Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Genesis 12:1-5 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” …So Abram left, as the LORD had told him.
The Bible uses Abram, later to be called Abraham, as a primary example of faith. The New Testament writers refer to Abraham 77 times to help us to understand what faith is. There are obviously some important lessons we can learn from this man’s life as we grow in our faith.
At the beginning of the story of Abram in Genesis 12, we hear the voice of God speaking to Abram and asking him to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to an unknown land. Carefully reflect on all that God was asking Abram to do:
- Leave his homeland – I grew up leaving my homeland all the time. As a pastor’s son we moved every 4 –5 years on average. Leaving the beautiful state of Michigan in my 9th grade year was supremely difficult. I know how hard it is to leave a geographic area that is loved as home.
- Leave his people – Those of you who have lived in one place all your life may not understand this. There really are different cultures out there, and you don’t have to go outside our country to find them. We discovered a whole new culture in northern Minnesota when we moved there once. Because we are relational beings, people bring us comfort. New people tend to scare us. Abram was asked to leave his relational comfort zone.
- Leave his father’s household – For me, this would be the toughest of the three. Family means everything to me, and having them nearby is very significant.
- Go to an unknown land – No maps, no web site to preview the housing options, no contacts with anyone whose already been there, no knowledge of even where he is headed. Just a general direction.
As we reflect on those four issues that Abram had to deal with, I’m sure we can relate to at least one of them in our lives right now. God is giving us all daily direction, and I think we are all guilty of giving God daily guidelines for that direction. We state our cases and concerns before we listen to His course. We predetermine the parameters of a positive response to His position and purpose. We say things like:
- “I’ll do it if I can do it from here.”
- “I’ll go only as far as this cultural border.”
- “I’ll go if my family can go with me.”
- “ I’ll go if you tell me where I am going.”
We must ask ourselves if we are putting conditions on God’s commands. We must come to understand that this is not faith. Faith in God does not ask for answers nor does it protect personal preferences. If faith does those two things, then it is not faith in God but rather it is faith in answers and personal preferences. Think about this carefully considering your current life decisions. Are they being made in true faith in God alone?