God, Our Very Great Reward
By Jennifer Slattery
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:2
The call I initially embraced with joy and anticipation soon felt crippling. For nearly a decade, I’d poured my heart into writing with an honest desire to serve Jesus. But as year after year passed and all my words, representing hours upon hours of work, remained imprisoned within my computer, I grew increasingly discouraged.
Had I heard God correctly? Had He changed His mind? Had all the times I’d been disobedient, fearful, reluctant, or distracted disqualified me for service? One negative thought bled into another, draining my energy, enthusiasm, and creativity.
Until God’s Spirit pricked my fickle heart with two consecutive and intertwined questions: Who are you serving? What type of rewards are you seeking?
I knew the answer. In focusing on the fruit of my labor rather than my Savior, I’d lost my why, and with that, my passion. By His grace, God brought me back to a position of surrender. In that place, I was reminded of something more valuable than immeasurable readers and the most prestigious contracts—intimacy with Him.
Perhaps Abram, (Abraham) the patriarch of the Jewish nation, needed this same reminder. In obedience, he and his wife had left home, relatives, and community—not knowing where they’d end up or how things would turn out. Perhaps they embraced the initial call with excitement and faith-filled obedience.
But as they continued, mile after dusty mile, did their enthusiasm wane? And what about when a famine hit? Did they grow fearful when their supplies ran low, and warmongering kings attacked and carted off their nephew, his possessions, and God only knows how many men, women, and children (Gen. 14:16)?
Was it harder to trust then? To keep following, to believe in the promise?
Most likely, but in their moment of need, shortly after a moment of victory, God met with him and reminded him, despite all the bounty his mighty men had acquired, God Himself was Abram’s very great reward.
He’s our reward as well.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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Originally published Wednesday, 06 February 2019.