Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

With or Without You?

08 May 2022

How perfect is God’s timing!  Genesis 15 links my 1991 to my 2022!!!  This word turned my life around 360 degrees.


Notice how God doesn’t promise to give Abram a reward and shield but says “I AM YOUR SHIELD, I AM YOUR VERY GREAT REWARD”.  God really does want a personal relationship with each one of us.  He wants to speak into our lives for our good, and He longs to hear us speak to Him.


In 1991, I called out to God from a dark place and I knew He had heard me.  How? This scripture was God speaking to me when I asked Him, “Should I take the job at CIS or should I stick it out where I am to get my qualification and then go?”  Bear in mind, my blood pressure was sky high through stress and I was beginning to lose any sense of perspective on life.  I was in a place of despair.


In this chapter, God reminds Abram of an earlier ‘Word’ when He had called him out of the land where he was living.  And then God speaks about what is to come.  He hears Abram when he speaks those words of faith, “How can I know this?”  (Just like Mary after she had received God’s promise through an angel.)  God then speaks again about Abram’s descendants, about a time of slavery followed by a time of freedom, and about being brought out to be given the land He promised.


So, the “I AM” words above and the refrain “I will take you in and I will bring you out” was all I had going round in my head every time I doubted or questioned.  Each interview I had at CIS was led by a Christian: God was saying, “This is the way, walk in it”.


Have I always been faithful?  No!  Neither was Abram, by the way, but why not read Hebrews and see God calling Abraham, the transformed Abram, faithful?


In 2005, I went for an interview at Royal London.  I chose to listen to the voice of a well-intentioned colleague rather than stand on the word I had been given.  I was only 20 minutes into the interview when I asked for it to be concluded as I was so uncomfortable going against God’s word.  The funny thing is, that in 2013 Royal London bought CIS and He told me in advance and reminded me of His word!


Well, here I am in 2022 and God has been turning up the volume once again, reminding me of His promise.  He knows my heart has always been to help people get out of a life of debt and into a life full of the goodness of God.  I had the opportunity to share my vision with my non-Christian boss and I hadn’t realised just how much she valued me.  She has ensured I leave well and has blessed me not with back pay like the Israelites but with a few years of forward pay!  We have a better covenant!


So, fellow Christian, “Are you living within or without God’s word for today?”.


And what if you have yet to decide if Jesus is for real?  Did you know that not choosing Jesus is still a choice to be without God?  My life was a dark place without Jesus.  He can turn yours around for good too.  You can choose to be with Jesus and within His goodness today.  With God the future is bright.


The Apostle Paul sums it up in Romans 4:7-8: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Photo of Peter Hayes

Peter Hayes

Core Leadership Team
GoChurch Manchester