“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”” (Genesis 15:1).
How amazing is this! Of all the things that the Almighty had to offer to Abram, nothing compared to the magnificence of His presence. At this particular moment, Abraham’s name had not changed yet, but God knew what was in his heart; he was childless, worried and frustrated. However, God showed him something greater than receiving a blessing. He turned his focus from the blessing and put it on the Blesser. In other words, God was saying to him: “Receiving Me is far better than receiving a son.”
This is the vision that God wants each one of us to have. In the same way He took Abraham out of his tent, He wants us to come out of our “tents” and focus on what is most important. Indeed, God wants to give us great things, but even greater than physical blessings, is having God Himself. That’s why He emphasises that: “He is our shield, our exceedingly great reward.”
As humans, our tendency is to believe that receiving blessings will solve all of our problems. We assume that if we get married, have a child, receive a promotion, etc. we will be happy. To a certain extent, these things can make one happy, but only for a short while. Many are those who possess material blessings, but are still unhappy on the inside. The truth is that we will only begin to solve our problems and attain true happiness when we receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the exceedingly great reward and we must strive to prioritise Him and put Him first above everything else. But you may wonder, what about all the rest?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).
This is the guidance our Lord Jesus left for us because nothing can be more important than the salvation of our souls. And what is the guarantee of our salvation? The Holy Spirit!
When we possess the Holy Spirit, whatever we lose is not a loss, because we have everything. We may even experience setbacks and go through difficult trials, but we remain unshakeable and most importantly, we are at peace, because we have the assurance that God is with us.
Maybe up until now, your heart has been longing for a blessing, just like Abraham’s heart was. “But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” (Genesis 15:2). God is reiterating to you what He told Abraham: “Focus on ME.” In fact, if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, ask God: “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I do not have the Holy Spirit?” No matter how we try to convince ourselves of the opposite, the reality is that there is no blessing that God can give us that is greater than Himself.
That’s why in order for us to take possession of the exceedingly great reward, which is the Holy Spirit, we must put our hearts on God and surrender our entire lives on the Altar. That means we have to take our hearts from people, possessions, assets and everything that is earthly and put it on the heavenly possessions: The Holy Spirit, salvation & the Kingdom of Heaven. This is what it means to have the pearl and when we have it, we have it ALL. We don’t risk losing it, neither do we exchange it for anything or anyone else because we understand its value. Remember, there is no greater reward than having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. What an honour!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46).