The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”– Genesis 13:14-17
Prior to this, Abram had told Lot that they should separate from one another because their possessions were too great to occupy the same land. Whichever direction Lot picked, Abram would go the other way. Lot had seen the plain of Jordan and how well watered it was, like the garden of the Lord and the land of Egypt. He then chose for himself that whole region and departed from Abram to the east. Lot took the best land while leaving Abram with the mountainous and dry land of Canaan.
Can you picture this? Abram is so downcast. He is so disappointed. He was treated wrongly by his nephew. He had no land left to himself or Sarai. He had been left nothing.
And yet, God speaks—“Lift up your eyes. Look around.” You may be weeping, mourning, thinking your God is not fair, but God responds, “Let me tell you—be very restful. Lift up your eyes. Open your eyes wide. And see what I have given you! You and him [Lot] can have all the arrangements, but I am the government.” People can do everything, take all the advantages—but God is the one governing the whole thing. And the land that God has governed to us is so expansive, so broad, so much beyond what we had expected. Lot had merely seen “to the east.” God’s promise is so much bigger than that. “All the land you see, to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west—all the land you see, will I give to you!”
Then God says something even more miraculous (“Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” –13:7). He calls Abram: “Arise!” Maybe Abram was sitting around, mourning and in self-pity or despair. Nothing was left to him. But God says: “Lift up your eyes! Arise! Get up! You will have innumerable children!”
God gives us all the spiritual blessings, but He says “Arise! Take it as yours! Get out of what you trust! Get out of what you depend on! Get out of your comfort and instead trust in Me. Get out and walk!” [His] word is so strong. “If you don’t walk through it, it’s not yours. I promise you north, south, east, and west. But you must arise. You must walk through all of this. Make them your reality! Arise and walk through the land according to the length of it, the breadth of it—for I will give it to you.” The church life, the Bible, the brothers’ ministry—they’re not just for listening to. They are for you to walk. This takes consecration. Arise! Rise up; drop your comfort. Be a pioneer, to walk through all the land that was promised to you.
Lot’s departure was actually such a spiritual release for Abram. Lot could take everything away, but it is God who gives. After this departure, Abram was able to finally reach Hebron. Now Ai was gone. Now he only had Bethel. Now he could live in Hebron, which means fellowship with God. Could this be us? Now Ai is gone! Now we only have Bethel! Now we only live in Hebron! We only have the church life, but we live in the fellowship with God. We live in an intimate, close fellowship with God. Out of this fellowship, many things will happen. Lord, we are so thankful. You really know how to take care of us. This is our pathway. We really want to rise up and walk!
– Compiled from message notes and transcripts on Titus Chu’s speaking
Oftentimes our environment and outward situation can be very discouraging. We may wonder where the Lord is, what His plan is, and why He is taking us through this season. But like His encouragement to Abram, the Lord would also tell us, “Lift up your eyes. Look to the north, south, east, and west. Arise, and walk through the land, for I will give it to you.”
It is very easy for me to get stuck in what I see, feel, and experience around me, and to become narrow and forget how grand and sovereign the Lord is. Like Abram, I need this reminder: “Don’t be discouraged, don’t be frustrated. Look around you. Arise and walk!” The Lord is doing so much, and desires to bring me into so much more. May I trust Him more, to see Him more!