"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. But Abram said, 'Sovereign Lord, what can you give me..." Gen. 15:1
Oh my Abram! What in the world was he thinking? Ok, so say there you are sitting in your living room and God shows up and says to you, "Do not be afraid (your name)." What would you think?
Well, I dont really share this very often because I fear people thinking I'm crazy or off track theologically, but I think it is valuable to share. So, when I was in high school, going into my junior year I went to a youth camp. We were singing the song All in All and I decided that I was really going to surrender to Jesus. I had given my life to Him when I was eleven, but the year before this camp, I was totally living for myself. I was sick of it and wanted Jesus to have His way in me and through me. So, as a symbol of my surrender, I put my hands in the air when I was singing. I had my eyes closed and saw a picture in my head. It was of a crowd as though they were waiting for a parade. I was toward the middle of this large crowd. After I saw this, I saw Jesus start walking by. I was in shock thinking, "there He is". He had walked by and was almost gone so I shouted out "Jesus, I love you." Then He stopped. He turned and looked right at me in the crowd and said, "Laura, I love you." He said my name! That was all I could think about, He said my name! He knew me, He cared about me. That was it for me, my life was radically different from then on. That night when I was laying down to go to sleep I told God that I was sure I couldn't stop the selfish way I was living on my own and asked Him to do it through me. I changed that day.
But I find it so interesting that when God speaks to Abram and even tells Him "I am your sheild, your very great reward." Abram doesnt seem to be fazed. He actually says to the gracious God who showed up to speak to him, the Creator of the entire universe, "what can you give me"? What!?
Can it be that God speaks to us and we are totally unfazed? Can we really be in the presence of God and leave unchanged? Yes! It is not only possible, but common. God's Word is His very Word, it is Him speaking to us. Lets ask Him to not let us have deaf ears and hard hearts.
Oh Lord, please soften our hearts and open our eyes and ears. We don't want to de-value You. We dont want to take for granted that we get to hear from you. As we read Your Word, let your Spirit illuminate our minds and help us understand and hear what You want us to. And empower us to act on what You tell us. Let us be people who see You as our very great reward. That we wouldnt look to other things to be our reward, but You. Help us see you as You truly are, that we would see and understand that YOU are our reward.