When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.”
Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face.
Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.” Genesis 17:1-8 (MSG)
I carry a purse full of things. I pack all sorts of things into my purse so I’ll have what I need in an “emergency.” I have: fingernail clippers, lotion, lip balm, band-aids, a mirror, some medicine, a toothbrush and toothpaste, gum, artificial sweetener, a pair of glasses, an extra pair of contacts, eye drops, a cell phone and my billfold. I refer to my purse as The Mother Ship. The Mother Ship has everything I need to survive away from my home. My friends know who to come to when we are shopping and they get a hangnail or a headache.
I don’t carry The Mother Ship with me into the store when I go shopping, because as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s heavy. I take The Shuttle Craft on short missions and leave The Mother Ship in the car. The Shuttle Craft is my billfold. It carries only THE essentials: gum, lip balm, my phone, eye drops and money.
In looking at the 3 men in the Old Testament who walked with God, it’s easy to be side tracked, to think there is a human standard to live up to or to think you should be like these guys. It’s easy to want to pack a lot of stuff in your backpack when you decide to walk with God.
Let me ask you, is your bag over packed for your walk with God?
Enoch walked with God. At the time, Noah was the ONLY good person on the earth. Abram was God’s chosen. Where does that leave you? Does it make you want to load up your backpack with all sorts of good deeds? Does it make you antsy? Does it leave you feeling like you don’t measure up?
Let me ease your tension. You don’t measure up. Nothing you can pack in your backpack will make your walk with God more pleasing to God. God simply wants you to walk with Him.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Abram was invited to walk by El Shaddai, God All Mighty. That same God invites you to walk with Him. Still, today, He is full of grace and God All Mighty. Look at the passage one more time. God tells Abram to walk in front of Him; to live openly, entirely, perfectly before God All Mighty. Really!?! Overwhelmed doesn’t seem to be a big enough word, does it? Fortunately, God didn’t stop speaking.
Re-read the next words of God to Abram; who is doing the work? Who accomplishes the perfection? Who makes it all happen? Abram? No, it’s God All Mighty who plans to accomplish all the tasks He’s set before Abram.
What a relief!!
You may have stuffed a spiritual backpack full of your own “goodness” to bring along on your walk with God. The very first thing God will tell you to do is to put it down. You see, none of it is good enough, not for God All Mighty. Carrying it will only make your weary.
You only need The Shuttle Craft for this walk. All you need to bring is faith.
Father, embolden my faith. Help me to lay down all the stuff I want to carry. Teach me to understand the good I cling to; no matter how good it is, is not good enough. It’s not worth carrying. Open my heart to the truth of Your word, that You will give me what I need to be pleasing and perfect in my walk with You.