God was purposefully intent on Abram grasping all the nuances of the dream. It was multi-dimensional, one of the chief characteristics of a God-sized dream. These dreams always mirror their Creator. God’s intent can be seen in the multiple visits and visions Abram received. God is the original author of the axiom, “Repetition is the mother of learning.” Therefore he repeated his promise over and over (you can check them out in Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-21; 22:15-18), to make sure the smallest detail was crystal clear.
God was giving him a land, descendants, and a blessing. Abram would be a physical extension of God to the world and the world would come to know God through the testimony of Abram. This is pretty heady stuff for a wondering Bedouin living in a goat-hair tent and like most of us, he could not grasp it. In fact, he became fixated on one teeny-tiny detail in the great scheme of things. Abram could not grasp the big picture. He could not see the forest for all the trees. And that itsy-bitsy detail flooded his mind and took control of the next few years.
Abram was an old man and his wife Sarai was an old woman. Their main problem: they had no children. No son to carry on the family name. His thinking was: if I have not son, how can I have descendants? Abram, like most of us, was fixated on the natural and not free to dream supernaturally. God said he would have descendants—uncountable like the stars in heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore. Abram became obsessed. He and Sarai were not getting any younger.
Here is the next principle we all need to internalize in our learning curve to dream with God: God-sized dreams are so big, if we are not careful, we will fixate on a detail rather than the fulfillment. Most of us dream dreams that are one-dimensional. We often seek to bring those dreams to fruition and fulfillment one step at a time. God simply does not work that way. Abram thought he needed a son (at the point any son would do) to fulfill God’s promises. So, he nonchalantly mentions the adoption of Eliezer of Damascus, his chief servant, as a means of helping God out with the details. God is not interested. In fact, God then focuses the promise and gives him another clue where this son of promise would come from—“from your own body” (Gen. 15:4). Abram would father a son who would carry his blood.
Later, with Sarai’s blessing Abram would indeed father a son with an Egyptian handmaiden named Hagar. This time he did not consult God and the results of that decision created a conflict that is still being felt today and will eventually usher in the events of Armageddon. Thousands of years of conflict and the birth of a religion whose goal is ultimately to possess Abram’s Promised Land and destroy his descendants, and God’s blessing.
All this is because his vision was too small to see the diversity and the size of God’s dream. He became fixated on a detail of the promise rather than the ultimate fulfillment of the promise. He wrongly thought he was responsible for this trivial detail he thought was so vital. He majored on the minor rather than grasping for the whole.
The devil is not in the details as the old saying goes. No, God is in the details. Every detail is critical and he will fulfill each one—his good name depends on it. So…you can bet he will come through—every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted. God will take care of the details if we will put our focus on him. Our job is to be faithful. God’s job is to fulfill (fill in every detail until the promised dream is full). Our responsibility is to trust and his job is to remain trustworthy, which after all is an attribute of his deity. He is God and we are not!