It is popular today to talk about one’s spiritual journey. The chronicles in the book of Genesis of the journey of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob give us many insights into what it means to follow God. Today I have been meditating in Genesis 26:24-25, a vignette from the life of Isaac.
24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
Isaac has just arrived at Beersheba after a very trying journey. God appears to him to encourage him that He is with him and will bless him. This is a wonderful promise that all of us want to be assured of and love to hear. Isaac’s response is instructive. He does three things. And I believe these three things are key ingredients for all of us if we want to maintain a vibrant spiritual journey with God.
1. Build an altar! The altar throughout the Bible is the place of consecration. It is the place where we worship God through sacrificing our will for His. This is a lifestyle and a process and not an isolated event. (Romans 12:1-2)
2. Pitch your tent! The tent represents our relationship and attitude toward the world. We are to be “in the world, but not of it” Jesus tells his disciples. (John 15:19) What does this mean? It means that we are to learn to be content and at rest with wherever God places us. It means being in a place to “travel light” where our possessions do not possess us. Living in a tent is living free from distractions and the lure of this world’s goods.
3. Dig a well! The well is the place where we draw life sustaining refreshment and replenishing. It speaks of our daily relationship with God in the Word and prayer. The well is the place where we encounter Jesus like the woman at the well. (John 4:13-14). It is the place where the anointing and the empowering of the Holy Spirit flows from. (John 7:37-38)
It is easy to talk about our respective spiritual journeys. But in reality, a true spiritual journey with the one true God must evidence these necessary elements. These three things have greatly challenged me. Without them you and I are only deceiving ourselves. How is your spiritual journey going?