The AMI QT Devotionals from October 23-29 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
Not too long ago, I thought we—as a family— would do something fun and healthy by taking a hike at a local park. I had visions of having so much fun climbing up to the peak, enjoying the view, talking and spending time as a family, while getting some much-needed exercise. And then, we started our climb—and everything was just about downhill from there. The weather was hotter than I had anticipated, and we were quickly running out of water. The kids were complaining no more than fifteen minutes into our ascent. It was clear to me that we were not going to make it to our destination—we didn’t even make it to the half way mark.
Maybe this is why I love what Abram is going through; this is where I often find myself living. I would say this is us! I mean, God has given us every assurance, but this is where we live—between the promise and the fulfillment, between the great promises of God and our actual lives.
Now there might be a few of us who say, “I never question God. In all my trials and difficulties, my faith is rock solid.” Sure, I can believe that. There are people out there with a gift of faith and have faith in great measures, but that is not Abram and Sarai. Nor is it most of us.
We are learning from Abram’s story that faith is not a stoic acceptance of the sovereignty of God—it can be, but not always. And sometimes, it’s not polite. Faith can often sound like Abram, who says, “What will you give me? How can I know?” It’s comforting to me because it shows that real faith is faith that is lived; and faith that is lived is faith that dares to treat God as if God is involved in the details of our lives.
For most of us, when we refuse to contend with God, it’s not out of piety but out of fear. It’s out of a deeper doubt which we don’t want to name—that should we need God that much, God might not come through, so we refuse to contend with God. But faith is about contending, arguing, asking, pleading, “Oh Lord, how am I to know?” Do you know this about your faith? We are to go to God and wrestle with Him, and that is why Jesus calls His people “Israel”—which means “the one who has wrestled with God.” And that is literally what it means to be God’s people.
Prayer: God, help me to see the many ways You are faithful to me today. In every moment of fear, help me to be on my knees, so that I can surrender all of my fears and worries to You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 17
Lunch Break Study
Read Genesis 32:22-32: The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
Questions to Consider
- Who is the man that wrestled with Jacob until the break of dawn?
- What was the result of Jacob wrestling with the man all night?
- What do you feel like you have to wrestle with today? Are you prepared for Him to bless you in ways that might surprise you, that might even have you “limping” for your blessing?
- The man turns out to be God Himself.
- Jacob was blessed, he met God “face to face,” and there was a mark (limp) left by the encounter.
- Personal reflection.
“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.” – John Ortberg