Genesis Day 25: The one thing to stay connected to God
Management gurus study what makes people successful. The goal is to learn and share the lessons, so we can all be more effective. Throughout the years, while there have been a variety of lessons and techniques identified, Focus and Discipline consistently appear.
It is not that successful people never get off-track. They (we) all do. It is that they know what their Focus is supposed to be, and they have the Discipline to ask if they are indeed focused! (Harvard Business Review, What to Ask the Person in the Mirror, reprint R0701H)
The same is true with our walk with God. In Chapter 13 we see the One Thing we need to do to stay connected with God!
There I was, sitting in my office thinking, “It happened again!” You might be asking, “What happened again?”
The answer—we got off-track. Our performance had been great. Then one day, it seemed as if we were off-track, and to make matters worse, we had been for a while.
I sprang into action and our team quickly identified that there were behaviors and practices—behaviors and practices we had called out as Key Success Factors—that we were no longer practicing. We had lost focus on them. We got them re-started.
But there was a bigger question to ask. Where was our discipline as an organization? Why had we stopped practicing these Key Success Factors? The answer was us—the leadership. For a variety of reasons, we had pulled our people’s focus elsewhere. We foolishly thought, “Well, we got this humming along, let’s now work on a few other things.” Unfortunately, the way we went about expanding our horizons failed to communicate to people, “Hey, we want to expand, but we can only do so if we keep these Keys in focus.”
Nope, we did not have that communication, and so the message to our folks was that these Keys were no longer important. Ugh!
Abram did the same thing. In chapter 12 we see the absence of The One Thing…The Key Success Factor of staying connected to God.
Like other great leaders it is not that he never gets off-track, he simply knows how to get back on-track. We see in chapter 13 The One Thing to stay on-track with God. Abram calls upon the Name of the Lord.
He had been doing this. He had been building altars and communicating with God. In the second half of chapter 12, this practice is notably absent.
In chapter 13, verse 4, he gets back on-track.
We see God anoint him with wisdom and humility as he deals with the situation with Lot.
You might be asking, “How, what specific behaviors should I be focused on, that will allow me to be ‘calling on the Name of the Lord?’” Great question.
Consider the book of Acts, chapter 2, verse 42. Here we are told to “continue in the Apostles Teaching (God’s Word), in the Fellowship (Church), in the breaking of the bread (Communion with Jesus), and in the Prayers (listening and speaking with God).
If those are the four behaviors we should be focused on to stay connected, then let’s practice the second part, the discipline of looking in the mirror and asking the tough question.
Are you—Am I—in the Word, and in a church, and in solid communion with Jesus, and praying?
When we stay focused, we can see God, we can stay connected. (We are actually never unconnected, but we certainly can get far away and do stupid things.).
Look what happens when Abram stays connected in verse 14.
God takes the lead, speaking to Abram. How cool. Abram listens. He walks all the land, which I think means he packed up the family and walked all through the land. They had one amazing vacation. And then he settles at the Oaks of Mamre. It is no wonder this place will hold such special meaning.