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How does God begin this amazing and eternal work in a disaster of a fallen human being? PowerPoint Presentation
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How does God begin this amazing and eternal work in a disaster of a fallen human being?

How does God begin this amazing and eternal work in a disaster of a fallen human being?

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How does God begin this amazing and eternal work in a disaster of a fallen human being?

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  1. Be assured that there will be moments when the pressure may seem almost unbearable, but know that the pressure is created by the flesh in the hope that you will be incentivized to abandon God and maintain your trust in your fallen flesh. The vast majority of the lives of those who walked with God had to grow through the experience of this process. We begin today’s study with the common dilemma of all Christians: devastated by the fall of Adam, realizing that there is more that God wants us to have, struggling with life on many fronts, frustrated that life has to be so difficult, and clueless as to how to see things improve. Once we come to the conclusion that there is nothing that we can do independently of God to improve our circumstances, the rest is actually easy. It is accomplished by looking at God’s process in hope with the determination that there are absolutely no alternatives, and the resolve to stay the course in faith and thanksgiving.

  2. I’m giving you these steps because there are many believers, even pastors and teachers who teach these elements of truth, who do not choose to personally act on it and they are bound in unbelief. Abraham believed God (function) and intimacy with God grew in a will that accepted the statements of God as trustworthy even against the contradictory things he could see. Remember to look for these steps, HEAR, BELIEVE and RESPOND in faith to what God says in the life of Abraham as we examine his walk out of fleshly thinking into intimacy with God. Let’s watch God unfold His process of reestablishing intimacy in this “father of faith”. And remember this as we proceed, intimacy comes OUT of our choice to HEAR what God says, BELIEVE what God says, and then RESPOND to what God says. Take out any step of this process and you are left in paralyzing unbelief that will remain intact until we proceed in God’s only process of intimacy.

  3. So here is this man who is an absolute mess of a man, not very courageous, son of an idolator, whom God chose to deliver from his darkness, and bless with an unspeakable blessing in love. Wouldn’t you expect that God would say, “You are a real piece of work! I need you to get ready for an amazing work. Here is a list of things I want you to do before we even get started on this”? “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you,And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”Ge 12:1-4 Let’s see if we can track God’s three step process of HEAR, BELIEVE, and RESPOND in faith to what God says in the text.

  4. “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you,And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”Ge 12:1-4 There is one more thing we need to see as a point of grace from this text to encourage us when we fail. Did you notice Abraham’s failure to do what God said? Here is the “HEAR” aspect of the process. The “BELIEVE” is implied in the action that is taken. Where do we see Abraham “RESPOND” in faith?

  5. I’m making a point of this because while it is always good to do exactly as God tells us, God is pleased with any forward movement and will continue to draw us into intimacy even when we are less than totally faithful and obedient! “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you,And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”Ge 12:1-4

  6. “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;”Ge 12:1-2 Isn’t it interesting that if Abraham will GO, that God will do all of the rest of the work? “You go, and I will show you, make you, and bless you.” And after God does all He is going to do in our lives – then we will BE what God made us to be. Even in this statement we can see a process. The only thing that God requires of Abraham is that he “go” with God. That is it! How does God begin this amazing and eternal work in a disaster of a fallen human being?

  7. “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;”Ge 12:1-2 Do you find it interesting that there are three “from” references and only one “to” reference? Do you suppose there is a lesson in that? It must be that the things that we need to STOP doing need three times more warning than what we actually need to do.

  8. As you can see from the rest of his story, God was by NO MEANS this man’s “all in all” at least in Abraham’s mind. God WOULD have stood behind every single promise He made to Abraham, but Abraham did not even come close to believing that yet. It was the process that he went through that took him to intimate trust in God as we will see. “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;” Gen 12:1 Abraham believed God and the function of that belief in challenging circumstances developed intimacy with God, which grew into a will that believed the statements of God even against the contradictory things he could see. First he had to leave his country, extended family, and immediate household. Why do you suppose that was necessary? God wants us to leave the things that give us a sense of security and backup so that He might be all that we have in our hands, so that He can become our all in all.

  9. Here we see the second step of God’s process. God consistently follows His wonderful promises with some form of hardship which provides the perfect circumstances for us to test the validity of His promises! We are about to see one of the secrets of God’s process. From the beginning of the chapter, we have a slew of promises, one after the other in a shotgun blast, but what do we have now? “Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” Ge 12:10-13 Notice that we are only at verse 10 in the chapter where we are first introduced to Abraham.

  10. God uses this same system today, but it is more than obvious in the lives of at least these men who are noted with unique qualities. Is it really all that common for God to engage His people in that system of promises followed by hardship? Who are people that are noted in the Bible as having unique standing before God? Abraham is noted as the “friend of God” (James 2:23). Moses was known as “meek above all men of the earth” (Num 12:3). David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Ac 13:22).

  11. Let’s examine the clear details of God’s process in Abraham. We are going to study it in Abraham, the friend of God, but in Moses’ journey, God promised Moses that He would deliver Israel from the Egyptians, but his circumstances became much worse before they began to get better. (Ex 5:21) David too received many promises from God when Samuel anointed him as King of Israel (while Saul was still alive) and even after wonderful divine victories like the slaying of Goliath, David spent a lot of time running for his life from Saul, for being faithful to Saul, God and Israel! (1Sam 18:8)

  12. Is this a man who believes “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”? What does his view of his circumstances and the course of action he takes tell us? This is a man who has ignored the very clear statements of God and is trusting in his own “wisdom and strength” to better his situation. What is fascinating is that he did NOT learn the lesson here – he had to repeat exactly the same situation a second time in Genesis 20. But, God is faithful to him and keeps His promises in both circumstances even though Abraham stands in unbelief. “Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” Ge 12:10-13 Why is Abraham afraid?

  13. I want to point out to you that God’s process is made up of two steps which are not to be confused with our personal three phase process of HEAR, BELIEVE and RESPOND. God’s “drawing process” is made up of two steps: 1. God’s promises, which surround the second, 2. challenging circumstances which provide opportunities to put new faith in the promises that God gives. Let me demonstrate. “Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless?” Ge 20:1-4 Let’s go back to our original text and see if we can spot God’s two step process of “promises followed by hardship” where new faith can find a situation for testing and exercise.

  14. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev. Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman;”Ge 12:7-11 Here we have a promise, followed by a circumstance that gives him the chance to stand on what God said to him as the truth of his life.

  15. In chapter 13 we have the account of Lot competing for the good land, but Abraham, who believed that all of the land was his according to God’s promise, was happy to tell Lot that he could have what he wanted of the land (13:8-13), which is followed by yet another bunch of promises from God (13:14-18).

  16. Notice in this text that Abraham isn’t that personally possessive of the land, by his willingness to let Lot have any land he wanted. What interests Abraham is that the land would belong to his children for eternity – and he didn’t have any yet! The promise is beginning to unfold in a way that is capturing Abraham’s attention. “The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”Ge 13:14-17

  17. So in God’s bid to draw Abraham even more deeply into intimacy, the rescue of Lot is followed by even more promises for Abraham to place new faith in chapter 15. This is like a soldier with a BB gun oppressing and bullying a man with an automatic rifle. Some things just don’t make sense – and yet they stand. You will see that consistently throughout the story of Abraham. With promises given in chapter 13, in chapter 14 Abraham finds hardship in having to rescue his nephew from the ancient Babylonians in a battle that Abraham fought with only 318 men. Here he believes that God will bless those who bless him and curse them who curse him. This is curious to me because he finds the resolve to defend his nephew from 4 Babylonian kings at war, but in chapter 20 will not protect his wife from one Philistine king wanting to add to his harem. Instead he hides himself in lies even though he has the promises and power of God in an unconditional covenant underwritten by God’s life.

  18. “Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”Ge 15:6 This is an absolutely pivotal verse that is repeated in Romans 4:3 and here is the point for us. We MUST be able to hear promises that are designed to sandwich the problems that come into our lives. They have a very specific necessary purpose and without them there is no hope for us. Do you see why this is so important? “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir. And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”Ge 15:1-5 Let me show you one more thing about God’s promises as our cushion against hardship before we move on. How significant was this single verse of promise to our friend Abraham?