IMBM 1O2 BY BISHOP OLAN ELUJOBA
20 LIFE, LOVE & LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM ABRAM/ABRAHAM – INTERACTIVE STUDIES FROM GENESIS 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- Abram was God’s choice to relate with humanity after the collapse or scattering of Nimrod kingdom in Genesis 11. Babel/Babylon was an attempt by the human race to disgrace God by proving that they were God to themselves. They wanted to self-govern without God. God stopped them. The Nimrod/Babel/Babylon project can only be traced back to Lucifer-turned-Satan. God found Abram and worked with him INSTEAD. Grace found Abram. He did not work for God’s recognition in any way to separate himself from others in order to get God’s attention. There was nothing to show that he earned God’s calling by works or personal accomplishments. His works after his call and walk with God showed that God did not stay with him because he was a perfect, faultless human-being. We are not qualified for God’s calling based on anything we did or did not do. We are qualified by Grace which should help us grow and develop faith in God. It’s all based on God’s plans and predetermination. Grace did not start from the New Testament. Grace was available for Adam, and also for Abram.
- Abram would not move until his attachment to his father’s family was terminated by Terah’s death in Haran. Gen. 11:32, Gen. 12:1. There isn’t much anyone can do for God when family commitments stands in the way. Much of what people (in the Bible) could have done for God were delayed or stand-stilled when family commitment considerations got in the way. Family matters can be great motivating force or great distraction from God’s will, call, or life on earth goals.
- Abram finally moved into an uncertain journey and future, by faith, trusting that God will fulfill His promise of greatness, becoming a solution-providing source of blessing, promotion of favorable/blessing people and protection from cursing/hateful/menacing/dangerous people. We all live among destiny helpers and supportive people, as well as, destiny haters, mission destroyers, enemy forces and vision abortionists. And, it can be very hard to tell who is who. People’s intentions are not visible on their faces and can be hidden behind façade expressions, political correctness, and outright deceptive setups.
- He started out in the flesh. He progressed into God’s plans for him by engaging in willful lies and improper compromises. His level of trust in God’s ability to manifest plans and purposes were weak and extremely low. He pursued God’s agenda as if God was not the almighty. Gen 12:10-13. God had to preach to him in Genesis 17:1 because he was not living up to the level of spiritual maturity that befitted the number of years he was already walking or working with God.
- He had a get-rich-by-all-means-possible personality. Riches and wealth were important to him and he would do everything possible to get it or get there. You may not blame him because he lived among hostile people and territories. He was no longer among own friendly townspeople. He was a stranger that was living among strange people who could get hostile against him without notice. Having resources to buy provision, protection and progress was critical. Nobody would give him freebies or easy life. He needed the riches and wealth to earn the respect required for sustenance of self and dependents. Isn’t this a battle that every true believer face today? Finding a right balance between what Mammon & God offers can be pretty difficult to determine. What do you think? Gen 13:1-2
- He had an afraid-of-conflict personality. Gen 13:5-12. He was not a fighter by nature. He would rather yield grounds to offenders than stand his ground for his rights. In Genesis 12:7 God appeared to him and let him know the land that was promised. He only built an altar, as a marker, but moved on. Maybe he could have started contending for the land from that time. He went on to Egypt. He would not contend nor fight to fend off offenders from taking his wife. He simply moved on responsibility to wife, that she should fight to protect him by conspiring to lie and save his life. He would not confront his expansionist-minded nephew who allowed his company to strife with Abram’s. Abram preferred to lose ground to Lot and thereafter grieved over Lot’s agreement to separate and take on the greedy option that Abram himself offered/put on the table of compromise/negotiation.
- He was a supernaturally minded man. He was yielded to receiving divine appearances while he was realistic to take practical steps to fix physical situations and circumstances. He did not wait for God to fix or execute anything. He understood that he was God’s man to fix human and societal affairs here on earth.
- He was a compassionate man. He was a giver. He distributed or shared goods and resources with others. He was a generous man of God. He displayed selflessness in the handling of Lot’s issues. He provided abundant room in his heart to accommodate Lot’s greed. Even after being hurt, he still sought Lot’s best interest, regardless that Lot chose to separate from him. When the city that Lot relocated to was under divine judgment, and was to be destroyed by fire, Abram interceded with God, seeking to save him and family. Since love is about giving to others, He sincerely gave material resources to many.
- He was at first a very fearful doubter, before he became more faithful. (Gen 15:8). He feared for his life being taken by those who were against him for one reason or another. He fearfully avoided being killed. Fear is a belief in false expectations appearing real. Faith is fighting against impossibilities to (a) halt. Fear and faith reside in the imaginative centres of our minds. It takes a while before anyone can superimpose Godly beliefs above physical, visible, old-natured mind-set. Abram gradually learnt to do stuff that God counted to him for right-doing or righteousness. Gen. 15:6.
- He gradually but steadily grew up and matured in his spiritual relationship with God. He learnt to trust God more and more, above his natural instincts. He grew above his fears of battles or conflicts. He grew over his personal anxieties regarding having his own child or son which was delayed for (25 years?) Genesis 15:1-10 shows how God interacted or fellowshipped with Abram and helped him transition from fears to faith, from doubts to renewed mind & trust, from physicality to more spirituality, and from vanity into engaging spiritual covenant relationship with divinity.
- He got so much into Godliness that nothing was too much for him to give up sacrificially. On demand, he wilfully obeyed God. He conveyed his precious son to the slaughter, only for God to intervene by providing a ram for a replacement. In attending to wife’s demand and God’s support for the same, Abram gave up his first son Ishmael which he got from the bondwoman. A man who waited for decades before he could proudly show himself as a biological father, in Godliness, willingly relinquished his most precious assets, all in other to please God. He did not start out trusting in Godliness that much, but He got there by yielding to divine mandate. Every believer ought to selflessly obey divine mandates. Shouldn’t we all?
- He fell to temptations. He was an example of the fact that anyone working for, or walking closely with, God is still a frail human. Every human, no matter how spiritually endowed, is prone to being influenced by the death-laden soulish flesh, in about the same measures as by the divine-life giving human spirit, which has the ability to accommodate the Holy Spirit.
- He was wisely astute in handling natural matters. He alone grew an army of 300? He trained servants with ability to defeat oppositions. Though he did not call those of his household church, yet he had his own congregation whom he was an example of Godliness to. He made himself a king without the title. He built a mini-nation around himself without publicly announcing his leadership achievements.
- He got uniquely close in intimate fellowship with God that God said he would not carry out his purpose, which was going to be with Abram’s territorial vicinity and close proximity, without discussing it with Abram.
- He became spiritually responsible. He became an effective representative of God for executing God’s plans and purposes, as well as superintending on earthly affairs. His Spiritually responsible actions defined faith till today. His standard set remain a mark or target that many wish to live up to till today. The scriptures cannot make any sense without him. Subtract Abram/Abraham from the Bible and nothing else would make sense. All of the Christian faith or Christendom is tap-rooted in Abram/Abraham. I believe God is still creating new Abrams/Abrahams in Christ JESUS today. Are you ready and yielded to be spiritually yielded and accountable to God’s plans, purpose, assignments and callings?
- He lived up to the expectation, purpose and calling of God as enumerated in Genesis 12:2-3. He was a blessing, a nation that became great, and in whom families all over the earth are named. What was not attained in his lifetime have been, and are being, achieved after he left this realm through death. He could only achieve the foundation for which the physical nation of Israel and Palestinian are still serving God. He was father to the nation of Israel through Isaac, as well as, father to Ishmael, the wild Arabian and the Muslim world that exist till today. His willingness to yield and grow in God has qualified him as one man who establish the kingdom of God here on earth.
- He became the substitute and replacement to the demonic plan of Nimrod & Babel. Nimrod and Babel, now known as Babylon, were going to build a world to defy and compete with God. Abram or Abraham yielded to be a submissive world-definer. In and through Abraham God is being respected in religious matters today. Other world religion have the Abrahamic covenant & spiritual Kingdom to contend with today.
- He became the father of faith, both religious and Christian. JESUS was recognized to have come through the lineage of Abraham. Physical JESUS respected Abraham and made points or righteous references to him, even though Christ JESUS ranked higher. Christ JESUS worked with Abraham as LORD. The appearances that Abram or Abraham experienced were from God the son, Christ JESUS. Abraham submitted personal concerns to God. He made choices to listen to God and to trust him MORE. (Gen. 13:14, 14:13, 14:22-23. He overcame fears. He believed God. And he committed to fully carrying out God’s instructions to letter. Gen. 15:1, 6, 10.
- He emptied himself out in the service of the almighty God. Everything about his life was about pleasing God. It took him some hurts, pains, sacrifices and flesh-mortifying experiences to get there, but got there he did. Isn’t the whole essence of life on earth that of completing God’s mandate here on earth? Why do many Christ believers struggle to put self, well-being, family, friends, societies FIRST, when God refuses to allow any of those to be FIRST in anyone’s LIFE?
- He did not just live to procreate and show the world how prosperous, successful or wealthy a human being can be. He lived to leave this earth with a God-honoring LEGACY. While material and physical acquisitions set stages and examples for material world, (spiritual) LEGACY goes further to define essentials for qualitative human cultures, behaviors, lifestyle, mannerism, and interdependent relationships. Bottom line? The Kingdom of God as now exemplified in Christ JESUS was Abram/Abraham’s legacy to the earth and our world today. What LEGACY did God call you to achieve. Are you living beyond personal accomplishments, but rather, corporate human-good interests? Are you totally sold out to God in such a way that nothing, I mean nothing, like wife, children, parent, community, riches, wealth, gold or silver, can stand between you and your loving commitment to God?