Saturday, January 17, 2009

Calling Forth Your Divine Destiny

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. (Romans 4:16-17)
God renamed Abram, calling him Abraham. He added a divine “ha” to his name — think of it as the life-giving breath, even the laughter of God — and that changed everything. The name Abram meant “exalted father,” but what a joke that turned out to be. Abram was seventy-five years old when God first came to him, and he and his wife, Sarai, had been barren all their years. No children, therefore no fatherhood for Abram, and by natural reckoning, it was now too late. But God made him a promise anyway: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great” (Genesis 12:2).

Abram began to cast about for how that might happen. Would it be through his nephew Lot? Or perhaps through his servant Eliezer? Sarai came up with a plan they both thought was pretty clever (not!): Why not go and have a child with Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid — maybe that’s what God had in mind. Nope, none of the above.

God came to him again when Abram was about eighty-seven and renewed the word of promise. He directed Abram’s attention to the stars, numberless in the sky: “So shall your descendents be” (Genesis 15:5). Abram believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness (v. 6). Of course, it was just after that that Sarai came up with her brilliant idea, and Abram, still trying to manufacture the fulfillment for himself, thought it was worth a try. That didn’t work out, though, and Abram was back where he started.

Finally, when Abram was ninety-nine years old, God came to him again. And that’s when it happened. God breathed life into his name (God’s word is creative; that’s how He made the heavens and the earth). “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). Abraham means “father of multitudes.” God, who calls things that are not as though they were, was now calling the promise into existence.

Father of Multitudes! That was now Abram’s new name. Whenever he introduced himself to others, he would be speaking his destiny, “Hi, I’m Father of Multitudes.” Whenever Sarah, whose name God changed from Sarai, would call him it would be, “Father of Multitudes.” Now the promise would be in his ears and upon his lips. It would continually stir in his heart. In agreement with God, he would be calling those things that are not as though they were. He would be calling forth his divine destiny. And so it came to pass.

That is how faith works. We receive the promise of God, we believe it in our hearts and we speak it forth with our lips. The heart believes and the mouth confesses, that is, speaks in agreement with it (Romans 10:10). Jesus put it this way:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
Gather up the promises God has given you in His Word, the dreams He has dreamed you in the night, the destiny He has whispered in your ears. Believe them with all your heart and confess them with your mouth. Speak them aloud, even if only to yourself. Call them forth in agreement with God. Let Him breathe life into your spirit and put the divine ha! in your heart. He is giving life to what you thought was dead and speaking forth your divine destiny — all of faith and according to His grace.