Apples of Gold

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I will bless thee

'And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.'

Genesis 12:2

I will bless thee. What more could I wish for?

I am not worthy of blessing and I am not worthy of any favour. I despise myself for the hardness of my heart and my lack of spirituality. I long for the dynamic power of the resurrection morn to stir my life again into action.

But what can I do? Sitting in the house each day can be so boring. There is only so much reading a person can do. I have been in this position many times, sometimes as a result of sin other times like just now for no particular reason.

There just seems to be a malaise hanging over me - a deadness of soul and a blurring of vision. I long to be revived in my soul and that my life may shine and reflect the image of my Saviour.

I will bless thee!

Like honey from the honeycomb my soul stirred with these words. This Word has life giving power. It is life. Not only so, but if this Word can change my state of mind and my life then it can change anyone.
There have been days when I have picked up my Bible as a matter of routine. I confess to have read it only as part of my duty. I did not expect to gain anything from it, but it helped to appease my conscience. This morning I longed for a morsel. I begged for a crumb from the Master's table.

I will bless thee!

Abram knew what it was to have the Word of God change his life. It Seemed to him like a call out of the blue - "time to pack your bags and move to another Country Abram!" What a thought that is? Imagine it happening to me today!

I thought for the best part of a decade that my future service lay in Romania. I struggled with much anxiety over this and had many a sleepless night as a result. I prayed that verse one of this chapter would be spoken to my soul and that of my family. I wanted it so much. But it was not what God wanted!

True I loved the country and I loved the folk out there, and yes there was a desperate need there, but my life and that of my family would be turned upside down forever! Had I suffered my heart attack while in Romania, I might not be alive today!

Hearing and distinguishing the call is not easy. Is this from God? No one can answer that question for you. It has to come from you. It is a personal thing. And to obey is better than sacrifice. In fact, obedience is paramount.

If you are not sure then wait! Wait, wait, wait!

Abram's call as it is for others was a call to obedience. It also meant being separated from kith and kin, and finally it meant being set apart for the service of God. Are you aware of any of these things happening in your own life?

Perhaps it's a change of circumstances with your present employment, or perhaps you are losing interest in your job. Add to that a desire in your heart to serve the King. But is it your doing or is it God's?

I will bless thee!

Being separated from friends and family and being set apart for service is a work done by the Spirit of God. It is often a difficult experience when perhaps a needless argument will cause a separation from an acquaintance.

I have experienced friendships drifting away as the Lord took me aside as part of my spiritual education. It can be a painful experience, yet what would we give for a closer walk with Him?
Loneliness can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Often the 'poor me's' set in and soon we wallow in a self made depression. When God takes us 'out of the system' many changes take place, often little ones which seem insignificant at the time.  Nonetheless they are important.

Any change from our normal routine can be traumatic! We enjoy our comfort zones, and we get irritated when they are disturbed in any way. What could be more disturbing than a complete change of direction?

I will bless thee!

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Called to go to Canaan, Terah (Abram's father) made it as far as Haran, - - no further! Did he like what he saw there and did he decide to stay there, or did illness overtake him? But why mention it if that were the case? Meeting the Lord half way is of no use whatsoever. It must be all or nothing.

I will bless thee!

Sin must be forsaken. A renewed dedication to going forward and following the Good Master must envelop our minds. The 'so called' world attractions and distractions that held our attention for many fruitless years must be left behind. Remember Lot's wife!

I will bless thee!

A call, though, does not mean that we jump up, pack our bags and head for the hills! We need direction. Our duty is to follow, not lead! How slow I am to learn this lesson! Those who do business with God must learn to trust Him and wait. It is a calling to a life of faith.

But faith requires trust. And faith and trust are not earned! If we are to live by faith, then we can be sure that it will be tested. Lessons and testing are part and parcel of the journey. Mistakes will be made, but we must learn from them and move on.

I will bless thee!

How often have we seen a new missionary take up his post or a Pastor newly inducted into a new charge when some calamity strikes. Perhaps a family bereavement, an unexpected illness or a bad injury.

This cannot help but fuel doubt in the mind. Was I right to accept this call? Did I make the right decision? Abram was no different. He had obediently followed His Master's call only to find when he arrived at the chosen destination that there was a horrendous famine!

I will bless thee!

God made provision for them in Egypt, but Abram made a howler of a mistake there in trying to defraud Pharaoh. An act of such blatant foolishness would surely end in termination of employment with most employers, would it not? But did God turn His back on them in disgust?

I will bless thee!

Even when we have done wrong, when our lives are spent in folly, and we have been disobedient, still the Lord blesses! We deserve judgement and punishment, but mercy and love prevail. God has made six promises to Abram, and not one of them shall fail.

I will bless thee!

I believe it!

Author : Iain Mackenzie  Edited by : Pastor Al Moak