Over Christmas Break, I met with the Lord on top of a beautiful hill, in a cul de sac surrounded by large trees. When I went to read His Word, I came across this verse and could not go any further. Here is what God revealed to me.
Genesis 15:11 “Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.”
My thoughts: A kettle of vultures can pose a threat to the unaware. The carcasses Abraham cut in half would be the birthing ground of God’s covenant with Abraham. God would lower himself and move through the split carcasses in the form of a “smoking fire pit and a flaming torch” to confirm His covenant with Abraham and His people. If Abraham had not brought the sacrifice, God would not have made the covenant with Abraham. This agreement was completely on God’s end. Vultures feed on the hurt and sick. Vultures rarely attack animals in a healthy condition. Because Abraham cut the animals in half as a sacrifice, the carcasses were exposed to the birds of prey. The exposure appealed to the birds, so they swooped down to eat the carcasses. If we are not careful, the enemy will use our vulnerability and desire for God as a feeding ground to our self destruction. The enemy likes to pursue our sacrifice unto God and distract us from right fellowship with Him. The enemy wants us to focus our attention on the sacrifice and not on relationship. He does this by diverting our passion for God into a system of religious legalism. This will cut us away from an intimate relationship with God. Without intimacy, our relationship with God lacks clarity. Do not let the vultures take a bite at your sacrifice. Do not let the enemy twist your radical abandonment to God into a miserable system of rules and regulations. This leads us away from perfect fellowship with our Father!
The enemy wants to interfere with the agreement between man and God. The first covenant God made with Abraham did not have requirements. We are living in a new covenant with requirements. In order for our relationship with God to be effective, we must obey the terms of the covenant. The terms are consistent throughout the Word of God. It is only by God’s Spirit that we can carry out these commands. If our emphasis is on the rules, then we will never obtain authentic relationship. We must remember that in a relationship with God, we are given empowerment to accomplish His commands! Our security is not in following rules, but in sincere relationship with our Father!
The truth is, the rules should not be our focus. God should be our focus. If God is our central focus, then we will naturally respond to Him, not the rules. Legitimacy in our relationship with God comes from loving Him, not loving the methods used to reach Him. What seems like a requirement to one will be a natural response for others-who are in love with their Father! Our methods of devotion cannot substitute reconciliation between us and God. We are made right with God through faith in Him! The precious blood of Jesus is not something we can work for. His blood covers the sins of those surrendered to Him.
Instead of listening to fruitless religion, let us be completely sensitive to our Father in Heaven. God was not coming to consume Abraham’s sacrifice, but to move through it. He would lower himself, as Hittite tradition demanded, and make a covenant with Abraham. In the same way, God is moved by our sacrifice of devotion and wants to come and dwell among us! God’s all-consuming love wants to pass through our passionate sacrifice. Let us pursue the wholehearted love of God through complete devotion! This beautiful relationship with our Father will yield satisfaction in Him and a life abundant with peace.
When the enemy comes to attack our intimacy with God, we must chase him away with resistance. After all, the imposter is afraid of resistance (James 4:7) Yes, we owe God everything. However, do not let a sense of “forced service” become a substitute for the limitless allowance of God’s presence. We don’t serve God to love Him. We should serve God because we love Him! Let us understand the devotion needed to serve God. More importantly, let us get to know the One we are devoted to.