The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
We have all read about the mighty men of the bible, Moses David, Daniel, these are a few of the greatest warriors, kings, prophets, and leaders of history. But none of them achieved the special honor bestowed upon “the father of all who believe, the father of all those who also walk in the footsteps of faith, the father of many nations” Abraham. As we begin this new series Abraham shows us the start and sustainer of the Christian life, faith. How did he ever develop such towering trust in God, and what can we do to develop the same type of Faith? Today we will see that Abraham focused on:
- The Promises not the problems
God said: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Abraham proceeded based on the Promises not the possible problems. Genesis 12:1-3 records God’s great promises:
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”
God directed Abram to do only one thing “Leave” in return God promised to do eight amazing things for him. Often when it comes to walking by faith we focus on the unknown and we project our problems instead of proceeding with the promises. Yes this did require Abram to leave his country, his relatives and his people, he had to leave his comfort zone. He had to give up the land he knew best, the culture he had grown up in, the familiar sights and sounds. People who walk by faith often hear God’s voice calling them to go to leave now and to move forward in faith. At times this has to do with a geographical move, as in Abram’s case, at other times God directs his people to move in maturity or materially. Sometimes God calls us to leave our current work situations, to sever relationships and our security. These changes are often difficult and when you walk by faith, God never lets you settle into some area of self-safety or stability. Just when you reach a certain place spiritually and decide to pitch your tent and relax for the rest of your life, God says, “Leave.” This was the same story for Abram, actually he was never allowed to settle down permanently as long as he lived.
Abram took his family caravan and left town choosing to live off the promises of God, their source of sustenance, and it must be ours as well. We tend to focus more on the commands than the promises, but God’s call was backed up with His promises not punishment. God’s moral commands teach us where we fall short, but it doesn’t bring a solution to our human dilemma. Only the promises bring us hope, and only if we respond in faith, as Abram did. It is God’s promises that sustained him throughout his life and by the time Abram arrived in Canaan, God was already adding more promises to the original group. He said, “To your offspring I will give this land” God’s abundance and provision kept flowing through His promises. Today the great majority of us are command-oriented, we wake conscious of God’s moral law so we try to do right hoping that he will approve of us at the end of the day. What if we would wake thinking about God’s wonderful promises, what He has said he will do through and in us? Yes we need to know what God wants us to do, the call and command, but to carry it out He gives us the provision of His promises. As we focus on the power of His promises they will tenderly direct us in the way of obedience and right living. The tender love of God toward us revealed in His gracious promises is what draws us to a closer walk with the Lord. Abram felt so close to God that “he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” Abram’s heart reached out to God in worship. He could not help lifting up his heart and hands in adoration to the One who had been so good to him, so generous, so affirming. Abram had not earned any promise or blessing by previous conduct, this was all because of God’s gift of grace. Today are you living life based on the promises or the problems, are you allowing the provision of His promises to sustain you?