“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1, ESV)
Hello Friends! I can’t read this passage and not be stirred. God tells Abraham, (still called “Abram” at this point,) to do something completely unsettling. The Lord effectively says to Abraham: “Leave everything familiar—the people you’ve known—the things which anchor your life and make you feel secure…and step out to a destination I’ll explain later.”
Can you imagine?
Put yourself in his place. Of course, we desire to be obedient sons or daughters, so we’d like to believe we’d say, “Sure, Lord. When do we leave?” In reality though, most our minds work in such a way that our first response would be something more like: “You’ve got to be kidding! This command doesn’t make sense, Lord!”
That’s the issue isn’t it?
Most of us (self-included) are willing to trust and obey to the extent which God’s commands and directives make sense to us. Our faith walks are pleasant, uneventful journeys until His instructions seem confusing and de-stabilizing to our passion for predictability. (In truth, the depth of our trust and the length of our obedience is often revealed when our minds can’t conceive what God’s up to!)
This is the place Abraham found himself…with one important caveat found in the next verse. “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” (12:2)
Take a moment and re-read those words. The Lord is planning to do great things through Abraham, and more importantly, God’s desire was to make him to “be a blessing.” That’s the phrase that touches my heart more than any other.
We walk this world for such a brief time; is anything more satisfying, more rewarding, or more God-honoring than to “be a blessing” to people? I don’t believe so. Being a conduit of God’s favor is the place where peace, joy, and fulfillment are birthed in us. Blessing through us yields blessing in us!
It’s the combination of the two verses that makes this whole scenario work. The point isn’t “Abe, take a giant leap into the wild blue!” OR “Abe, you will get to be a blessing!” Instead, God says: “Start walking to an unknown geography AND you’ll become a source of blessing to unknown multitudes!” God reveals a glorious destination, but not the turn-by-turn directions.
Passages like this one, should stir our hearts. Spiritually, we are Abraham’s decedents. We are a people walking by faith. God still calls his children to lives that include the unknowns of risk for a promises of reward.
As we begin a new year, I don’t know what’s stirring in your heart, but I pray you’re feeling what I am: a fresh wind blowing! What’s coming next? Where will the Lord tell us to go? What direction is He whispering to our souls? How will we travel and whom will we bless?
This is what I know: the promise of being a blessing will eventually make the mystery of the trip worth it all. The discomfort of walking without details will one day be lost in the wonder of being an instrument of grace in the hands of the Lord. The arrival will justify the journey! Start walking!