After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; and your very great reward." But Abram said, "0 Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, thou halt given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.       

Genesis 15:1-6

We read a passage like that and say to ourselves,

"Abraham was lucky.  God spoke to him ... came to him in a vision ... took him out and showed him the stars and gave him a promise.

Abraham got a clear revelation. We could believe like he believed if we got a clear revelation."

What happened to Abraham that night when God spoke to him and promised him a son and descendants as numerous as the stars is what could be called, "an inspired moment" .... a brief encounter during which Abraham saw things and heard things and understood things which he knew came from the unseen God. And that inspired moment was no different from inspired moments most of us have had. Most of us have had them, and if we haven't we will. Revelation comes to everybody who seeks God. I'm talking about these special encounters with the Spirit of God.

When you know that God has said something to you,

- that word you heard,

- that thought that came into your mind,

- that quickening of the scripture,

- that unusual dream,

- that coincidence at work, contained within it-

            - a promise to you from God.....

- or a call from God,

- or a command from God.

During that inspired moment you knew that God spoke.

Now the important  thing about Abraham was that the life he lived between those inspired moments was "an inspired walk." With a few exceptions, which the scriptures make no attempt to hide, Abraham lived in daily life the light that came to him in those inspired moments.

And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.

...which means he took that word which was given to him in the inspired moment and lived in that word during all the ordinary days. And thus Abraham transformed the ordinary days into days of faith.

Our tendency is to rejoice in those inspired moments,

to glory in them,

to remember them, to talk about them,

            to share them with our friends ... but the life we live through the dull days tends to be dull, uninspired, often faithless.

"Lord, please send me some more inspiration. I'm getting depressed!"

And the Lord answers,

"Walk in the light I've already given you. Do something with the word I've already spoken to you---and every day of your life will be inspired."

We need to learn two lessons from Abraham.

1. We need to learn to recognize the inspired moment when it comes.

2. We need to learn to bring the glory of the inspired moment down into our daily walk.

We need to recognize the inspired moment when it comes.... to welcome it as a gift from God. So many times the Lord draws near and speaks in the most wonderful way and we miss it.

And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I fetch a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said." And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes." And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.           

                                                                        Genesis 18:1-8

...Abraham lifted-up his eyes and looked, and behold three men stood in front of him. He could have said,

"What do you guys want? Why are you wandering around out here in the heat of the day?"

These three men didn't have halos or shining faces, yet Abraham was so God-hungry that he knew when he was in the presence of the holy. He ran to them, bowed down, and offered them hospitality.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall recognize the messengers of God when they draw near ... the voice of God when he speaks.

They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." The Lord said, "I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?" The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son."  

Genesis 18:9-14

..."I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son ... Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

This was an inspired moment and when it came to Abraham he seized it...he welcomed it.

Every time Jesus visited a village, or spoke to a man, or a woman; he brought them an inspired word ... a word from God. There were those who recognized this blessing and welcomed it, received it. And there were those who were just too busy with their own program ... often too busy with their own religious program ... to hold still and bow before the Lamb of God and listen, and worship.

- When Peter fell on his knees before Jesus in the fishing boat he was seizing an inspired moment.

- When the two disciples suddenly recognized the risen Jesus as he broke bread that evening in Emmaus they were welcoming a moment of glory.

This kind of thing often happens when we're gathered together in the name of the Lord...

- someone says something,

- something happens during a hymn,

- an assurance visits as we eat the bread, - a burden lifts,

- a fear evaporates .... an answer comes.

Sometimes it happens when we're together with a few sisters and brothers in a house, or when we're alone. Sometimes out of the mouth of a total stranger come words straight from heaven ... God give us grace to recognize these moments and to welcome the Spirit of the Lord.

But now, we need to learn from Abraham to bring the glory of the inspired moment down into our daily walk.

- The inspired moment is God's gift to us.

- The inspired walk is our thank-offering back to God.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations."

                                                                                                            Genesis 17:1

..."I am El Shaddai, God Almighty ... walk before me and be blameless. Walk the walk of the life of faith and you will be blameless."     -And Abraham did.

"No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and. I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you."                                              Genesis 17:5-7

But this covenant hinged on Abraham walking the walk of faith, which for Abraham meant trusting God every day of his life in every area of his life.

Faith in God - ruling his relationship with Sarah.

Faith in God - governing the way he dealt with his servants,

- the way he handled his possessions,

- the way he looked out for his impulsive nephew Lot,

- the way he raised his son Isaac.

"I am God Almighty...walk before me and be blameless,

...bring my glory down into the ordinary days,

...pour out in your daily living the grace which I have poured in here on the mountaintop."

That's exactly how we live when we follow Jesus.

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."                       Galatians 2:20

"The life I now live in the flesh," ... in the flesh ... in the real world of buying and selling, waking and resting..."I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me,"... faith in God ... in the marketplace, the bedroom, the kitchen.

Jesus says to us, his disciples, exactly what the Father said to Abraham,

"I am El Shaddai, the God who sustains you. Walk before me and be blameless."

In other words,

"Live your daily life in my presence. Trust me that I am able to keep you, and you will be blameless.

Take my name with you down into the valley.

Take my Spirit with you out into the wilderness... and you will be blameless."

A week or so ago somebody broke the lock on Jean's car during the night. I fixed it. The following night they broke the other lock. I fixed it. But when I went to bed that night I was thinking, what are they going to do tonight? Then the thought came, almost like an audible voice,

"Except the Lord build the house, those who build it labor in vain. Except the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."                                                                                             Psalm 127

And I had peace and went to sleep. That was an inspired moment. But now it's up to me to walk in that, to hang on to that day after day, night after night.

Things are rough in the workplace. "Walk before me there...practice my presence. Remember that I am with you and you will be blameless. Your walk will be inspired."

Things at home are not the way you'd like them. "Walk with me. Live under my yoke. Learn from me to be a servant and you will be blameless. Your walk will be inspired."

You're moping around with a wound which some Christian inflicted on you. "Walk before me... walk before me. Get your eyes on me and you will be blameless. Your walk will be inspired."

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."                                                                                                               Matthew 28:16-20

Now we come down from the mountain and we hold on to this promise, "I am with you."

There is no temptation, no trial, no obstacle that will not give way to the glory of the Lord, when we remember that he is with us.

When we walk before him, trusting him, Jesus' presence will transform the dullest day,

the darkest day,

the hardest day into a foretaste of the coming glory.