“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.’ Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, ‘Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God…’ When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.” Genesis 17:1-8,22
Abraham had first heard God’s promise of a son by Sarah 24 years prior. Was this walking and waiting command after 13 years of silence from God to be different from what he had done over the last quarter of his life? Could he be blameless after the debacle with Hagar and Ishmael? Would God’s promise really come to pass? Was he worthy of a new name? Indeed, he had initially believed the Lord by faith, which God counted to him as righteousness. The call now was to do so anew, to continue walking before this One who hemmed him in and led him on to fulfill His plans, despite his foibles. Abraham fell on his face in awe and worshipful submission, and remained attuned until the Lord God finished and left. (Genesis 12:1-4; 15:1-6; 16:2-6,15-16; Psalm 139:5)
When God issues a call, if we knew all that walking in obedience would entail – the sacrifice, temptations, conflicts, sorrows, waiting- we might not step forward. But when God says walk, He means one step at a time, in stride with Him, attuned to His voice. This we can do by faith that He is with us, He is good, and He knows the way and will direct us clearly, bringing to pass all He intends in and for us. (Job 23:10; Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 30:21)
Where has God called you and me to serve Him, or to step out in a new direction, a new trust? Do we tire of waiting for fulfillment of a promise, resolution to a quandary, healing in a relationship or of a long-raw wound, and want to give up walking or loving or forgiving or persisting? When God is silent, are we familiar enough with His word to keep on in what we do know, to trust what He has said?
If we remain immersed in His word, and seize His promises backed by His impeccable character, He will give the confidence and courage to walk before Him. Are we listening? Will we step out and on in faith?
Father, keep me listening and walking that Your word be fulfilled.