One basic thing we must all know is that, your environment has the tendency to define the outcome of your life. The characteristics of your town have a way of showing up in your life and where such characteristics are undesirable, your life may turn out un-enviable. If the land is unfertile, the people will be poor.
One good thing however is that man is not usually attracted to a place which has undesirable characteristics. Every time man finds himself in such a place, the next move is to seek a better place, thus many have in the past relocated to places where there is much water and grazing land if they are into animal husbandry or a place that is as well surrounded by hills so they can have protection and so on.
We are told in Genesis 25: 11 that “Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi” after the death of his father Abraham, and there he enjoyed the blessing of God. With the passage of time however, famine came and met him there. The famine dried up his well and he did the next natural thing- he moved. He moved in Genesis 26: 1, to Gerar to the land of Abimelech king of the Philistines. It seemed that he was not satisfied there also and he began to contemplate moving again, this time to Egypt but then, the Lord God “…appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;” (Gen 26: 2-4).
Now Egypt was a very good destination. Severe famine hardly shows up in Egypt especially because of the river Nile which always guaranteed enough water and manure which is left on the flood plains after every flooding season. Egypt therefore enjoyed food security and anyone would be a fool not to go to Egypt. But in spite of Egypt’s many advantages, God made Isaac to know that Egypt and he Nile and their robust agriculture were not the answers to his problem. He was letting Isaac know that departing from the Promised Land was to forfeit the inheritance. He was letting Isaac know that if he left his inheritance so easily, he would not be able to recover it easily.
The children of Israel did that in the days of Jacob and the land of Canaan which they left willingly was not recovered easily, not even after 430 years and till today, they are still battling to keep just a part and their neighbours who are actually illegal occupants are not willing to let them even have the place they are occupying.
God assured Isaac that he would bless him. He was letting him know that with God, the characteristics of the land would not rub off on him but that He would empower Isaac to recreate the characteristics of the land.
Isaac obeyed and stayed, he sowed in that land, in that very year of famine and he got a hundredfold harvest. We read from verse 11 to 14 that , “… Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.”
We go ahead to read in verse 16 and 17 that, “… Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.” He had come to squat with Abimelech but God made the squatter greater than the landlord so much that the landlord began to fear. It did not just stop there, he went ahead and began to dig up again the wells of his father which the Philistines had covered up with sand and was successful at getting to water supply and yet the Philistines wouldn’t let him be. Everywhere he went, in spite of their jealousy, he was successful in so much that they got tired of fighting him and Abimelech had to go to Isaac to make peace.
The prosperity of Isaac is surely phenomenal but it took a few things for it to happen.
- GET DISSATISFIED. You cannot be in a place and just accept life as hard as it is. The more you accept it, the harder it becomes. Even if you are succeeding, do not get satisfied with your level of success. Be dissatisfied enough to want more out of your endeavours.
- KNOW THAT THE BLESSING, YOUR ALLOCATION OF BLESSING IS WHERE YOU ARE. You are not where you are by mistake. Even though the land wherein you dwell looks dry, the blessing is still there. The dryness is the devil work and he is trying to make you see otherwise and cause you to relocate to another place where your divine allocation is not. If you will follow God’s instruction, your so called dry land will flow with milk and honey in Jesus name.
- ASK THE LORD. Now that God has said you should stay, the next question is to ask the Lord, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” God wants you to stay in that land (location or profession or even your marriage) because He knows that there is nothing outside there for you other than regrets. If you can’t make it in where you are, then the higher the probability is that you cannot make it anywhere else. I believe that Isaac had to ask God to tell him what to do and I believe that God told him to sow- that was the last thing he would have expected God to say because in a famine situation as his was, farming would be most unprofitable but that did not change the instruction so he did sow. Some say he used irrigation system via the water from his well but humanly speaking, how much could that have done in such a severe situation? I believe that even if he had done that, God had miraculously caused water through heavy dew to fall on Isaac’s farm or God could have caused ground water no matter how low the water table was to be drawn up so that the roots of Isaac’s plants could access it. Either way, God gave him an amazing and enviable harvest when no one could even expect what they had planted to grow at all.
God is telling you to “..do your own business,” (1Th 4:11) right where you are. Don’t tell me that there is no money in the land where you are and that you wont have patronage. God is telling you to be serious with your studies and do well. Don’t tell me that you see no need for that since you have no one to sponsor you further. God is telling you to rise up from your sick bed and start to walk and work and do the things you could not do before. Don’t tell me what the doctors said; they are not greater than God. God is telling you to be pure and chaste. He is telling you o young lady to stop defiling yourself as the others are doing. Don’t tell me that that is the only way that a man will agree to marry you. He is telling you o young man to stop jumping from one girl to another. Don’t tell me that that is the only way your friends will show you respect. If you will follow God’s instructions, like Isaac, God will set you up on high above all the people who thought you would never amount to anything.
- WRITE DOWN THE VISION. Write down the vision, the plan and make it plain. Business ideas or action plans towards turning a challenge around can flow into your mind at any time during and after your prayer to God to show you what you must do. When you receive such inspirations, you need to write them down to command remembrance at the time you want to think them through. Anything that requires a process should be detailed. You need to commit what you ought to do, how to do it and when to do it to writing. You must know that the sharpest brain is not as powerful in remembering things as the faintest pencil on paper. Writing down your vision puts you on your toes. Every time you see what you have written, you know you do have the liberty to lazy around.
- PURSUE THE VISION. Start working on the plan. Go out. Ask questions. Seek those who know what to do about it and acquire knowledge from them. Read books. Act on the knowledge you gather. Where you need certain things or persons to make progress and can’t seem to get to them, ask the Lord again and again and He will send you helpers. When Adam needed help in Genesis 2: 22, God made the woman and “brought her unto” When Peter needed help to escape Herod, God sent him the angel to release him from prison (). When Joseph needed help in prison, God made the chief butler to be imprisoned so he could use him to connect Joseph to pharaoh when the time got ripe (Genesis 39). Your helpers are coming but like Adam, you must start doing what you can. Until Adam started naming the animals, his help did not appear. Start with what you can and God will supply those who will help you with what you can’t.
Beloved, you can make it where you are. Submit to God’s pattern and He will turn your situation around. God placed you there because only you can do it. Everybody is complaining but even though you are aware of the facts, the grace to turn it around is with you. Yes! Like Isaiah said in the 60th chapter, everybody is seeing the darkness but you are special. You are the one God has placed there and He has “arisen upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee” if you will follow in His steps. Do not allow yourself to become helpless like all the others. Allow God to turn you into the helper of all the others as you walk with God. I am already seeing you succeeding. Please come and share your testimony soon. God bless you in Jesus name.