READ: GENESIS 17:1-14
TODAY'S FOCUS: Genesis17:1-8
When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Walk with me and be trustworthy. I will make a covenant between us and I will give you many, many descendants.” Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, “But me, my covenant is with you; you will be the ancestor of many nations. And because I have made you the ancestor of many nations, your name will no longer be Abram but Abraham. I will make you very fertile. I will produce nations from you, and kings will come from you. I will set up my covenant with you and your descendants after you in every generation as an enduring covenant. I will be your God and your descendants’ God after you. I will give you and your descendants the land in which you are immigrants, the whole land of Canaan, as an enduring possession. And I will be their God.”
(Common English Bible)
Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. I have surely heard those words hundreds of times. As a teen, I spent countless hours on amusement park roller coasters. We climbed as high as the clouds, topped the rise, plunged deep into underground tunnels or rolled upside down in the fashion of a corkscrew moving faster and faster until we couldn’t breathe. Each ride was unique, but each preparation was the same: Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
“I am El Shaddai,” God says.” Walk with me and be trustworthy.” El Shaddai (Almighty God) instructs Abram to follow God’s plan faithfully and blamelessly – climbing, plunging, rolling – whatever it takes to be all in. Expectations and preparations move faster and faster until Abram surely cannot breathe, and then the Most High and Powerful God of the Universe sighs a breath of life into him. With one loving exhale, Abram is transformed to Abra-ha-m. Can you hear the gust of perpetuation as his name grows from meaning “exalted father” to meaning “father of many?”
The breath of God is always about bringing life. When I pledge my days to be all in and accept Jesus Christ into my heart, God breathes the Holy Spirit into me and I receive new life. My faithful response is to simply keep my hands and feet inside the joyous ride at all times!
God Almighty, El Shaddai, I will walk with you and will do all in my power to be all in. Amen.
More to think about:
 Moore, Beth. The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. LifeWay Press, Nashville, TN, 2014, page 42.