A Channel of Blessing
What are ways you and your family have been blessed by Military life?
When God told Abraham to leave his home and go to a land of which he knew nothing, God used two action words that Military families know well: “Leave” and “Go.” But God didn’t leave Abraham in the dark. He made promises, including the message that Abraham was to be a blessing. God’s message to you is the same–we are to be a blessing.
About This Journey
God desires for women to take a step of faith and discover their place in His plan. For Military wives, dedication to Christ translates into dedication to our husbands and to Military life. In “Dedicated to God’s Plan”, we trace the steps toward a dedicated life through the journey of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis.
This Week's Readings
The Steps of a Dedicated Wife
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.-Romans 12:1
We see dedication on display in loyalty, devotion, and commitment to a person or cause. As a military wife, the word “dedication” brings to my mind women like Martha Washington. General George’s wife was one of many brave women who followed her husband to battlefield encampments to ease some of the hardships of war. History records women who tried to bring some of the comforts of home to the front lines by cooking, cleaning, and nursing the wounded. Some women even fired muskets right alongside their husbands. That is what I call fierce dedication.
Today’s military wife does not follow her husband to the combat zone, but she still shows her dedication by her willingness to continue the pioneer spirit of military wives long past. My modern-day list of dedicated military wives includes Susan, Cindy, Jennifer, Celeste, Holly, and countless others. These friends have endured multiple deployments and numerous moves, but they remain deeply dedicated to their husbands and the military communities in which they live and serve. They will tell you that their dedication to Christ translates into dedication to their husbands and subsequently to military life.
As a Christ-follower, I am dedicated to my husband because I love him and honor the marriage vows I made to him. Over time my dedication to him has grown deeper as the commitment we made is proven in daily life. I support his choice of career while I live into God’s call on my own life. We will see through the journey of Abraham and Sarah that there is more to living a dedicated life than may readily be observed. Are you curious? Then let’s keep moving! Where will your steps of dedication lead you today?
What are the areas of your life in which you display dedication? How would you prioritize those areas?
Father, I want to be fully dedicated and committed to your purposes in the world. Help me see how being a dedicated military wife fits into that plan. I stand ready for the adventure. Amen
An Unlikely Conversation
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.- Genesis 12
The journey for Abraham and his family began with God initiating a relationship with him. Scripture does not give details, only the words, “The Lord said to Abram …” (Genesis 12:1a). On the surface it seems natural for God to speak to someone important in the Bible. What makes this scene unnatural is the fact that, at this time, Abraham was not important. In fact, from all indications he was not even following God. The Old Testament book of Joshua tells us that Abraham’s father was an idol worshipper (Joshua 24:2). Picture Abraham as a man who lived in a pagan, idol-worshipping world, being addressed by the creator God of the universe!
God called Abraham because he had great plans for him. He was not singled out because he had a godly heritage, was in the right family, or grew up in the right church. God initiated a conversation with Abraham that interrupted his life and changed the course of his journey. God put him on a track that would ultimately lead to a new path of redemption for the world through Christ.
Where are you on your spiritual journey? You may have little to no awareness or concern for spiritual things. You may have a desire to know more about a life dedicated to God. You may be a dedicated follower of Christ. Just like God had great plans for Abraham, God has great plans for you. Wherever you are in the journey, he wants to take you to the next step. The journey for Abraham led him out of a life of purposeless service of idols and into a life of purposeful faith in God. Where will your journey take you? What conversation is the God of the universe initiating with you that may lead to redemption or transformation in some area of your life?
Have you ever had a conversation with another person that changed the course of your thinking about something? Has Gods call changed your life? How?
Father, thank you for initiating a relationship with me that will set me on a path of new life in Christ. Help me honor you as I live out my purpose today. Amen.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.- Genesis 12:1
The sign read: “Guided tour to the places that matter to you!”
The advertisement was for the Orientation Tour at our latest duty station. I was not keen on being herded on and off a bus, but I was tired of getting lost. I needed someone to show me. As hard as it was for me, I signed up. I got on the bus, and you know what? The tour was a pleasant surprise. I not only learned physical locations of places, but I discovered great resources my new community had to offer. An added bonus was meeting some other newcomers.
The promise of God to Abraham in Genesis 12:1 was for him to go to “a land that I am going to show you.” Sounds like an Orientation Tour to me. Yet I cannot compare the tour Abraham signed up for and the tour I took. I had a good idea of the stops along the way. Abraham knew nothing. God asked Abraham to “get on the bus” and trust that God would show him the places he was to go. Sisters, dedication is joining God’s tour before you know where it is going or what you will experience.
The New Testament book of Hebrews describes Abraham as a man who lived by faith. Abraham could tell you specifically what he left behind to follow God’s call, but what was ahead was a big question mark. The call for each of us to follow God is not a call to trust in a plan, but to trust a person. God would show him places along the way, but as we saw in our first journey, Abraham’s Orientation Tour was not so much about geography as it was about relationship.
Abraham had a willingness to go where God would lead. God had much to show Abraham. He has much to show you. Are you willing to take his tour?
“Dedication is joining God’s tour before you know where it is going or what you will experience.” What thoughts come to mind when you read this phrase? What is your usual reaction when you are asked to go to a place about which you know nothing? What does Hebrews 11:9–10 have to say about Abraham’s true destination?
Lord, help me grow in grace as I walk with you. Teach me to trust you even when I cannot see where you lead. Amen.
Be All You Can Be
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.- Genesis 12:1-2
The recruiting slogan for the Army in 1981 was “Be all you can be!” The jingle was a successful attention-grabber. The promise for a young person to reach their full potential encouraged many to find a military recruiter and sign over a few years of life to Uncle Sam and his friend the Drill Sergeant.
Likely, no recruiter enlisted you as a military wife. But the promise of that slogan is one you can take as your own, if you are willing.
Willingness is an inclination or readiness to do something, and it is a trait displayed in the life of Abraham and his wife Sarah. God invited Abraham to follow him into an unknown territory with the promise of making him all he could be. Sarah’s willingness to go on the journey is impressive. Travel in the Near East during this time was dangerous and difficult. The road system was—well, there was no road system. The journey was by foot, with a donkey to serve as the moving van. Sarah had no military sponsor to write and give her information about what to expect at her next duty station.
Besides the logistical challenges, Abraham and Sarah were not young people. If the setting were today, Sarah would be looking for a place to put down roots. Yet she was willing to follow her husband into the unknown.
Military life can be an adventure into the unknown. You may have left home, family, and friends to follow your husband to an unfamiliar place. The adventure is not without challenge, but it makes for an interesting life. The happiest military wives are those who have—or can cultivate—a willingness to embrace the unknown. Are you willing to do all you can do in order to be all you can be? The good news is that God promises to be with you. We will see that his promises to Abraham and Sarah were fulfilled—and that his promises to you are sure.
Do you struggle with having a willing heart when it comes to being a military wife? List your specific struggles in a journal. Make this list a prayer guide.
Father, please give me a willing heart to follow you. Help me to trust that your promises are true and that you want to use my experience as a military wife to make me into the best follower I can be. Amen.
A Trail of Blessing
...I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”- Genesis 12:3
Up until this point in Genesis there is mention of blessing, but there is more mention of events that are opposite to blessing. Remember Adam and Eve and their quick exit from the perfect garden? What about Noah and the flood or the devastating results of the Tower of Babel? The biblical story takes a turn in Genesis 12 when God interrupts the life of Abraham and declares that all people on earth will be blessed through him.
That word blessing gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? If I hear someone sneeze, I usually respond with, “God bless you!” I often use the word Blessings as the closing to a note or letter. My husband and I pray a blessing over our meals before we eat. I know how being blessed feels when I gaze at a recent photo of my family. Yet, this is not an adequate definition of blessing. Blessing is more than something I say, or something I feel. Indeed, the blessing described in Genesis 12:3 is more than words and emotions.
In general terms, God’s blessings include his favor, protection, and care. The word bless in Genesis 12:3 conveys spiritual and physical enrichment. In the case of Abraham, God physically blessed him with land, crops, and livestock that would also benefit other families who lived in close proximity. However, the word in context places more emphasis on the spiritual blessing that God has in mind, the way that “all the families of the earth” would learn about the one true God through Abraham’s relationship with him. God was going to give Abraham great promises, while at the same time he envisioned Abraham looking beyond himself to share promises and hope with others.
As a military wife you can enjoy the blessings that come from your husband’s military service by way of such things as support groups, medical care, and a sense of job security. The greatest blessing comes as you become involved in your community and leave a trail of blessing in the lives of others. How will you do that today?
List in your journal some ways you have been blessed by military life. What are some ways you have blessed others?
Lord, enable me to view my life through the lens of blessing. Remind me of the blessings that are mine and use me to bless others. Amen.
Resources & Info
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