A Right State-of-Being

What is it that allows some people to experience an amazing flow of fortuitous events demonstrating their connection to God? Are they “special”? Is it “luck”? Do they have a “gift” we do not?

The answer is—none of the above.  What they have is a right state-of-being.

Our state-of-being springs from deep inside, coloring us with itself—fearful or courageous, desponding or rejoicing, doubting or believing. Our state-of-being is transitory. What is one moment right can turn wrong; what is wrong can be made right in an instant—with just one word.

Words from God create right being in us—being that carries within itself the capacity to see God.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt 5:8, NASU)

If you ever become intoxicated by the wonder of being able to see and move with God, you begin to crave every word proceeding from His mouth—because His words create right being in you—which enables you to know Him, to connect with what He is saying and doing in your life. [1]

Last week we defined faith as the capacity to receive God’s power into our circumstances. We saw how faith coalesces in us, when all three of its aspects come together:

  1. right state-of-being (assurance and conviction about what we can hope for, what is dependable, what is real).
  2.  holding on to a right body of truth, beliefs and doctrines delivered to us
  3. right relationship with God (believing Him, trusting Him, and remaining loyal to what we know of His character).

This week we are going to zero in on that first aspect—right state-of-being—which gives us the capacity to see and move with God.

“Right” and “wrong” are not arbitrary distinctions we make as a matter of personal preference.  They are metaphysical, spiritual realities—dynamically distinguishing themselves by whether they “enable” or “disable” our ability to realize what God wants to be and do for us.  

The Servant

 In telling the story of Abraham’s servant, Scripture depicts the state-of-beingthat gives us the capacity to see and move with God.  God moves,  and the servant lends his being to God’s initiative: collaborating, yielding and obeying. He often does not realize what he has done, until the end, when he sees the way that he’s been led.

This story also reveals the mysterious existence of that current—which flows beneath the surface of life, orchestrating pivotal events in time.  A right state-of-being atunes us to this current.

Scripture threads this account with a strong message of our collaboration with God–showing us how effortlessly we can be moving with the flow of His activity, recognizing His hand and direction in our circumstances–when our state-of-being is right.

Abraham is old; Sarah has died; and their son, Isaac, has no wife. Abraham calls his servant, the oldest of his household in charge of all that he owns, asking  him to make a long journey back to the land they left almost eighty years and more than a thousand miles ago, to find a wife for Isaac from his brother, Nahor’s family. And so the servant goes.

Early one evening, weary and laden with dust from his journey, the servant arrives at a spring in the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia.  It happens to be the time of day when women go out to draw water.

Genesis 24:12-59, NASU

He said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. 13 “Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ — may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”

15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah . . .  came out with her jar on her shoulder. 16 The girl was very beautiful . . .  and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21 Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the Lord had made his journey successful or not.

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, 23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father’s house?” 24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” . . .  26 Then the man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27 He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has . . . guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”

Rebekah’s brother, Laban, brings the servant to their house, cares for the camels and brings water to the servant to wash his feet. And then dinner.

33 But when food was set before him to eat, he said, “I will not eat until I have told my business.” And (Laban) said, “Speak on.” 34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 “The Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36 “Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him all that he has. 37 “My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39 “I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman does not follow me.’ 40 “He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house . . . 42 “So I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; . . . may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar”; 44 and she will say to me, “You drink, and I will draw for your camels also”; let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’

45 “Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew, and I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46 “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ . . . 47 “Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son’. . . .  “And I bowed low and worshiped the Lord . . .   who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49 “So now if you are going to deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. . .

50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The matter comes from the Lord . . . Here is Rebekah before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”  52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the Lord.  . . .  54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 But her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go.” 56 He said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 And they said, “We will call the girl and consult her wishes.” 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” 59 Thus they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham’s servant and his men.

That journey meant that Rebekah was leaving almost everything she had ever known for the rest of her life, never to return. She was committing the rest of her life to the company of people she had never met. And rarely, if ever, would she be able to communicate with her family again. Yet she and her family were willing, because they saw what the LORD was doing.

* * *

What is it that allows us to see and move with God?

The secret lies in our being.  And in Abraham’s servant, Scripture shows us three critical characteristics that need to come together in our state-of-being if we are going to have this same capacity.  What are they?

#1

What is the servant’s name?  He has no name. The story is told so that our focus flies past the externals of his identity straight to the heart of his being. This man’s legacy does not lie in a name made great, but in the single-minded earnestness with which he anonymously accomplished his master’s desire. If he was Eliezer, Abraham’s most trusted servant, who prior to Isaac’s birth was to be Abraham’s heir—his devotion to Isaac’s good is all the more poignant.

He demonstrates uncompromising devotion,

as he strives to accomplish his master’s interest,

even when it does not benefit himself.

When we ring with this kind of devotion—things amazingly fall into place, doors open, enabling comes, direction is given, timing is exquisite. But I also  know all too well that the first moment in which concern for my own interest begins to edge in—and uncompromising devotion to my master’s interest begins to wane—the capacity to see God’s hand all but evaporates.

#2

What is the servant’s greatest challenge? It is not to find the right city or to locate his master’s family. His concern from the beginning is his identification of the right woman and her willingness to leave her family forever, taking off across the wilderness with an unknown man (v 39).  His well-founded concern presses him into utter dependence on God to take care of what he cannot manage. With no illusion of  self-sufficiency, his state of reverent reliance opens his eyes to the answer walking toward him in the twilight. Moment by moment the servant is actively engaged with God: asking for His help, asking for a specific sign, recognizing God’s activity with elation, giving God credit for bringing about each fortuituous event. He is looking for and recognizing God’s hand. From ancient times, spiritual men have called the current of this organizing influence Providence .  

The servant is reverently reliant on

the unseen reality of God’s organizing influence

to engineeer what lies beyond his ability to manage.

Does anyone in this story revoke this unseen reality, substituting a “natural explanation” in its place? God works through both the natural and the supernatural—yet we often discount what He has done, diminishing it as something else.  The state-of-being that can see and move with God does not lightly dismiss striking coincidences, but takes them to heart. The servant, Laban, Bethuel, Rebekah—all are operating out of this same reverent reliance on God’s organizing influence to show them how to move with Him. 

#3

Whose initiative is  the servant’s prayer, asking for a sign? Is it his idea to ask God to help him identify the right woman by having her give him a drink and offer to water the camels also?  Do we command God by our prayer?  Or was it God’s idea? Did God think that sign into the servant’s mind, even as He was bringing Rebekah to the spring?  And what prompted Rebekah to answer as she did, fulfilling the sign? The initiative is always His.

. . . whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

  Matt 18:18

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:19-20

As the servant surrenders to God’s inner promptings,

he fleshes out God’s initiatives,

 thrilling at the realization of their collaboration,

as God brings His purpose home.

When these three characteristics come together (uncompromising devotion to our master’s interest, reliance on God’s ability to orchestrate what we can’t, and submissive acquiesence to His initiatives) we will experience what it is like to see and move with God. We won’t be listening just to hear what God might say—we will be listening in order to obey.

When we are listening in order to obey,

we will see and move with God

knowing what we are meant-to-do.

. . . And they said, “We will call the girl and consult her wishes.”   Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”


[1] Matt 4:4

MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

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  1. News says:

    Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you can take away me from that service? Thanks!

    • Valerie says:

      We are working on this immediately, to remove that option, as it is causing mayhem on people’s personal email.
      Thank you for being part of our community…

      valerie

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