Are you trapped inside your tent when there is an open sky of possibilities right outside your door?
Do you limit what God wants to do in and through you because of fears and insecurities?
Or maybe it is because you are too busy and overwhelmed with your surroundings?
Maybe you like the feeling of safety and security!
What if you were to hear God say, “COME OUT AND PLAY?” Would you? Or would you ignore His voice for the sake of your own security?
Today, let’s look at Genesis 15:4, 5. I think you will think differently about staying inside your tent of comfort.
“He took him outside”… what is the context of this simple phrase you ask? Okay, maybe you are not asking but let me share it with you, nonetheless.
This is the moment when God is speaking to Abraham and takes Abraham outside to look up at the sky. Within this story, God had approached Abraham. It says, “the word of the Lord came.” That in itself is a very powerful statement. Think about the magnitude of this.
No one has seen the face of God (John 1:18), but many have heard His voice. This is a moment in the life of Abraham when God spoke, “The word of the Lord came.” Just in this, Abraham had to know God to hear God. But there is more to this “word” than just knowing God’s voice.
When God spoke, He told Abraham that He would protect him and reward him.
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,”
Your very great reward.” VGenesis 15:1 NI
Amazing words from God. To receive God’s protection and then to be rewarded by God would be the delight to anyone’s soul.
In this conversation between God and Abraham, Abraham got stuck. Instead of celebrating God’s protection, he mourned his lack of reward. He asks God the question, “What can you give me…” Genesis 15:2.
Do I get a basket of candy?
A new car?
A new house?
What about a new house with a new car in the garage and a basket of candy sitting on the counter?
But Abraham didn’t want those things. What he wanted the most in this world was a child.
“Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless…”Genesis 15:2 NIV
From this point on, Abraham argued with God. I sense his disappointment and contempt for the things God had NOT given him. Promise after promise had been given that Abraham and Sarah would have a child, and yet, hope after hope had been dashed. In this passage, Abraham offers up his servant to be an heir for his fortune because he had no child to give his riches to.
But God’s response was a hard NO and a repeat of the promise already given.
“This man will not be your heir, BUT A SON WHO IS YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD WILL BE YOUR HEIR. “Genesis 15:4
Silence fills the tent. Thoughts of confusion and frustration fill Abraham like smoke fills a room. Feelings of hopelessness and heartache well up inside. Why would God continue in this promise? Why has he not yet fulfilled this promise? Can I continue to follow a God leads me down a path of emptiness and despair? Why does God speak and not act?
Many of us can identify with these emotions. We sense that when we hear from God there will be some movement, some sort of “somethingness” to our prayers and longings. Yet what seems to be delivered is a basket filled with “nothingness”. No movement, no foreseen reward, no change.
In this moment of despair, God speaks again to Abraham and says, “Let’s go outside.”
“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Genesis 15:4
God wanted Abraham to come outside and play.
Shored up within that tent Abraham’s view was restricted, constrained, bound up so tightly that he could only see what he didn’t have instead of seeing what could be.
focused on his one desire kept Abraham from seeing the boundless blessings God desired to give.
That is why God needed to take Abraham outside the tent. Outside provided fresh air, a new perspective. It widened Abraham’s vision and allowed him to see ALL God wanted to do through him.
So, what does this mean for you? Living within our own tent, we see only what is in front of us. We see our desire, our longing. We only see that one thing that we have focused on, and it has caused our view to be near sighted.
What could it mean for you? When we allow God to take us outside of our tent, we see so much more. We see God’s desires and His promises. Our vision becomes far sighted pushing us beyond our own desires and embracing God’s plan.
But how do we do this? Sometimes it is as simple as that first step. Sometimes it is pushing ourselves to get up out of our comfortable position and point our feet towards the door. There are often many first steps surrounding our feet, we just need to choose one. Is your first step a phone call to begin the journey of repairing a severed relationship? Is your first step to say yes to a ministry opportunity that has been presented to you? Is your first step asking your neighbor about their relationship with Jesus? Our lives are filled with first steps that are never taken. Take that step today and see the vastness of possibilities God has waiting for you!
Why did I write this? Everything I write comes from something God is wanting to say to me. I just get the privilege of sharing my journey with you. The book that I have been writing for over two years, The Walk Back to Eden, was finally published last week. Once it was published my fears overwhelmed me to the point of paralyzing me in my next move. I sat quietly in my comfy chair (my tent of choice) for days with no movement because of my fears. I didn’t want God to take me outside because I was perfectly content in my fear. God had opened up an opportunity to market this book bigger than what I desired. The battle within my head was that I was not good enough nor talented enough to push these sales beyond those who knew me and loved me. But this passage of scripture hit me in my gut. I was faced with staying within my own tent or stepping outside to be open to God possibilities. I chose to step outside…and now I wait!
“Abram believed the Lord…” Genesis 15:6 NIV
Hmmm…now that’s a thought!
Written by Melody Westbrook. Melody Westbrook is the founder of The Walk Ministries, a ministry designed to bring women together through God’s story. She was a pastor’s wife for 35 years and has authored the book The Walk Back to Eden (still waiting publication). She is a communicator who loves to tell God’s story written within each of us while using her personal experience of a broken marriage and childhood survivor of abuse to communicate God’s redemption story. She loves teaching real women real stories of real life from God’s word. You can find her at http://facebook.com/thewalk.edw/.