Word-y Gifts for Christian Faith & Life

Knowing the God of Every Day: Lesson from Abraham

I am among the many Christians who grew up being taught that God had a plan and purpose for every life. This biblical teaching was especially valuable to me as a teenager because it disciplined my life and gave it a sense of direction. As the years have gone by, however, I’ve also seen some of the problems that arise along the journey of faith when this teaching is misunderstood.

Far too often, our ideas of God’s plan and purpose for our lives are misguided. In a world that values celebrity, fame, and fortune, many Christians’ ideas of God’s plan are tainted by personal ambition, leading to frustrations, disappointments, and faith crises. Others live for the future, waiting for God to do some extraordinary thing in their lives. In the process, the importance of the present is obscured, and we miss the “plan and purpose” in the things God does every day.

Abraham’s life provides a lesson on how God’s purpose plays out in our lives. He lived 175 years, and the Bible does not tell us everything that happened to him throughout that time, only the highlights. God gave him a multi-part promise of blessing upon blessing, but, like us, most of Abraham’s years were quite ordinary.  He spent them dealing with everyday issues—struggling with the longing that comes from unfulfilled dreams, managing family and marital conflicts, trying (and sometimes failing) to obey God, wrestling with personal fears and frustrations, managing his vast wealth, burying a loved one, worrying about his kid’s marriage (later on), handling tricky political situations, and so on. But God walked with him in every season and through every challenge. Through the ups and downs, God was there, saving, restoring, delivering, protecting, teaching, reassuring, and so on.

As Abraham wrestled with the longings of yet unfulfilled hopes, God was teaching him the important lesson that God himself was his greatest treasure (Gen. 15:1). Knowing and walking with Him was the ultimate plan and purpose of God for Abraham’s life.

The privilege of being children of God, knowing and walking with him every day is greater than any “thing” He could ever give us.

So, while we wait for the fulfilment of God’s promises and, indeed, our hopes and dreams, may we never forget that knowing God is the ultimate purpose of our lives, and that happens every day of every season.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord…” (Phil. 3:8)

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