The few weeks ago I was going through Genesis in my morning devotions and came across this passage that hit me right between the eyes. It encouraged me more than I can say and I think its message is so important for you as well. Read this passage with me about Isaac and the story of him trying to reclaim the land the Lord had promised.
“Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells, which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.’ And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.
Then Isaac dug again the wells of water, which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Sitnah. He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, for he said, “At last the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
Ok, so get the picture – Isaac is coming to reclaim the land God had given to his father, Abraham. He diggs a well, finds water, and someone comes and practically says, “forget it!” and they take it back. This process happens a few more times. How incredibly frustrating!
Have you ever had a dream or calling (aka= a well) from the Lord that you feel like you are diggin’ and diggin’ and it seems people just keep throwing dirt on it? So you go a while and dig some more and the same thing happens again? This is exactly what Isaac was experiencing!
As I was reading this passage the Lord really spoke to me about a calling that I was “diggin’” in my own life. God showed me 3 truths about this passage and the concept “diggin’ wells”?
1. SOMETIMES IT TAKES MORE THAN ONE TRY TO TASTE YOUR PURPOSE.
Sometimes as Christians we think that if the road is not perfect, then God must not be in it. This is so far from the truth! God is more concerned about the journey than the destination and will use the trip to teach you things about Himself, things about you, and tools you will need when you reach the goal. So don’t fuss and be discouraged when you don’t hit ‘water’ your first try, just move on, try again, and rest in the hope of your calling that God will fulfill that in your life.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas A. Edison
2. SATAN WILL USE PEOPLE TO DISCOURAGE YOU FROM DIGGIN’ FOR YOUR PURPOSE.
Spiritual warfare is real and the adversary would love nothing more than to throw as much dirt on your God-given dreams as possible, hoping that he will cause you to give up too soon. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” One of my favorite quotes on this subject of not giving up is from Winston Churchill:
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Because “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill
3. GOD MAY USE PEOPLE TO FILL IN A WELL TO PUSH YOU IN THE RIGHT LOCATION BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY.
Earlier in the passage, we see that Isaac may have been running from the Lord and definitely shows a lack of wisdom and trust. However, at the end of the chapter, when Isaac comes to Beersheba (the destinations!), He builds an altar and worships the Lord. Read this in verse 23-25:
“Then he went up from there to Beersheba. The Lord appeared to him the same night and said,
“I am the God of your father Abraham;
Do not fear, for I am with you.
I will bless you, and multiply your descendants,
For the sake of My servant Abraham.”
So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”
God is faithful even when we are not. And through His love and faithfulness, there are times when God will use people, circumstances and yes, even disappointments to push you in the right direction. Why? Because He loves you so much he wants you to not only be diggin’ the right well, but also to be diggin’ the right well, in the right place, at the right time, with the right connection and closeness to the Lord.
Look at some of these people who kept diggin’ their wells….
- Out of the first 4 stores that F. W. Woolworth opened, 3 failed. But he kept at it and when he died, he was worth over 20 million dollars.
- Admiral Peary attempted to reach the North Pole on seven different trips before he made it on the eighth.
- Thomas Edison tried 1600 different materials before settling on carbon as the filament in the electric light bulb.
- Oscar Hammerstein had 5 flop shows that lasted less than 6 weeks each before he wrote “Oklahoma” And that success ran 269 weeks for 2,248 performances and grossed 7 million dollars.
- Willie Mayes didn’t get a hit in his first 26 times at bat in the Major Leagues. But on his next try he got a home run off of Warren Spahn.
- John Creasey, one of the world’s most successful novelists, whose 560 books have sold over 60 million copies, collected 743 rejections slips from publishers before he managed a word in print.
- George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright) was a bad speller in school.
- Benjamin Franklin and Picasso were poor Mathematicians.
- Einstein was expelled from school for being “Mentally slow”.
- Eddy Arcaro (who won more American classic horse races than any other jockeys) lost the first 100 races he rode in.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul, which has sold over 112 million copies, 200 different titles in 40 languages, was rejected by publishers 140 times.
- And lastly, Babe Ruth, that guy who hit 714 home runs, struck out almost twice as many times getting those home runs.
So what is your well? What’s the thing that you keep diggin’ for that you have not experienced the fulfillment of your calling and dream? Remember, if the Lord only cared about the destination, then you’d always hit water the first time, but if it’s also about the journey to get there, then He may take you through multiple “wells” before you to actually get to taste it. SO KEEP DIGGIN’….
by JOHN BOLIN