In Genesis 15 God made a covenant with Abram regarding his heirs. He promised Abram a son, and that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram asked God, “How shall I know this will happen?” In other words, pinky promise? God tells Abram to offer a sacrifice to Him to seal the covenant. So Abram follows God’s specific sacrificial instructions. All is going well until verse 11 “when the birds of prey swooped down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.”
Now isn’t that just like Satan? God gives us a promise. We are taking it to the bank; we’re sealing it in our hearts, believing that God is going to come through for us. It’s going to happen! Then out of nowhere the nasty birds of prey swoop down & try to steal or ravage the promise? They want to sneak in and keep coming back again & again to pick bits & pieces until the promise is devoured and nothing is left but bones.
Abram was having a moment with God, sealing the Covenant with Him & at this holy, life changing time, the birds of prey swoop in to steal his sacrifice, his promise. Can’t you just see Abram out there with his heifer, goat, ram, turtledoves & a pigeon offering them to God & all of these birds swooping down trying to eat this holy sacrifice, holy promise? The bible says he drove them away. Now I can see him flapping his arms, yelling, jumping at them, and trying to keep them from the sacrifice. Yelling as we would in the south…”git on outta here’!
How many times has that happened? We’re moving along in our Christian walk, standing on the promises of God and then something happens that throws us off guard. Someone speaks against our promise? We doubt. We stop praying as we should. We don’t feed our spirits as we should. And some unexpected event, like birds of prey, shows up and throws us totally off.
This story tells me two things. First, that I should be watchful because the enemy is out there walking about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He’s looking for promises that God has made to us to try his best to see to it that they do not come to pass (John 10:10). He wants to keep us doubting God’s promises. From believing that what God says is true. He wants us to not have faith in what God has promised. He wants us to waver in our faith; be tossed about like on wave in the ocean (James 1:6). We must be watchful of the enemy, because he will send the birds of prey in to try to steal our promise.
Secondly, it tells me like Abram, I have to be ready to protect the promise that God has given me. I can’t sit back & let the enemy pick my promise apart piece by piece until there is nothing left but bones. I must be willing to flap my arms, yell, & protect my promise from the birds of prey. I must be willing to hold on to & protect my promise at all cost.
We must be watchful and diligent in our lives so that when God gives us a specific promise, we hold it and protect it until we see it fulfilled in our lives or the lives of our families or our churches or our communities. Our specific promises are ours alone. And no one can take them from us unless we let them, not even the birds of prey.
Remember your promise today…is it that you will be debt free? Is it that your children will be saved? Is it that you want a Godly husband or wife? Is it that you want to find your place and minister? Is it to see loved ones delivered? Is it that you will be healed? Is it that you will find a job? Is it that your family be protected? Is it you want to see a move of God in your church? Whatever your promise from God is……do not let the birds of prey swoop in to steal what God has for you!
©Stephanie Thompson July 2011