One time at church, I was talking to a college student. She was about to take a very important final exam. She asked, “Joel, would you pray that God will help me make a C on this test?” I kind of laughed and said, “Why wouldn’t we want to pray that God would help you […]
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “God, I’m doing everything right. I’m following your voice, obeying your commands, and showing kindness to people, yet, why am I the one missing out?” That’s when you have to remember that oftentimes, the very thing you think is working against you is really going to work out for you. However, we have let go of preconceived ideas, thinking everything has to happen on our timetable, and trust that God is ordering our steps!
In Genesis 12, God told Abraham to leave his homeland and go to a “new” place. He didn’t tell him where to go; He just told him to go. At the time, it didn’t make a lot of sense to Abraham because he was comfortable where he was. Abraham could have easily chosen to stay right where he was, but he knew that if he would let go of the familiar and obey, God would give him something better.
Abraham and his family, along with his nephew Lot and Lot’s entire family, packed up their belongings and their herds and headed out into the unknown.
As time went on, they experienced so much increase in their livestock that the land couldn’t support both families, so Lot and Abraham agreed to part ways. Abraham said to Lot, “Which direction do you want to go? You choose first, and I’ll take whatever is left.”
Lot looked out as far as he could see in both directions and chose the best part of the land, the plain of Jordan. Scripture describes it as a well-watered garden, so beautiful and lush. I imagine it may have looked like Hawaii, even though it was in the Middle East. When Abraham saw what was in the other direction, it didn’t look like Hawaii; it looked more like the desert. It didn’t look very appealing—there were few trees and little grass. It would have been easy for Abraham to think, Man, I got the short end of this deal. God, where is the favor You showed me in the past? Why is this happening? “If only” I would have chosen first!
But when Lot chose the best part of the land, Abraham never complained or criticized him. He didn’t try to bargain with him. He didn’t question God; he just trusted. Right after this took place, the Lord said to Abraham, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever” (Genesis 13:14–15). What an amazing promise!
I am personally amazed at how Abraham let go of something good in anticipation of something better. And of course, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham, and He will also fulfill His promises to you! If you have been going through some changes in your life that you don’t understand, or if it looks like you don’t have the favor you once had in a certain area, God may be stirring you out of the old so He can bring you into something new and better. It’s not always comfortable, and it may not always be the easiest way, but trust that He is ordering your steps—even when it looks like you are getting the short end of the deal. Remember, He is faithful, and He is leading you into a place of blessing and increase.
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NLT).