"Contend for the Future! We Must Build a Legacy!"
By Betty King
Greetings and blessings to you in the matchless name of Jesus. In this hour, the Lord is looking for those who are ready and willing to partner with Him in the depths of His purposes
and His promises. I want to encourage you by sharing some keys that will help position you powerfully to secure the inheritance of the Kingdom of God and build a lasting legacy.
Contending for the Future
Through a Fresh Dialogue with God
Our passage of Scripture is Genesis 15. The first verse of the chapter reads:
"After these things the word of the
Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.'" (Genesis 15:1)
The opening of the verse makes it clear that this word of the Lord only
comes to Abraham after he has already been through a few things. "These things" are recorded in Genesis 14, where Abraham has to rescue Lot after he has been taken into captivity. Many leaders and faithful people in the Body of Christ today have passed through
a season like this, where the task of rescuing people seems to have taken up a whole chapter of their lives, and they now need a word of the Lord.
The Scripture continues:
"But Abram said, 'Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?' Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!'" (Genesis 15:2-3)
When the word of the Lord comes to Abram on this occasion, he doesn't just sit passively as the Lord speaks. Instead, he hears the Lord, and then he asks Him the question that's really on his heart. Abraham is troubled
because although he is blessed by God, he is looking ahead and it seems as though everything he has worked for will go to a steward, and not to a son. There are those he has to rescue and those who serve him, but he has no son. I believe that in this season,
God is looking for a shift within the Church from the care-taking mentality to true ownership.
"And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will
come from your own body shall be your heir.' Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward Heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'" (Genesis 15:4-5)
God makes it clear to Abraham that His covenant promise to him will be fulfilled through a son. Hundreds of years later, the Lord Himself, during His time on Earth, made it clear that He is a Son. Stewardship is good, but the eternal purposes of
God are fulfilled through sonship.
Many things in the Body of Christ today are in the hands of stewards, who are working with what is there because it's available; but in order for the inheritance that
is being built today to last and fulfill its purpose, sons need to be raised up. It is not enough only to be blessed in the present, because the future must be secured. Abraham feels this in his core and brings it before God.
In this season, God is calling the leaders and visionaries to come before Him to contend for the future through a fresh dialogue.
In His response, God calls Abraham's focus to the prophetic
future. At the time, it is clear that he doesn't have the child he is looking for, but God guides him so that he can look beyond the present and set his eyes on the lasting legacy contained within the promises over his life. It then tells us that Abraham believed
the Lord and that "He accounted it to him for righteousness" (verse 6).
I cannot put into words the emotions that would have passed between God and Abraham in order for Abraham to connect so deeply with
God and believe what God had spoken to him in those circumstances. In just the previous chapter, Abraham is literally fighting for his life with his men in order to rescue Lot. It couldn't have been pleasant, and Abraham is very aware at this point that he
can't take his life for granted. Yet in chapter 15, he is able to transition from that place of war to a place of dialogue with the Father, where he can focus on the future and not just the present. I feel the Lord is calling many before Him to contend for
the decades to come, not just to pray for business as usual.
Maturity to Walk in His Full Counsel
God's word to Abraham spoke of reward. Many people
would have let it stop there and just allowed it to be. Many coming out of a season of warfare are looking to simply hear that they will be rewarded and that God is well pleased. Abraham, however, is a model of prophetic maturity, and takes the prophetic word
from God as an opportunity to enter into dialogue with God about the fulfillment of his prophetic promises. He doesn't settle for "well done" but instead opens up a deep and sincere dialogue that connects him deeply to the heart of God. The genuineness and
authenticity of the exchange is so valued by God that He credits it to Abraham's account.
"Then He said to him, 'I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit
it.'" (Genesis 15:7)
Part of what makes the exchange so powerful is that Abraham allows God to help him look at the prophetic future without the filters of his personal history and background. God reminds
Abraham that he brought him out of Ur, with all its idolatry and limitations, so that Abraham understands that his past is not a limit to his future. God knows our past, and knows our future too. When He called us out, He knew where He was calling us to. In
this season, stop dwelling on the difficulties of your background, and have confidence in the One who chose you while you were still there.
Partnering with God for the Breakthrough
In verses 8-9, Abraham asks God for assurance and God gives him instructions for a sacrifice upon which He will act. The instructions He gives Abraham are very specific, and Abraham has to go and find these specific things. Not just anything will
do, and we can't be complacent when we are negotiating with God to secure the future.
"And he said, 'Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?' So He said to him, 'Bring Me a three-year-old heifer,
a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'" (Genesis 15:8-9)
In the process of recovery and restoration, there will always be something we must do to activate
supernatural breakthrough. God will give us instructions that we need to obey. This is not something we can just bypass. Grace does not mean being passive. Rather, grace is God's divine "enabling" that enables us to partner with Him for what seems impossible;
and the journey to fulfillment involves taking certain steps that mark our transition out of the past and into the future.
Protecting the Sacrifice
he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away." (Genesis 15:10-11) (Photo via Snappy
Whenever you are making the necessary changes, there will be those who see an opportunity in it for themselves. Whatever it looks like, take your stand and preserve your sacrifice unto God, and do
not allow it to be defiled by anyone with selfish intent. Ephesians 6:13 says, "...having done everything, to stand." Take your prayer shawl and drive them away.
It takes a lot of effort to be obedient,
and to take the right steps in such a season as this, you have to be intentional, diligent and determined. It couldn't have been an easy time for Abraham, but the time was right for the transaction to take place, and he did everything necessary to see it through.
Maturity to Handle What Comes with the Promise
"Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon
him. Then He said to Abram: 'Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come
out with great possessions.'" (Genesis 15:12-14)
In seeking assurance, Abraham is desperate to see the future of his seed. God honors his desire, yet in showing Abraham what will happen, Abraham has to
learn that the descendants of this child he has not yet had will go into bondage. That's not something you would want to hear.
There are certain things that God has for us, and if we want to be assured
of them and enter into negotiation with God for them, we must be mature enough to handle what comes with them so that we don't misunderstand or fight with God. If we can be mature, then God will speak to us and we will be able to prepare well for what is to
God is calling the Body of Christ into His full counsel and to apply what He is saying. There is a pattern of things that He wants us to understand. Abraham's life was shaken by war in Genesis 14,
then he came a time of dialogue and instruction, and eventually he came into his promise. In Matthew 28, years later, the ground outside a Jesus' tomb was shaken, the disciples were given instructions to meet a resurrected Jesus in Galilee, and eventually
the promised Holy Spirit was given. After the shaking comes the instruction, then the outpouring. Get ready, for the best is yet to come.
in this hour and season, draw us into the dialogues that will secure the inheritance You have planned. Bring us into the exchanges that You will value and credit to our accounts. Give us the maturity to know that our pasts do not limit our futures, and to
walk in Your full counsel. Help us to take the steps to transition into the new and come into Your promises! In Jesus' mighty name. Amen.
By Reverend Betty King
Betty King Ministries
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321