While Abraham sat at his tent in heat of day by the oaks of Mamre, the Lord appeared to him in the form of three men. While seeing and experiencing God, he bowed as an act of respect and submission to a superior being (Gen. 18:1-2).
1. Prepare to encounter God in unexpected or inconvenient times.
Abraham wanted to host these heavenly visitors and hoped to find favor so they wouldn't leave him. He wanted them to wash their feet, rest and eat bread so they could refresh themselves (Gen. 18:3-5).
2. Remain patient, available and receptive in God's presence.
Abraham asked Sarah to to make bread cakes and prepare a choice calf in a hurry (Gen. 18:6-8).
3. Minister praise and worship urgently to the Lord.
The heavenly visitor said he would return at the same time next year when Sarah would have a son. Abraham and Sarah were old and she was past childbearing age (Gen. 18:9-11). Just as Sarah was called out and listened to the promise at the tent door, God is personal in the midst of our circumstances.
4. Claim God's supernatural and impossible promise that's personalized just for you.
Sarah's laugh about having sexual pleasure with Abraham were symptoms of unresolved issues in her life: denial, fear and doubt (Gen. 18:12-15). Because God's promises always exceed human understanding, expectations and sensibility, they also reveal deeper issues of struggle in our lives.
5. Allow God to reveal sin and unbelief in your life.
We encounter the central truth in Gen. 18. Is any word, matter or thing too wonderful or beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations for the Lord to accomplish? (Gen. 18:14a).
The first five items listed above equipped Abraham for his most important job: to intercede for his family and a city--Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:16-33). Like Abraham, God assigns us as intercessors for our families and communities to delay and even prevent God's judgment because of sin. What's impossible to us is possible for God!
How is God developing your relationship with Him? Which of the five items listed above will you concentrate on so you cooperate with God's personalized training program for you? Begin interceding daily for your family and community.