“So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord. Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.” Genesis 13:1-18 NIV
To fully get where we’re headed in this message you’ll need to read Genesis 12. The Word to Abram was to separate, leave everyone and go to where God was taking him. As a matter of fact it took him 15 years to fully comply. Not until the death of his father, did he set out in partial obedience, because he still took Lot, or he didn’t stop Lot from following him.
Whenever God gives us a directive, it’s best to just comply. If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves wandering aimlessly- Never arriving at our destination. We’ll often end up going where we weren’t sent, and coming back with more baggage than we need. Abram’s story is filled with twists and turns because he suffered from what I call separation anxiety. This is the root cause of most of our problems. We refuse to let go of toxic relationships. Abram came from a family of idol worshippers, but how many of you know by now that God finds His man or woman in the most unusual situations? The genealogy of Jesus reads like Nathaniel’s question; “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” God does have a sense of humor.
The rest of the story reads, “and Lot went with him.” He wasn’t supposed to be there. But this may delay- but not stop the plan of God. It reminds me of once when I was recovering from major surgery. The Lord showed up to heal me and asked me to have the woman cleaning the room to leave. My sister will back up this account. She, the woman, was finished with her work but wouldn’t leave. So He said “ok let her stay.” Long story short, the Lord performed a supernatural work that night. But the complete work was done early in the morning when everyone was gone, except for my roommate who thought she heard a choir of angels singing. I heard her telling her daughter that when she visited that afternoon. God will get His will done no matter what. Let’s read our key verses:
“The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.” Genesis 13:14-16 NIV
If you’ve read chapter 12 like I suggested 😊 you’ll understand the significance of what I’ve underlined. During the time of Abram’s wanderings you didn’t read much about God speaking with Abram. As long as Lot remained, God could not fully carry out His plan. The command was to go from his country, his people and his father’s household. Lot was never a part of the promise. There are people and places that we may enjoy, careers we may have chosen, but if God has been prompting or calling you out and you’ve chosen your way, you’ll eventually be hit with a famine. A famine that will take you farther away from your destiny, make you do things you never thought you would, and send you back with things God did not intend for you to have.
If you continue in the rebellion, you’ll create conflict within your relationships. Abram encountered everything I mentioned. There are relationships that I’m forever grateful to God that He’s severed. Relationships that He warned me through dreams, that had I continued with them would’ve ruined my life. And the way He ended them for me was amazing. There are people you think you can’t live without that are a hindrance to God’s plans for you, be it family or otherwise. It’s not worth the risk. Abram had to bail Lot out a few times, why? He brought him along when he should’ve left him where he was. We have created, through disobedience, hell on earth for ourselves. God’s plan, no matter how close you are to the individual, does not include them. He wants to remove you in order to establish you. You’ll never experience the fullness of God’s promises until you walk in total obedience to Him.
I love that He starts off with: The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had parted from Him. God is waiting for your hindrances to be taken out of the way so He can fully reveal His promises. Let them or it go! It’s not worth the hassle and stress. The story of Abram is a beautiful one of God’s long suffering and patience. I’ve said before just wave the white flag of surrender, God will have His way. Not only did He show him again, the promise, he told him to go walk through it. We can’t see it, or walk it, until we’re obedient to it. God will change our names to match the promise. He’ll seal every Word with His signet ring. A covenant that can never be broken.
That woman or man you think you can’t live without, singles, may be your Achilles heel. If you’re working harder than the individual propping up what God has shown you is a hindrance, you’re in a famine, and headed for Egypt. A place where you’ll lie to survive. The Bible says in Proverbs 10:22 go read it. If it was the Lord’s will for them to go to Egypt, he wouldn’t have had to lie about his wife. God had to intervene to protect Sara.🤦♀️if that job is more stressful than the compensation and He’s given you a way out, you’d better take it. Ask Him for wisdom and trust His next move. He did it for me 9 years ago. Let them go!
Through Abram’s eventual obedience, God continued blessing and gave him the promise of a son, but remember I told you earlier that disobedience will give you things you didn’t ask for. Hagar was that gift and it keeps on giving. His ties to family and holding to the familiar had to be tested. God kept His Word, changed his name from father of a few to father of many. But his loyalty and obedience had to be tested. He had the promised son, but now God asked him to sacrifice him. This time he willingly obeyed. Egypt will change you. A famine will get your attention. Your once peaceful life now turned hell will change you. God had this to say about Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice what was precious to him:
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12 NIV
What did God know? That nothing was worth more to Abraham than Him. Abraham made the choice to let everything and everyone go. He learned the secret of total sacrifice. Whatever God has asked us to let go of, may appear to be a necessity to us, but He knows that where He’s taking us certain people or things won’t fit with His plan. Don’t delay your blessings, Let them go, let them go to gain God’s best. Jesus gave up heaven’s glory to win us. Lopsided yes, but He was willing to do it. So I’ll say like Mary the mother of Jesus. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Abraham found out that His way was best, we can too if we’ll learn to let go of our desire to be in control. A promise that could’ve taken months took twenty-five years, while they played god. Are we doing the same? Then we’ll give birth to Ishmael, who the scripture describes as a donkey of a man. Genesis 16:12
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 KJV
Father God, What great rewards we have in obedience to Jesus. We have found that contentment in You is more valuable than all the world’s wealth. What You have in store for us cannot be compared with the things or relationships we hold to that we know are toxic. Give us the courage to let go of all that entangles, to walk in the freedom and blessings You have for us. In Jesus Name. Amen
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit