January 17

Genesis 17:1,10 1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.

10This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

Abram was in the middle of a long spiritual journey. We think spiritual maturity happens overnight, but it would be many years before Abram was ready for the big test of his faith. Part of the process of his spiritual growth was to continue to walk before God. He was always in God's presence, but he was asked to live in the awareness of that. Are you conscious of God surrounding you throughout your day?

How was Abram to be blameless? Can anyone be blameless? We have already seen how he was declared righteous. It was simply by a trusting belief in God. God declared Himself to be El Shadday (God Almighty), the all-sufficient God. All that Abraham needed for righteousness, for daily direction, for provision was in Him.

To live in the belief of that is to continue to walk by faith, and that pleases God. Is God El Shadday to you? Where do you turn for righteousness, daily direction, and provision? It is sad that many of us turn to self, as if God were not sufficient and would need our help.

When Abraham entered into the covenant of circumcision, his name was changed from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many nations). Circumcision was a symbol of a tender heart toward God (Deut. 30:6). A tender heart makes it possible for us to be productive for the Kingdom of God. God has asked three things of Abraham and all mankind: walk in God's presence, be blameless (a trusting obedience by faith), and have a tender heart towards Him. He can meet all our needs if we will live in a trusting relationship with El Shadday.

Prayer: Lord, help me walk before You with a tender heart and be blameless.