Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Vertical is Your Life?

Reading: Genesis 24—26  
When we believe the promises of God, they produce a life of prayerful dependence. I am struck as I read these chapters by how vertical the life of faith is. Abraham had a promise that through Isaac the promise of blessing the world would come to pass (Genesis 21:12; 24:7). He believed that to be so true that even if God had to raise the dead to accomplish it, He would (Hebrews 11:18-19). But that didn't leave Abraham in a state of indifference to his own responsibilities and actions.
Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac with two absolutes: 1) You must not get him a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites, but will go to my country and get a wife from amongst my relatives; and 2) you must not take Isaac back there.
Great! Let's see, I have to get him a wife, and she has to be willing to come, sight unseen! We are quick to answer, “Yes, but culturally that was expected back then.” But as I read this chapter, I don't think it was as common as we think. While things were decidedly different compared to now, the intention of this account is that we understand what a difficult task this was... it was no easy task.  But because of God's promise, Abraham was able to assure his servant, “God will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)
So Abraham’s servant left and arrived in the town of Nahor. And He prayed. He prayed that God would give him success in carrying out this task. Indeed he asks the Lord to do some very specific things that would help him know that God was directing him to the right girl (Genesis 24:12-14). Before he finished praying God began to answer the prayer (Genesis 24:15-19). The promises of God and the promise of angelic support for the task didn't cause this man to question why he needed to pray, but rather motivated his prayer. He believed, therefore he prayed! (Just like David, Psalm 116:10, and Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:13).
Then Isaac, who has the promise, and now has a wife, also prays. Why? Because she is barren (Genesis 25:21). He didn't think, “Why pray? God already promised.” Rather, he believed, therefore he prayed! He trusted in the One Who made the promise and it was evidenced by his prayer. God heard that prayer.
Again we read in Genesis 26:25,
Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
The life of faith is a life of calling on the Lord—a “vertical life”. And in that place of prayer, we too need to pitch our tent, for there we and those around us will find a well of refreshing.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. (Psalm 46:4-5)
Many are the promises of God for His people. These should be the foundation of much prayer! May God increase our devotion to prayer and our refreshing from Him.
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,


  1. Jerry,

    There is real encouragement for me in Abraham's prayerful and faith-filled pursuit of the Lord.

    Thanks for sharing these insights!

  2. Jerry
    I am so encouraged by this insight. I know God Knows what to do..... so I ponder, why do I need to ask him to do something He has already promised me. I am encouraged by the scripture to re-direct my question to this one... Why wouldn't I pray!!? It makes a statement that I believe that the Lord he CAN do what He has promised. EVER JESUS PRAYED..... and both the Son and the Father knew what was gong to happen, but Jesus PRAYED. Jesus was the ultimate example for us! We NEED to PRAY!