Culture wants us to come crawling from the valley with our trophies and set them up in our own honour. Covenant calls us upward from here to something more enduring.
Day number 13 in our entrepreneurial journey from Genesis chapter 26.
And today I want to talk about going up.
Up to the high places. Going up to the high places. Now, I’m not going to subject you to any more of my awful singing, but we find here that the scripture says in Genesis chapter 26:23. And he went up from fence. We’ve already been down. We went down into the Valley. Needless to say, this creative life, this entrepreneurial ambition that we are following is a roller coaster of ups and downs. In following Isaac, as we said, we saw him head down into the Valley, and then the Valley led him to rare both, which we spoke about last time, that open place of influence and access that even here, surprisingly, Isaac doesn’t put down his roots. You would think once you’d come to that place, finally, after all of that striving and all of that difficulty, I found somewhere where the influence and the effect of my mouth and heart are being gloriously widespread. Is this not the success that I’ve sought? And yet he did not build in rehoboth? It says he went up from there. Financial success and audience reach alone is really not enough to satisfy the deeper cry of the Christ filled heart.
Let me promise you that.
I mean, it certainly goes some way to relieving much of the pressure that we can feel at times. But the cry of the heart is for something more than this world can offer us. Because our lives are not self centred and because of that, success on the surface is not really the ultimate destination. We are called to make a difference, and we need to know that there is a purpose for our prosperity. Prosperity alone is not enough. Coming into that wide place is not enough. We need to know that we’re walking in the very presence and purpose of God. And so here we see Isaac going up. Even from here rehoboth, he moves into a higher place, and we’re going to kind of unpack that over the next few days or the next few episodes, you may have tasted success. You may have scaled the sales totem and stood atop the reputation mountain and lived that pedestal life plastered across the pages of short history. Then why, with all of that under your belt, do you still feel such an ache on the inside? Were you not told, if you reach these dizzy heights of income, that your life would be sweeter than nectar, all of your problems would dissipate, and you would feel the worth and the wonder of who you truly are?
Yes, you may have been told that. Is this not the place that you were supposed to feel whole? Why then, do I feel such an emptiness? Why do I feel such an ache? Why do I feel as though there must be something more? I can tell you, my dear friend, the reason is because there is more. A broad and open marketplace is magnificent, but that should not be the end of the road. Moving on from prospering to then align ever more closely with our true purpose is where we are aiming. The power to get wealth is a wonderful promise that we find in the Scriptures. Deuteronomy chapter 8:18 tells us, you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he that gives you the power to get wealth. The effect of your heart and your mouth is being increased. Hallelujah. And you’re seeing and reaping the rewards of the journey that you’ve taken and the tests that you’ve overcome. Sharokundalah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. But there is a reason beyond the getting, and it’s the reason beyond the getting that leads to real greatness. And we find out in the second half of this verse, some people get all hung up on the power to get wealth, but the verse continues that he, God may establish his Covenant.
There is a Covenant purpose. And Covenant purpose is the very first impulse that stirs you to use your creativity to contribute to others. The one commandment, the commandment that Jesus gave, the commandment that he stressed, and that he emphasised was to love one another, to love others. And that Covenant promise, that Covenant commandment drives us to want to contribute. And this Covenant, this living, this life of God on the inside, this creative call draws us to a final destination where all of our experience and the passion that we carry on the inside spills into a purpose bigger than ourselves and far beyond our own wealth or comforts. Culture wants us to come crawling out of the Valley, out of all of those testings with our trophies in hand and set them up in our own honour. Look how wonderful I am. Look how far I have come. Look at what I have accomplished to stretch out and enjoy the luxury of our labours in the wide pastures of Rehoboth. But Funnily enough, God is not finished yet. Covenant calls us upward from here to something more enduring. We go up from this place of success.
If you like, we can go beyond that. Covenant calls us onward. God may lift you up in due time and I pray that he will. But hold your course and don’t be diverted. I was reminded of the story of Lot there at the gates of Sodom, Lot and Abraham. The story of Lot and Abraham. And it says Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom. And before you know it, he’s right in the middle of it. And just because the pastures may look green, just because the opportunities may look amazing, just because you are beginning to see success, or maybe seeing magnificent breakthroughs, doesn’t mean that we should pitch our tent and move in to Sodom and make wealth our Endgame. Dear Jesus, please forbid that such should happen to any one of us. This in a sense, is the beginning of a new stage of the journey. A new stage of stewardship in which you’ve been tested and tried and found worthy to carry a fresh responsibility in the Kingdom? How many faithful and sincere entrepreneurs have got caught here diverted from the call and ending up just in a life of consumption and accumulation, accumulating wealth instead of stretching to the next well where there is something far greater than just prosperity to be found?
Isaac, we’re told, went up from there to be a Sheba really means the 7th well or the well of the oath and it’s here that we will see how great becomes greatness and we’ll jump into that in our next episode.
Hey, thanks for listening today. I would also love to encourage you if you’ve enjoyed this episode, make sure you leave a rating and a review on whatever your favourite platform to listen to on is. And also just to let you know about my most recent book, I published a book just very recently called Wanted Ferocious Men of prayer. I know it’s an unusual and perhaps provocative title but it is such a great read. If you are a man and you know that God is calling you to the prayer closet pick up a copy, jump over to Amazon wanted Ferocious men of prayer and if you’re a woman who knows a man make sure you pick up a copy and put it in that man’s hand.
Hey, God bless you.
Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.