Centrality: “the quality or fact of being in the middle of somewhere or something; the state of being accessible from a variety of places; the quality of being essential or of the greatest importance; a vital, critical, or important position.”
At first glance, Abram may seem to be the leading character in this scene of two wealthy relatives with too many possessions for the land to sustain. The plot thickens; strife is beginning among the herdsman, and the heroic and generous Abram steps in to save the day as the selfless peacemaker. Conflict resolved. But let’s look closer.
Consider His Centrality.
After his miraculous rescue from the hands of Pharaoh, Abram continues on his journey by going back to “the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD,” (13:4). Perhaps Abram was fearful he would mess up again so he returned to the place where he knew he had met the LORD, the place of confidence that the LORD, the Central One, the Only One who is in the vital and critical position of directing the steps of mankind, would appear and speak.
After the way Abram handled the situation in Egypt, how was he now so courageously prudent? Is it not safe to assume that after Abram called on the name of the LORD, the LORD in fact revealed again to Abram specific and clear directives for his next step? Remember, the LORD had told Abram to go forth “to the land which I will show you,” (Genesis 12:1). Abram’s choosing the land of Canaan was not his own idea, nor of his own selfless kindness. Central to Abram’s selection of the land was God Almighty, directing his path, leading Abram straight to the land He had determined.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
In Genesis 13, we see His Centrality…
He is Central in our peace. He is there, the very cause and in the middle of all our peace. In fact “He Himself is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:14).
He is Central in our guidance. He is accessible from any place we find ourselves. When His children call upon His name, He is there, making Himself available to us! “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him,” (Psalm 91:15).
He is Central in our provision. He alone is the essential One, of greatest importance in providing for every need. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).
He is Central in all the universe, the Only One who is in the vital, critical and important position of directing and holding it all together. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together,” (Colossians 1:16-17).
How do we respond to the reality of His Centrality?
- Acknowledge Him in all our ways. Before Abram becomes the hero, he becomes the humbled. Before he is the bigger man, he decreases, that the LORD may increase. Acknowledging Him is a willful act of faith declaring He is the One who is essential and of greatest importance.
- “…not my will but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42).
- Resist the temptation to make this world about us. Central to peace in our lives is the LORD taking center stage. When the LORD is central in our thoughts and prayers, anxiety will vanish and be replaced by His incomparable peace!
- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Return to His Word. Today, if we have questions, let us return to the place where we can know with confidence He will appear and speak, His Word. Let us make His Word central to our lives. Remember He is accessible from whatever state we find ourselves in. Run to Him, He is there.
- “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;…” (Psalm 91:15).
- Trust His guidance. Let His will be the essential motivation in our lives. Go, or stay, as the Holy Spirit directs. He is the One Who is vital and critical in determining our destiny, not us. His destiny for us is always to give us a hope and future.
- ‘“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Trust His provision. If it seems at the moment we are getting “less than”, trust Him! Remember, He loves us and considers us valuable because we are His children. Our good and loving Father will always provide all we truly need!
- “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:24).