I'd been reading through my NLT Bible when I graduated college last year. Because one of my grad gifts was the Bible in the Voice translation, I decided to restart my reading. After all, using one translation all the time can make what you're reading become too familiar.
Anyway, a while back, I read the story of Abraham's and Lot's herders, and there was something that caught my eye. You can read it for yourself. But first, here's the context. Abraham (called Abram at the time) decides to be the bigger man and lets his nephew, Lot, choose to either go east or west. Wherever Lot heads, Abraham will travel in the opposite direction.
Lot sees the grassy, fertile Jordan Valley of the east, and selfishly takes that land; ironically, it only brings him more trouble. Abraham takes the west, which is Canaan. There isn't any direct description of Canaan, but because it mentions how lustrous Jordan Valley is, I can only assume that the west wasn't as nice as the east.
After Lot leaves, God speaks to Abraham, and this is what He says:
"Look around you now, as far as you can see to the north, south, east, and west. All of the land you see is for you and your descendants to possess forever. I will make your descendants as many as there are specks of dust on the earth. If anyone could count the dust of the earth, then he could also count how many descendants I'm talking about! Go on now, and walk the entire expanse of the land, for you need to see what I'm giving you!" (Genesis 13:14-17, The Voice)
The phrase that caught my attention was, ". . . you need to see what I'm giving you!" I think this is something really important for us to remember. We need to see what God has given us before we get it.
"But," you might be saying, "what about walking by faith and not by sight? Or blessed are those who believe without seeing?" I'm not talking about physically seeing; I'm talking about mentally seeing.
Let me explain. Even if Abraham is supposedly content with whichever land he got, he's still human. Maybe he was a little jealous; perhaps he knew God would provide. Whatever the case, God tells him in this moment that he's not just going to get the western land. He's going to receive all the land.
Imagine if God told you this. Your head would probably be spinning, because you can't possibly envision what you're being promised. So God tells Abraham to go take a walk and see the whole land. Why did He tell him to do this? Abraham had to get a picture in his head so he could believe what he had been promised.
God used the same principle when He had Abraham look at the stars. The number of descendants Abraham was going to have was mind-blowing, and he needed a mental picture. So God gave him the examples of dust and stars, things we can see but cannot count. Now Abraham had an image in his mind of his many, many descendants, something that he could move toward in faith, even though Sarah was far past the childbirth age.
You see, we move toward we focus on. If you're driving and wipe out on a slippery road, and you look at a telephone pole, chances are you'll hit it. Why? You focused on it, so your mind subconsciously directed you to aim for it. Our minds are powerful things. That's why we need to get the right picture in our heads.
Are you sick? Jobless? Depressed? Lonely? What is it that you're facing? What have you been focusing on? What has God promised for you in your situation? I encourage you to look through His Word and find all of the good things He says are yours. Then take a walk through your mind. Find your expanse of land, and see all that there is in it. For what you believe and see inwardly will manifest outwardly.
Thanks for reading! I apologize for the short post (I lacked the proper time to work on it). What're your thoughts? Should I make "serious" posts, if you will, more often? If I need to clarify anything, just ask, and I shall explain as best I can!