On that very day Abraham took…every male in his household,
and circumcised them, as God told him. ~ Genesis 17:23

READING: Genesis 17:23-27

Hip deep in the middle of planting a church it can feel as if God’s promises will never come true. They may shimmer out there at the edge of our peripheral vision. And if we aren’t careful, we may make the mistake of thinking all God’s words to us are meant for some vague tomorrow.

I felt dejected the day I ran across Genesis 17 in morning devotions. In spirit I stood beside Abraham, hearing God reaffirm His promise. Abraham helped me refocus my energy “in the meantime” of my own smaller life story.

Abraham could have responded to God merely with a dreamy faith that lives in the fuzzy future. But he balanced his belief for the long haul with a practical and prompt obedience whenever God told him to do something.

In this chapter, God told him to circumcise every male in his household. He obeyed that very day. Back in Genesis 12 he packed up immediately and went to the Promised Land. In Genesis 21, although it broke his heart, he sent Ishmael and Hagar away early the next morning. Years later, when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, he saddled his donkey early the next day (22:3).

Abraham steered me back to the small but pivotal daily obedience of returning phone calls, acting on His nudges and continuing to knock on doors. I love Abraham’s courageous balance between the theoretical and the practical. He taught me to:

  • Believe God for the long haul, and
  • Obey God today.

Abraham helped me to relax and make peace with my limbo. Armed with faith that God’s timing is best, I’ve learned to look for ways to obey God now – in the meantime.

Dear Lord, Please show me how to obey You today. Amen.

Dionne Carpenter