It is absolutely imperative that you get to know who God is and what He is like. There was a time in my life when I was basically interested in what God could do for me. I read the Bible; I studied it from the point of view of what God could do for me, to make my life easier, to make it more successful. As I grew in grace and in my relationship with the Lord, I became more impressed with my responsibility to serve and live for Him. I haven’t lost that appreciation of what He does for me, but that has been replaced as my motivation with a greater burden of what I can do for him. The more I understand about Him, the better I know Him, the longer that I serve Him, the more I want to honor and please Him with every day of my life.
As we have seen, the observation that Eliezer made about God’s balanced nature is often repeated in Scripture, but his declaration is the first time we find these two characteristics of God joined together. That brings us to this question: how did Eliezer reach this understanding? By studying how Eliezer learned of God’s mercy and truth, we can learn this vital principle for our own lives.
The key to Eliezer’s understanding is found in Genesis 24:27 where he says “I being in the way.” When Eliezer talks of “being in the way” he is speaking about much more than just his journey to find a bride for Isaac; he is speaking of a lifetime journey of faith and walking with God. Eliezer had followed Abraham and faithfully served him for many years. During that time he had seen God work in miraculous ways, protecting and providing for their needs. He had seen a man of great faith pray and receive answers to his prayers. He had learned by experience that God was both mercy and truth. Eliezer’s faith was a well-worn path for his feet to follow, even when he went to places he had never been before.
Many Christians who fail do so because they have never personally discovered God’s character for themselves. They don’t grasp how merciful and how truthful God is because they go in and out of the way. It’s not a well-worn path with them. There is something that comes with staying in the way that brings you to a greater appreciation and recognition of the greatness and goodness of God. The more you walk with Him, the more you talk with Him, the more you serve Him with your life; the more your way becomes plain and clear.
We live in a fast-food culture. We don’t want to wait for anything. And sometimes I think we want a “fast food God.” We say, “All I want is a dynamic relationship with God.” My friend, make it your life’s purpose then. It’s not something that you go and pay $2.29 in a drive-through window and get. God is not gotten that way. You’ve got to get in the way and you’ve got to stay in the way. When everybody else is going out the way, you stay in the way.
My wife and I have been married for 35 years. Sometimes people ask me, “How can I have a best friend relationship with my spouse such as you and Mrs. Kingsbury have?” You stay in the way. You stay courting each other; you stay loving each other; you stay right with each other; and you stay spending time with each other. My wife and I knew each other all of our lives before we got married. If you had asked me on my wedding day if I knew Dianne, I would have said, “Yes.” But what I knew about her then pales in comparison to how well I know her now. We have spent these years “in the way” and as a result, we have a close and sweet relationship.
I’ve watched people who get in and out o the way. One day they’re on; the next day they’re off. One day they’re in; the next day they’re out. They wonder why they don’t know God very well. They come and ask me why their walk with God isn’t personal and intimate. You will never get to know God unless you get in the way and stay there. It is so easy to get out of the way. The root meaning of one of the words for sin is “to go off the path or out of the way.” The tendency to do that is so real for all of us. The hymn writer said it well, “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God the God I love.”
Eliezer was in the way for a long time. We first meet him in Genesis 15 when God first promised Abraham a son. That was more than fifty years before the events of Genesis 24 when Eliezer talked about being in the way! Five decades of faith, five decades of humble service, five decades of answered prayers, five decades of doing the will of God prepared Eliezer to trust His mercy and truth when he needed help and direction for his life. God gave a revelation of His character to Eliezer—that He was filled with mercy and truth—because he was in the way.
…. continued tomorrow