Then Isaac sowed in that land [in the time of famine], and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous (Genesis 26:12-13, NKJV)
There have been many times as a follower of Christ I have had to operate in faith as I have faced difficulties and challenging circumstances. Even my salvation is established in faith. Faith is more than a muscle that gets exercised by action, as some have inappropriately described faith; faith is our spiritual perceptivity of the realness of the unseen heavenly kingdom. By our natural senses we perceive what is certain and absolute in the natural world. By our faith we perceive what is absolute and certain in the heavenly world. You might be able to liken this to Lucy’s experience in the Chronicles of Narnia; at first she was the only one to truly perceive that unseen world behind the wardrobe.
The greatest news yet, is that our faith is not founded in an abstract world that we know nothing of. True faith is rooted solely in the knowledge of this heavenly kingdom laid out in the Word of God and expressed in the incarnate Word of Jesus Christ. Thus our faith is not a dead faith but a living faith through Jesus Christ.
We can have faith for many things, but often, finding faith for our finances can be challenging. The same God that saves us by faith, is the same God that prospers us by faith. We believe that God owns “those cattle” on the hills; we believe all that is created was created by God and belongs to Him; and yet our belief has yet to become faith with regards to our personal finances. Does God need the cattle, the silver, and the gold on earth? I do not see him translating the cows, the silver, and the gold to heaven. Here is a great alleviator of financial worry: God owns the source of every financial breakthrough you need, and is willing that you walk in His blessing and breakthrough. Not only does He have all the resources of Heaven at His command, but He has made all of the earthly resources available to us.
Our dilemma? We don’t follow the path God has given us to walk in His blessing. Our two-year-old daughter Zoe loves to help in the kitchen. She would love for daddy to give her a knife and allow her to cut her own fruit. We know that this would be a disaster. Someday, when Zoe is older and mature, she will get the blessing of using a knife to cut her fruit. What could ultimately be a blessing, given too soon can be a curse. It is paramount that we learn to follow the path of the Lord concerning His blessing in our lives.
Regarding Isaac, God spoke to him and told Isaac to dwell in the land….He was to dwell in the land 1.) with the Philistines, 2.) in the land that was experiencing a famine. God will often allow you to be in difficult places so that your dependence is not on your skill, but in the word of promise He gave to you and on His ability to perform exactly what He promised. Where there is faith, there is no struggle. It becomes easy to yield when walking by faith because assurance is not based on the natural world, but what is being perceived in the heavenly world.
Isaac dwells in the land, and begins to settle the land and sow seed. Isaac probably had every Philistine looking over their fences to see what this crazy man was doing in a time of famine. Why would you sow seed and expect a crop in the time of famine? When you feel like everyone is going the opposite direction, you are probably going in God’s direction.
Results are God’s to produce. Our responsibility is to act as a result of faith.
Isaiah 1:19, NKJV
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
In the Hebrew, the word “willing” means, “to yield,” and “obedient” means to, “listen and obey.” God spoke to Isaac. Isaac listened; he obeyed; he yielded. God brought the prosperity. There was so much prosperity that the Philistines who were looking over their fences at Isaac, became envious. They tried to prevent Isaac’s success by clogging up his water wells that his father Abraham had dug.
Sometimes people around you will become envious of the blessing of the Lord on your life, and do everything in their power to stop you and slow you down. They are not working against you, but God. God brought the increase in Isaac’s life, and God continued to provide water out of the ancient wells of Abraham.
The ancient truths of God’s Word still provide waters of refreshing today. Abraham dug wells by faith. Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek by faith. Abraham and Sarah had Isaac by faith. Isaac stayed in and settled the land by faith. Today, as born again believers, we are the descendants of Abraham. The promises of God are faithful, and by faith we obtain them.
Obey the Lord. Sow your seed. And God will bring the increase!