READ THE SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 17: 1-8
Abram was ninety-nine years old when Jehovah appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God. Go ahead of me and be perfect.
Genesis 17: 1
After thirteen years of silence, God appeared to Abram in a new revelation and with a new name: Almighty God. In Hebrew it is El Shaddai, which essentially means “the God who is sufficient”, the fully competent God, the right God, who knows what he is doing and how to do it. This is an indication that Abram has learned something from his recent bitter experience. God says to him in effect: “You have been learning for thirteen years the total inadequacy of your own efforts, through Ishmael. Learn now something new about me. I am El Shaddai. You have discovered through sad experience how useless your plans and your efforts can be without me. Learn now how capable I am to do everything I want to do, when I want to do it. ”
I wish we could all discover this truth! We desperately need to recover the reality of El Shaddai, the God who is enough, whatever we are going through right now! This is what Abram learned.
In this new light of God a new exigency of His manifested itself: “Go before me and be perfect”. In the English version of King James (King James) the word blameless , that is, “without guilt”, is translated as “perfect”. Its radical meaning is “totally sincere”. “Go before me and be perfect, totally sincere,” says God, “because I am El Shaddai.” That is to say: “I am perfectly enough to make you free of guilt. Therefore, walk before me and be perfect. ”
I remember a time when I was a child and I was looking through the iron bars of a large fence of a beautiful hacienda with its roads full of flowers, looking at it with great envy. Suddenly and before I saw him, another child about my age came hastily from the other side and hit me in the arms. The blow I received taught me how foolish it was to try to be on two sides of the fence at the same time.
This is a truth that we often find in the New Testament. We are so often trying to serve two teachers at the same time, pleasing ourselves and Christ. We feel very satisfied serving Christ if at the same time we can serve ourselves. But God tells Abram: “This is something that you can not afford anymore. You have reached the place where your double alliance can no longer be tolerated. Walk now before me, appropriating what I am, and be totally sincere; get totally from me; be mine!”. This is what a circumcised life means, as we will see in our next study. It is Christ affirming His practical lordship in our lives.
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When you became a Christian, you did so by acknowledging the right of Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life. Naturally, you did not understand all that would imply, but you realized that His desire to save you implied His right to control you. For a while, although you realized that he was essentially different, he still lived in reality practically as he had been doing before. You made decisions based on how you felt and what you wanted to do. Then the Holy Spirit begins to press, telling you: “Stop doing this!”, Or “Start doing this other!”. All He is really doing is asserting the lordship of Christ in his life. He is beginning to sever the ties that bind you to the world and your own personality within.
Lord, I see that You are God! You are the Almighty God. Teach me to submit all that I am and what I expect before You.
Application to life
To serve ourselves is to deny that our Lord is all sufficient. Are we learning to trust His liberating control in all aspects of our life?