[Willow Creek Association] 1999-02-10 - Hearing God's Callings, Part 5

A Great Promise

Genesis 15:5 (NLT) Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that-too many to count!"

My mom and dad are going on a two-week trip to Europe in May. They celebrate both their 70th birthdays and their 50th wedding anniversary this summer. They have bought books, visited travel agents, and talked with friends who have been and are like little children waiting for school to end for the summer. They have great expectations and great promises that the trip will be all they hope for and more. It has been interesting to me to see them transformed and renewed with energy over this trip. They seem alive again and full of enthusiasm for life itself. I don't know if their expectations will be met, but I do know that God will always honor His promises.

When God call us, there is always a great promise made along with the calling. In Genesis 12 when God calls Abram to leave his country and go to the land He will show him, God also makes a promise to Abram. He promises Abram that he will be the father of a great nation. As we read through Genesis and follow Abram on his journey, we can see that his faith, hope and life all center on God's promise. This promise is the motivating factor in all of Abram's decisions. Think about it: God is not going to call you to do something just for the fun of it. God has a plan for your life. All of God's callings in your life have a promise along with the calling. His promise is to be a loving Father and to provide for all our needs, wherever He leads us.

I often struggle with the "promise" part of a calling. I believe most people do. Think about it for a moment. Try to visualize a calling God has in your life. What is keeping you from acting on that call? Is it the promise from God? Are you saying, "yeah God, I hear Your call, but I just don't know if I can do that." Let's take the most basic call in all of our lives, the call for obedience to God. God is such a loving God, that He wants to give us an "abundant life." We often think, "but I have to give up so much to be obedient." We do not focus on what we are gaining. It's like the alcoholic that just cannot imagine life without that next drink. He clings to his destructive behavior because he doesn't believe that there is much to gain by giving up, letting go and seeking the help he needs to end his self-destructive ways.

Have you heard the promise that goes along with your calling? More importantly are you listening to the promise? Even more importantly, do you trust the promise? Do you trust God? Do your really trust Him with your life? God's tests in our lives are simply God asking, "Do you trust Me?"

The promise gives us hope and hope gives us faith and belief in the calling. Lose sight of the promise, you lose hope and then you lose faith in God.

In today's Scripture God is answering Abram's question to God about God's promise to him. God is reassuring Abram about the promise. It is okay to question God, folks. It is okay to ask specific questions of God. It is okay to shout out to God that you don't understand, you don't hear, you don't listen, or that you don't want to do something. It's okay to be very specific in your crying out to God about your calling. Even Jesus, before He was crucified, prayed to the Father, "take this cup from Me." Jesus was questioning the call, but submitted to His Father's will in the end, not his own. How about you?


Dear Father, we hear Your callings, but help us to listen to Your promise and help us to trust Your promise. Forgive us for clinging to our own ways, for thinking we can do life better without You. Give us Your wisdom to focus on the promise. In Christ's name, Amen.

David

david@masseyre.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org