Stephen continued his series through Genesis this morning, looking at Genesis 13. Here, we meet Abram and Lot as they leave Egypt, in a position of wealth, owning many possessions. They retrace their steps, going back to where they started from before they went to Egypt. If we leave our walk with God, we have to go back to where we were with God before. Abram had tried to go it alone, sorting out his own solutions, and now he had to go back to where he had previously built an altar.

Here, Abram ‘called on the name of the Lord.’ (Gen 13:4). He returned to that place of humble penitence and dependence on God. Can we be humble enough to realise when we have strayed and left God’s side? Can we once again leave our lives in God’s hand, waiting for His guidance?

In Genesis 13:5-13, we see problems developing between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen. Quarrels and disputes arise. Abram has learnt enough to let Lot choose which way he would prefer to go, looking to his relative’s needs before his own. Lot chooses according to what he can see with his earthly eyes. He decides to go for the ‘green plain’, the land that looks good. Abram is left with apparently the poorer choice, but he is now back in the place of surrender to God and here, he once more hears God’s promises to him (Gen 13:14-17).

It’s only when we are in that place of promise that we can receive God’s word. Abram is promised a good land, full of abundance and joy. He is promised descendants who can’t be counted. We need to see life with spiritual eyes, not looking at things from an earthly perspective as Lot did.

Things might not look so rosy for us. We may be facing difficult situations and circumstances and it might look as if nothing is happening, or God is not working. Are we looking with earthly eyes or spiritual eyes? God can lead us to a place of abundance and joy. Abram’s response is once again to build an altar to God. (Gen 13:18). Is God fully involved in leading and guiding us? Are we willing to surrender our whole lives to Him and wait for His leading?