4 So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Gen 12:4-7 (NIV)
A new year has dawned. For many of us, resolutions are left in the dust by now, tried and forgotten. For others, we are persevering, hoping this year will be the year we breakthrough. What is the difference between those who succeed and fail? More times than not, it is an utter refusal to give up. But truly, willpower can only take us so far.
In today’s reading, God has appeared to Abraham and promised blessings that we can barely fathom. To make his name great. To bless the whole world through him. But first, the hard part… leave everything you know behind and blindly follow me. To a place I will show you. Pull up stakes and obey with no knowledge of how or where. Abraham is being called upon to operate in blind faith, with no security net. What did Abraham do? Simply put, he left. Just like God told him.
What faith! What daring! What radical obedience! When was the last time you did something completely out of the box- just because God said so?
I am sure there were those who saw him as crazy. But off they went… on a great adventure! With the I AM as his tour guide! Did God appear to Him daily? It is doubtful. But he traveled on. Where did he find the nerve to keep on, in the life on a dusty trail? We are not told how he knew to stop, but when he did, God made an appearance to him and made another incredible promise. This time Abraham’s response is even more telling than the first. Here he built an altar.
Are you standing on a promise from God? Are you doing your best to follow him? Friend, build an altar! Along the journey, do not forget to stop and worship. To pause and pray. If we do not stay plugged in to our life source, we have no hope of surviving the perils of the trail. But as we seek Him and reverence His presence. He unfolds so much beauty to us. Hope. Joy. Peace. Renewed vision.
The supernatural of life is more real than the tangible things we can touch. But only here. In his presence, can we grasp it.
Whatever you hope to achieve in 2018, take these important life lessons from the trail log of Abraham. Listen to God. Obey. And no matter what- do not forget to pray and pause in His presence.
Oh Lord, we need you in ways we are not able to comprehend. Equip your church to hear your voice. Embolden your body to follow hard after you. And never let us forget that sweet communion with you is our ultimate destination. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
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