Pursuit of Greatness
Today, we will examine the pursuit of greatness with a close look at the life of Isaac in Genesis 26.
Verses 1-6: Threat of livelihood to walk in obedience
In obedience to God, he stayed in Gerar and did not go down into Egypt. One would have thought that because he obeyed divine instruction, all would be well but that was not the case. The first issue was that the physical condition did not change; the famine continued and did not stop so the danger of losing his livelihood still remained. Have you ever wondered why, in the midst of obeying God, you run into difficulties? Friend, from the moment God gave you the Word and spoke into your future, the devil marked you out for attack. You will remember that after Jesus Christ was anointed and announced at the River Jordan, the devil took him to tempt him. Immediately after Paul had the encounter with the Lord on the way to Damascus, he became a target for the enemy. On the path of greatness, the enemy will do everything in his power to keep you small and to discourage you from your destiny.
Verses 7-11: Danger of death in the path of greatness
On the path to greatness, his marriage was endangered. Fear and desperation has a way of bringing the worst out of people. Sometimes, our survival tactics result in sinning against God and abandoning our loved ones. At the centre of every sin, is self. In the case of Isaac, he lied to save his life at the expense of his wife and her safety. Tough times sometimes bring to the surface what our true values are. They help us to see the broken places in our lives so that we can make adjustment. You will remember that Abraham too, lied to save his life; the sin of the father seems to be also showing up in the life of the son. Some long standing habits, ways of life and unsavoury lifestyles and reoccurring issues in our lives and families need to be dealt with in pursuit of greatness. God brings them to light to alert us and to help us. Although Isaac lied to save his skin, God was merciful and gracious to preserve him and his wife.
Verses 12-21: Challenges of being blessed – Envy, strife, opposition and the pain of being ostracised.
After a period of time being consistent and acting in faith, Isaac began to reap a harvest of blessings and he began to advance. That said, his progress brought sadness and grief to the Philistines. As a result, they did everything in their power to stop his business and destroy his work. As you move from one level of greatness to the other, you will meet envious people that think you should not be blessed and will try to drag you down. If they don’t succeed at doing it behind you, they will confront you and try to have quarrels or strife with you. If that does not work, they will cook up opposition against you. They will incite hate against you. The last part of it is that they will try to ostracise you. They will try to throw you out of the group and make you look ‘uncool’. They will try to make you an outcast. All this happens so as to get you offended and when you walk in offence, you hinder your blessing. Be aware that it is not the people working against you, but the devil working through them. Isaac refused to be deterred. He held onto the Word that he had received and moved forward. He chose to stick with God’s promise of greatness and kept a good attitude and mindset. Until you allow what people do to get inside you, you cannot be hindered in your path to greatness. So keep at it and be focused. Avoid offence and strife; they easily poison greatness.
For Further Study
Personal declaration for the day
I will not lose my greatness to carelessness and I will attain and retain the greatness that Christ has provided for me.
Questions for you to reflect on
Do you know that the promises of God in your life give the devil concern?
Have you ever wondered why God’s blessing in your life would upset people?