Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “GREAT GOD”…JESUS!
Over the past two weeks I have been very reminiscent of all the individuals that have had an impact on my life in the Lord. Their qualities in Christ have distinguished them above many that have cross my path. It was not that they were perfect by any means, but their persistence to strive for the prize, i.e. the high calling in Christ Jesus continues to encourage my walk in Christ even today. As I gave reference to the word “Distinguished” I found it to mean one who is successful, authoritative, and commands great respect. As I evaluated our brothers Abrams life in the word of God he most definitely fits this definition because of his walk of FAITH!, and how his nephew Lot is of nominal means because of his lack thereof. For this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “Are You Striving to be A Distinguished Child of God?” My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Gen. 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
When we study the scriptures we understand that God had spoken to Abraham even prior to what was recorded above as noted in Acts. 7:2-4 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
The moment Abram emerged from Egypt ( a type of the world) in Gen. 13, he was under a new responsibility, namely, to walk in harmony with his brother! While in Egypt, this responsibility did not stand out. It is because the worldly institutions laws, habits, luxuries and ease of Egypt, tend to do away with the responsibilities that he was his “brother’s keeper.” It is the same now my brothers and sisters. As long as we continue to walk in ideologies of this world, and its religious posture based on prosperity and the philosophy of men, there will not be an emphasis to commit to a life of faith and holiness.
Please note that as long as Abraham and Lot were in Egypt, they did not build an altar to worship God, nor could they strive in that location. Egypt has the tendency to sap the grace that is extended to us by leading us out of a place that depends on the Lord. When we enter into this delusional state weakness is mistaken for strength and foolishness for wisdom.
It is only when we come out of Egypt can we walk by faith, and that faith works by the love that we have for God, who directed us out of that place where we could not strive in Him!
When Abram and Lot left Egypt to go into Canaan they were to be in harmony in purpose. For the land they were sojourning in was inhabited as stated in the word of God….Now “the Canaanite,” etc., “was then in the land.” This should have acted as a hindrance to any strife between “brethren,” for the Canaanite cannot understand anything about the infirmities of a child of God. So as we go on in our studies we began to see that Lot lacks the Distinguished qualities that his uncle Abram possessed. It is apparent that Lot had not fully got rid of the spirit of the world, and because that spirit predominately ruled, the path of faith was too straight and narrow for him to walk in; hence Lot and Abram “could not dwell together.”
The main thing I want you to note is that “Abram went up out of Egypt and Lot with him.” Here we get the secret of Lot’s instability. He appears to have gone up rather with Abram than with God, and the consequence was that, when he parted with Abram, he had nothing to lean upon. He had been covered under Abram’s protection and guidance instead of knowing the Lord for himself, and therefore when he separated from Abram he went astray.
So what did Lot do during his fleshly conflict… “He lifted up his eyes.” This is the expressed action when we are not walking in faith under the direct power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we lift up our eyes without divine direction, we are sure to go in the wrong direction. But after Abrams gives Lot the option to choose, we see God directing Abram where to lift up his eyes, which was totally different from Lot’s act, which was limited to mere human wisdom and foresight.
My brothers and sisters human wisdom and foresight can never assist us to progress as a people of faith, I reiterate; human wisdom will suggest things that, if acted upon, will lead us down the finite path of man! Therefore, just as it was with Lot, in lifting up his eyes, he could not look beyond the “things that were seen and temporal.” For this was the parameter of his spiritual vision. Lot was acting out what he had embraced in Egypt, i.e. the things which his eyes rested on while being there. For Jesus is quoted in the gospel of Luke 12:34 which portrays Christ as the Son of Man “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So the scriptures confirm in Gen. 13:10 that “He beheld all the plain of Jordan that it was well watered everywhere . . . like the land of Egypt.” Here we observe that Lot had never really detached his heart and affection from Egypt …. he did not discern the vanity and the temporal satisfaction that was derived from all of Egypt’s resources, in hope of a perceived better life. Hence Lot could not see by faith a “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” To sum up Lots condition in a phrase, he “having put his hand to the plough,” was now beginning “to look back,” and therefore to prove himself “unfit for the kingdom of heaven.” Lord please help us not to grab hold again to the beggarly elements of his world. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints notice when God told Abram to “lift up his eyes,” at the Lord’s command, he exemplified a different parameter of vision! While Lot could not see beyond the narrow limits of the present scene, Abram, on the contrary, had allowed his eye to wander over the length and breadth of the promised inheritance, because he was not influenced by any man. He viewed the portion which God was reserving for him and his seed, and took up his position accordingly. Abrams soars like an eagle with strong wings in his faith, and is lost in the overwhelming beneficence of God; while Lot, who walked by sight and pitched his tent toward Sodom, eventually becomes lost in the deep gulf of Sodom’s corruption!
My brothers and sisters God continues to show his grace and mercy to the ones who do not Distinguish themselves as a child of God. We see in Gen. chapter 14 that Abram still shows that he is his “brother keeper” We read that there is a battle fought by “four kings with five,” and you may ask, what connection does this strife between these kings in battle, have to do with the history of the people of God? Well with Abram none, because he is in the right position with God, where he pitched his tent showed him to be a stranger on earth and his altar showed him to be at home in Heaven. He was a Happy man and pilgrim!, who had been put in heavenly places by faith, and one who could now look down as a passer-by upon the battle fields of an evil world. It didn’t matter to Abram whether the laurel of victory were about the crown of the king of Sodom, or of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam; his portion was not in danger through their strife, because he was in a place in God “where thieves do not break through and steal; and a “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
But this battle proved to be contrariwise for Lot, for it ruined him and his family. Lot was made prisoner and all his goods were taken (ver. 12). He had laid up treasure for himself upon earth, and the thieves had broken through; and therefore, while Abram was above it all because of his powerful communion with God, Lot found himself a prisoner and a beggar. It is because Lot had sown to the flesh, and hence his flesh had to “reap corruption.”
But this was just the moment for Abram to show a powerful act of love, because he was A Distinguished Child of God. He had, as stated above exemplified a calm concerning these “kings and their armies,” but the very same faith which had made him indifferent about the strife among those men, made him quick to take cognizance concerning his brother in distress. Faith not only purifies the heart from worldly and carnal desires, but it also “works by love,” as is powerfully shown in Abram’s case, for “when Abram saw that his brother was taken captive he armed his trained servants,” etc. Gen. 14:14.
It is in this hour of distress and difficulty that the relationship between brothers take a prominent place. In days when there was notable peace, Lot was known to Abram as “his brother’s son,” but now he was in sorrow, and hence a act of brotherhood had to be exemplified powerfully and effectually. Even though there was a confrontation about the land where their livestock grazed, Abram had to intervene because Lot was in trouble, and therefore that previous dispute had to be forgotten because they were brethren!
Abram and his servants won the battle and rescued Lot and his family, in addition to obtaining excessive goods from the battle. But now we see that Abram is about to meet a temptation, a temptation that is overcome by the power of God within him, but nevertheless, a temptation. The king of Sodom came forth to display his treasures before the eyes of Abram, and of course these treasures were very valuable to any man in the flesh. Any person that says that the world does not present many things that may attract our natural eye would be remiss. The only way to remain separated and elevated above the things that the world puts before our eyes is to perpetually embrace the knowledge of heavenly things.
Abram knew that the victory he obtained was by the power of God. For Abram knew that it was God who had watched over him during the dark season of his sojourn in Egypt, and who had, by that very experience, taught him a lesson as to the true character and spirit of the world. Abram knew it was God who had closely observed his ways, and made preparations for his relief; For God was cognizant of the movements and designs of the enemy, from first to last, and supplied the heavenly antidote needed to stop the poison the world was trying inject him with.
My brothers and sisters please note that in between the time the king of Sodom went forth to meet Abram, and made the proposal to him in reference to “the persons and the goods,” there was a remarkable character introduced by the name of Melchizedek (whom I believe was Jesus Christ). This stranger, commissioned by God, was on his way to fortify Abram’s heart at the very moment when the enemy was on his way to attack (read Gen 14: ver. 17, 18, and 21). Now, why did not “the priest of the Most High God” come to meet Abram before? Because this was the moment when Abram really needed what he had to bring. The enemy was about to display his alluring bait before the eye of the man of God, and therefore Melchizedek is at hand to display in the eyes of Abram the divine realities of the Kingdom of God. Melchizedek fed and strengthened Abram’s soul with the “bread,” and cheered him up with the “wine,” concerning the Kingdom of God, in order that, “in the strength of that meat” he would mount above the influence of all the allurements of the world. Saints from all this we can apprehend that it is the communion received from the joys and glories of the Kingdom of God that encourages our heart to reject the pollution of this world. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, what are you now feeding on? What constitutes your habitual food? Is it “the bread and wine” which the Lord provides, or “the goods” of Sodom? Are your ears open to the pernicious suggestions of the King of Sodom, or to the heavenly communications of the King of Salem? I pray that the Lord continues to grant our hearts the desire to choose those things in which He delights.
Melchizedek’s objective was to lead Abram’s soul into communion with “THE MOST HIGH GOD, THE POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH,” and hence completes the wondrous dichotomy between “the King of Sodom” and “the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth,” “the goods of Sodom,” and the extensive possessions of Heaven and earth. It is needless to say that Abram at once rejects the offer of the King of Sodom. The bread and wine, and the benediction of “the priest of the Most High God,” had raised Abram to another level in God, that he with divine comprehension rejects the despicable proposal of the King of Sodom. Melchizedek had just told him, “the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth,” and Abram had laid hold on those words and made use of them in his reply to the adversary. Gen. 14:22-23 “I have lifted up my hand,” said he, “to the Lord, the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich.“ My brothers and sisters, never let anyone take the glory for what the Lord has done!
Abram appears to breathe the very atmosphere of the presence of God as the prophets states in Isa. 40:12,15-18 ” who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance, in whose sight the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance. Behold! he takes up the isles as a very little thing, and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted to Him as less than nothing and vanity.”
This was the only way that Abram could triumph; by despising anything in the world that did not glorify our God. There must always be an experimental acquaintance with JESUS for all the good things to come, for this hope gives us full victory over the present things associated with worldly desires. For in Heb 10:34 it states “Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” If we are really waiting for the manifestation of the glory, we shall be found standing apart from everything which will be judged in that day: for it is also written in Heb. 12:26-27 “Yet once more, I shake not the earth only but also heaven; and this word, yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
Saints of God, our walk should always be as stated in Rom. 12:3 “according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.” We have seen, in our own day, many brothers and sisters in the beginning give up a variety of worldly things, and afterwards plunge still deeper into those things; and why? Because they acted through mere excitement or human influence, and were not able to say with Abram, “I have lift up my hand to the Lord.”
I pray that you will perpetually strive to walk by faith and not by sight to please our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as we work to together to build his kingdom prior to His coming! But until that time let us continue to Strive to be A Distinguished Child of God! Have a “JESUS DAY.”