I read a short piece a while back by my favorite daily encourager, Oswald Chambers, He addressed our challenge with self-interest and how living by faith often sets the issue of waiving our rights center stage. Let me share the challenge that the Holy Spirit set in front of me after I digested his thoughts. It focused on the choice that had to be made between Abram and Lot.
Gen 13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
Abram (Abraham) had the right as Lot’s uncle to make the first choice as to where he would take his flock and his people. I am certain that it did not pass him by that there was a drastic difference in the two choices.
Gen 13:10-11 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east.
God sometimes allows us to get into a place of testing where our own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if we’re not following the life of faith. At this point in time we know that Abram had been following after God by living the life of faith, and in this instance he did not fail and he allowed God to choose for him. The end result for Abram, as it is for us, is that his natural choice (his natural life) was transformed into the spiritual by his obedience.
What I came away with from thinking about Abram’s decision was the fact that if we always choose “what is right” in our natural eyes, we stand the very good chance of blunting our spiritual insight. Let me share what Chambers said that drove home the point:
The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.
In the natural it seemed that the wisest thing for Abram to do was to choose was what was rightfully his. I’m sure that many of those in his family thought his choice was certainly the worst of the two. But Abram made the right choice and he let God choose for him, rather than preferring to choose what was “his right.” And the result…
Gen 13:14-17 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are — northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
Abram could have rightfully taken what was his, but in waiving his right and allowing God to choose for him he gained a much greater blessing. And that’s the bottom line for all of us. When we’re faced with a situation in which we are challenged to exercise our rights, we need to follow after the spiritual and not the natural. We need to allow for the “best,’ not just the “good.” We need to heed the same words that Abram heard…
Gen 17:1 … the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
And that means being willing to Waive Your Rights!