Working while you wait...

In part one we saw Abraham’s life modeling a principle of faith that we choose to ignore at times.  We often must go before God will show.  Obedience happens first, understanding comes later. 

Living with an uncertain certainty means we obey God even when we don’t know where it will lead.  My family is finding itself in a season of uncertain certainty.  I write about that here.

As we read on in the life of Abraham we discover another faith stretching truth. 

Living with a certain uncertainty means working while your waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

"By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise." (Hebrews 11:9).

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with what is happening here:

-       Abraham is traveling to a land God has promised.
-       He doesn’t know exactly where this place is and what he will find when he arrives. 
-       He doesn’t own anything there at the moment but the one who owns all things has promised it to him. 
-       When he does arrive, there are no friends awaiting his arrival with welcome signs, ready to unload the moving truck and a hot dinner served for all. 
-       Abraham arrives at this destination in the middle of the desert and finds nothing other than God’s approval that he has arrived. 

One might say that his moment of arrival in the Promised Land actually shows more faith than his decision to leave for the Promised Land in the first place.  At least while he was traveling towards the Promised Land he could have dreamed about what he would find.  A beautiful mansion, rows of palm trees and a beach front property would have set his heart at ease during his uncertain travel plans.  But upon his arrival all illusions have disappeared and he’s left with the stark reality that he’s got some work to do in order to see God’s promised fulfilled in his life and through his life. 

God had promised him the land . . . but he had to scratch out an existence in tents.  He had to work while he waited for the fulfillment of the promise.

Hundreds of years would pass before the promise was completely fulfilled. Abraham actually never saw it happen. Neither did Isaac or Jacob, his son and grandson.  Isn’t that often the case for us in having a life of faith filled destiny?

The promises of God in our life are often fulfilled and received by generations to come. 

Was Abraham in the will of God? Yes.

Was he right to leave Ur? Yes.

Was he doing what God wanted him to do? Yes.

Why, then, was he living in tents? 

Because we have to work while we wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives.  Because God’s timing doesn’t always or rarely ever lines up with our timing. 

He's not in a hurry (I often wish that He was).  He works across generations to accomplish his purposes and fulfill his promises.  We worry about what will happen in our lifetime. God is thinking about what will be accomplished through our lives for generations to come. Those perspectives could not be more different. 

God’s timing is not our timing.  We work while we wait, not just for the sake of our lives, but we work for promises to be fulfilled for generations to come. 

Let’s broaden and deepen our perspective on the will of God in our lives.  It’s not just about us.  It’s about far more than that.  It’s about generations to come.  It’s about the kingdom of God. 

More on that in our final blog on Living in a Certain Uncertainty.