraham has to be blameless, if he can’t pull off blameless, he’s outta luck. Well, not quite. You see, the Hebrew reads “and become you! flawless.” It’s not a call for Abraham to be perfect – it’s a promise that walking in the fullness of our Lord will cause Abraham to become flawless…not perfect performance, but without any flaw, like a diamond. The word means whole, complete, entire, sound.
Are you catching a glimpse here of what this covenant with God meant to Abraham? Let’s take the pieces that we have so far – and re-read it: “I am your All Sufficient God, Abraham. Walk in this life, completely submerged in Me and My sufficiency and you will become complete. You will lack nothing.” Okay, what is Abraham’s part in this? In order to lack nothing, what must Abraham do? Walk with his God, in deep relationship with Him. That’s it? Yes, that’s it – Abraham is to do this, that God might be glorified before the nations AND so that Abraham might be a blessing to them.
(You’re wondering if I’ve strayed from my original topic aren’t you?) Let me now connect some dots. The life Father was offering Abraham was a life of fully trusting Him to supply all his needs – a life of letting the Lord be ALL that he needed – letting the Lord be his El Shaddai. Father hasn’t changed – He still desires to be our El Shaddai as well – He tells us so in 2 Peter – as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Guess what? It has the same proviso Abraham had, too – it comes through the knowledge of Him.
When we the Bride look at situations and circumstances around us and believe that through our best accomplishments, our sacrifices, our making do with less, our sacrificial giving that we can minister to the nations, we make our efforts the focus of the glory. In doing that, we cheat the nations. Our efforts aren’t enough. Our efforts – all of our collective efforts – will never be enough to get the Gospel to all the world, to feed the hungry or bind up the broken hearted. There is only One who can do that. That is our amazing Lord. Our own El Shaddai – our Savior.
When we believe that we can suffer or sacrifice enough to “make a difference” then our eyes are really upon ourselves. We can say that they are on the needs of the world – on the needs of the nations – but really, they are on what WE can do. It’s only when we look to Jesus and say, “Beloved, All Sufficient God, bless the nations according to YOUR riches in glory in Christ Jesus, here am I….” do we open all the possibilities that the Lord intended. When we move our own self efforts out of the way and stop trying to figure out “How can I…?” and focus instead on “Surely You can….” then, we get our eyes off our own abilities and get them where they belong – on Jesus.
The shift from the old covenant to the new covenant was one of Father saying to us, “You will…” to one of Him saying, “I will….” In order to do all that Father has for us to do in this generation, we must make the same shift – we must change it from “We can…” to “He can…” Anything less than that exalts ourselves, rather than Him.
(Again, I’m not talking about a sitting about doing nothing – as with all things in Scripture – I’m talking about a difference in heart that says we can do nothing apart from Him. That was Jesus’ posture. When we focus on what we can do – even when we say it’s with His enabling – there is still a measure of ourselves involved. He alone is All Sufficient – His glory in riches in Christ Jesus are endless, ours are not. Until we change our thinking, the best we can offer the world – the nations – is a limited supply. It’s only when we offer them our Savior that the supply becomes limitless!)