Stepping into Your Prophetic Destiny, Pt. 4: Dig Another Well
Yesterday, I mentioned how there is a multi-generational prophetic destiny on families, in addition to individual giftings, talents, and promises. Jump forward several years. Abraham is dead, Isaac is grown and married with twin boys (we'll spend a lot of time with Jacob in the coming weeks). However, In Genesis, chapter 26, we discover there's another famine in the land.
When God calls you, there will be periods of spiritual famine, and you will want to move locations. It is during these times when discerning the voice of God is so crucial. The temptation is to find the land of plenty where you feel you are thriving. In verses two through four, God distinctly tells Isaac that he is not to go down to Egypt but to live in the land of a foreigner, Abimelech's Gerar. This is a season when you feel like you are falling behind and the promise is lost.
Again, Abraham never received the inheritance he was promised while living on earth. He laid the foundation of covenant relationship so that future generations, including you and me, could enter into it and build on it. The martyr Stephen pointed this out to the people in Acts 7: 5. In a world of immediate gratification, we must understand that God is an eternal God who builds and creates that which will last for eternity. Yes, He provides the temporal things beautifully, but His goal spans generations.
Isaac, though, has learned well from Abraham to obey. I'm sure being bound on an altar had a profound impact on his life. Isaac has developed a healthy fear of the God he serves. However, in the land of Abimelech, God reinforces His covenant with Isaac and assures him that the promise was not to his father alone but also to him. That is a beautiful thing we, as parents, can cling to: if we have dedicated our children to God, He has not forgotten them. Yes, they must own their choices, but He will pursue them with His promises.
When Isaac obeyed, God blessed him beyond measure. When Isaac planted in a place of famine, which was also the place of promise, though not yet, "he reaped a hundred times what was sown" (Gen. 26:12). When you are stepping into your prophetic destiny, never despise the power of the seed. What may seem like infertile ground will eventually bear fruit if you are in the place God has called you. The seed is powerfully resilient. It can lay dormant for years on end yet take root and grow at the scent of water (Job 14:9). It does not tell us how many years Isaac planted seeds, but it does tell us that there was an incredible harvest in that particular year. Don't ever throw in the towel!
Don't get too comfortable, though, because God's blessing does not always bring goodwill from those around you. As God began to bless Isaac, those around him began to grumble. Remember, Isaac is in a foreign land. This family only owns a burial plot Abraham purchased for his family, and cemeteries are for the dead. However, Isaac is seeking to reestablish the wells that his father Abraham had built. We, as Americans, find ourselves in this place now. We are looking to rebuild what our forefathers established, and we're discovering it more than a little difficult. When wells aren't maintained, rest assured there will always be a Philistine with a stopper in hand (Gen. 26:18). That is one reason why it is said, "There is no success without a successor." You need someone who will maintain and expand, someone who carries the vision and the covenant promise of God even in times of famine.
In any case, every time Isaac digs a well, someone is there to dispute its validity. Remember, that's a key tactic of the enemy: delegitimizing what you are accomplishing for the Lord. The enemy still uses the same strategies as he did with Isaac - quarreling and hostility. It was so bad that Isaac named those wells after the dispute! But Isaac had a covenant with God and persevered, digging yet another well. Isaac could have given up. He could have told himself that he hadn't heard God's voice to remain in Gerar. He could have packed his bags and left for Egypt, but he didn't.
When he was probably mentally preparing for another quarrel, God shuts the mouths of the Philistines. Isaac names the place "Open Spaces," because "the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land" (Gen. 26:22). Rest in the fact that if you are in obedience to God in the place He has called you to be, God will make room for you. You may have to dig multiple times, but God has a place for you. The key is patience, and we are not talking days, months, or even a year; we may be looking at years – or generations.
At this place, God once again appears to Isaac and tells him not to fear that Abraham's offspring will multiply. Upon hearing this, Isaac does what he learned from Abraham. He built another altar. He chose to worship God and pitched his tent in the place God showed up. Frankly, I can't think of a better place to be, and that is why the altar is foundational to living a life of destiny and purpose. Altars realign us to God's plans and objectives. They keep us humble and remind us that God has not forsaken us.
What happens next is astounding. Abimelech and the Philistines come and recognize that God is with Isaac and want to make amends. Again, Isaac could have despised it. Indeed, his initial reaction is, "Why are you here? You sent me away!" But, covenant with God requires that we respond in the manner God would – with forgiveness. Isaac has a banquet and sends them on their way in peace. Others will inevitably hurt you as you pursue the call and destiny God has on your life. How you respond to that pain, particularly when they return, acknowledging they were wrong, is of paramount importance. You cannot afford to hold grudges. Why? Because you may need their cooperation to dig another well, and that's what Isaac did.
Remember, God desires unity and covenant not only with Himself but with others. God commands blessing in the place of unity (Ps. 133). Isaac built a new well in the place of agreement, and a city sprung up, named Beer-sheba. When you walk in forgiveness and remain in covenant, it releases life around and results in exponential growth (Gen. 26:24-33).
Father, I feel like I am in a land of famine. I feel like the call You have placed and the promise You gave have been nullified by life's circumstances. I have seen nothing from the seeds I have planted around me, and all feels barren. However, I refuse to allow my feelings to have the final say. God, You said You would bless me in this place. I am here because of You. I reaffirm today that I will continue to dig wells, even though I am in a foreign place and see no room for me. I will continue to dig springs of refreshment for myself and others, knowing that You are God of the Harvest. I will sow, I will water, and I will forgive. Give me a hearing ear and a heart to obey so that I may see life and exponential growth released in every place You put me. Amen.