Summary: How many of you have started for something big in life and ended up with something small? In the process you have compromised your life, compromised your calling and settled for something small. Now you may be content with what you have achieved whereas t
Why settle for less when God gives you the best?
Scripture: Genesis 17
Introduction: How many of you have started for something big in life and ended up with something small? In the process you have compromised your life, compromised your calling and settled for something small. Now you may be content with what you have achieved whereas the promises of God were something high. This reminds me of the story where a fox being hungry was chasing down a hen. After about a mile a rabbit came on the way and the fox started chasing the rabbit. After about another mile a rat came on the way and the fox ended up chasing the rat. Finally, the rat ran straight into its hole and the fox ended up waiting in front of the rat hole. Many times we are like this fox, content with small achievements whereas we started for something big. God wants you to have the best in life, so do not compromise God’s standards. This morning I want to challenge you to move to a new level of vision and faith in the Lord. Do not compromise and settle for the least. Do not think the best is behind you, it is yet to come. God will fulfill it for you.
This morning I want to speak to you from the series ‘Abraham – Father of Faith.’ The subject is ‘Why settle for less when God gives you the best?’
In Genesis 15 God confirmed to Abram his promised son through a covenant, walking in-between slain animals. It means if God was unfaithful in fulfilling the promise it has to be done to Him as they have done to the animals. A son was a covenant from God.
In Genesis 16 Abram’s faith seems to waver and Abram in his haste conceived a child through Hagar, the maidservant. Now Abram got something, a child to satisfy him. He chose to settle for the least when God wanted to give him the best.
When we come to Genesis 17, Abram is 99 years old and 24 years since he received the promise of a son. It has been 13 years since Ishmael has been born and God has not spoken to Abram so far after the birth of Ishmael.
Read Genesis 17:1-2 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
Abram had a new encounter with God. That brings us to my first point of the message.
1. If we have to have the best from God we have to have a new/fresh encounter with God.
Thirteen years earlier Abram committed a mistake and Ishmael was born. God was silent on the other end. The presence of Ishmael, Hagar, and Sarai produced unhappiness, bitterness, strife, and envy in the house. God used these 13 years to teach Abram the consequences of living by flesh and being impatient. It was a tough time for Abram, God never spoke. There was constant fight in the house.
It could be that you have had similar experiences in life. A time when you took your own decisions which failed. A time when God allowed you to take your own way and the results have been painful and failure. One of the most frightening things in life is that you insist in having your own way and God may let you have it. Remember you will have to bear the consequences of your decisions, many of you are struggling because of the wrong decisions that you made.
Abram was tired, fed up with life, and God comes near him with a fresh encounter. This morning God is here for a new encounter. Let us come near him with a heart of repentance.
What does God tell Abram?
a. I am God Almighty (Gen. 17:1)
In the Hebrew language, it is El-Shaddai meaning ‘one who is all sufficient.’ Until now Abram knew Yahweh, now for the first time in the Bible God tells Abram I am El-Shaddai – I am all sufficient for you. God is telling Abram if you want a child your body may be insufficient but I am your sufficiency. Child of God whatever you want is there in our God. He is an all sufficient God. What is it that is bothering you? Do you want peace, blessings, wisdom or anything? All what we need is in God. Now listen to what God says.
2. If we have to have the best of God we have to walk blameless before God.
Gen. 17:1. With the new encounter comes a new demand ‘walk before me blameless.’ This shows the covenant is an agreement between 2 parties. There are mutual obligations and responsibilities in a covenant. God gives the best and Abram had to walk blameless. God wanted sincerity, honesty, holiness, and integrity from Abram and today he wants the same from us. Child of God many times we do not get the best from God because our ways are faulty. How is your Christian walk this morning? Will God find wickedness in you? If you want to get the best from God lead a blameless life.