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Devotions by Ray Stedman for June 29 -Great Expectations

Topic:Great Expectations

Then he prayed, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
Genesis 24:12


The major emphasis of this passage is centered on what we might call the cooperation of the Spirit. This is the missing note in much personal evangelism. Many men and women have heard the command of God, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15). They have recognized this is a command, but then they go out, acting as though it all depends upon them. This is where the grim-faced, fever-eyed fanatic comes from, on the one hand and, on the other, the timid, blushing, flustered Christian who hardly ever dares to utter a word. There is a failure to recognize that not only has God commanded us to do this, but he has also provided the Spirit by which to do it.

This is what we see as the story progresses. Here is a man expecting God to work. He does not go into this land and say to himself, Well now, the whole job is up to me. I have to find this girl, and how in the world am I going to find the right one? And after that, I must persuade her to come. How am I going to do that? It is very simple for this man, because he knows he is not left alone to do this task. An invisible partner is at work, preparing the way for him. I wish we would learn this lesson about our own witness. God has not left it to us to do alone. The work of reaching men and women for Christ is not a matter of human persuasion, but it is a divine call. God is at work to move, shape, and develop the lives and hearts of all.



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Do you notice how Abraham’s servant does it? First, he prays, revealing his expectation that God is at work. In his simple prayer he asks God to make the way clear, to indicate the one to whom God would have him speak. As he prays about his problem, he expects God to answer. This is a wonderful concept to remember when witnessing. When I get aboard a plane or train or go someplace where I maybe in contact with someone who doesn’t know the Lord, I ask God to indicate who is the one He wants me to talk with. Maybe there is no one; maybe the Lord wants me to spend my time reading or studying. But very likely He does have someone. I don’t know with whom God is working, but I know that He will direct me through ways of which I am hardly conscious.

Teach me, Father, to be expectant of Your leading me to those people who are ready to hear Your Word.

Life Application
Are we expectant of God to minister through us to accomplish His purposes? Are we reckoning on our own ingenuity or resourcefulness to reach others with the Gospel?

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