A new vision- Abraham
A new vision- Abram (before he was known as Abraham)
Bible reading: Genesis 12:1-9
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, 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[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
What can we learn from the story of Abram?
1. Sometimes when God calls us, we have to leave everything behind. This may be literally or figuratively. Abram left what he knew- his place of comfort and familiarity, to obey God. To truly follow God, you have to be willing to surrender all. Jesus said in Luke 14:26, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.’. God told Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household. And God hasn’t changed. If we want to follow Him, we have to understand that He comes first. We must be willing to leave our old lives behind, our comfort zones, and our places of familiarity to follow Him.
2. You’re never too old (or too young) for God to call you. Abram was 75 years old when God called him. Most people by that age are retired from any sort of work. But there is no retirement with God. Service to God continues till we leave this earth. So, don’t think that you’re too old to be used by God- you’re not! As long as there is breath in you, you’re not too old and God can still use you. God can do anything with the person that makes themselves available to Him. Likewise, don’t think you’re too young to be used by God to do mighty things. When God called and anointed David to be king, he was only a teenager tending sheep. Age is not what matters to God; He looks at the heart, and willingness to serve Him.
3. We need to trust God even when we don't understand. Abram trusted God and obeyed even though he didn’t know where he was going. When God calls you, He doesn’t always give you the full picture, or even the destination. In Abram’s case, God just told him to go ‘to the land I will show you’, and he went! Abram didn’t ask questions. He didn’t ask for more information. He obeyed even when it didn’t make sense. In the end he got to his destination, so God must’ve led him along the way. We need to get to a place in our relationship with God where even when we don’t know exactly where He is leading us, we still trust Him, because we know that He is good, and He knows what He is doing. Sometimes we just need to take the first step, and as we do, the rest of the steps come into view.
4. We need to constantly remind ourselves of God's goodness and faithfulness to us. Abram built altars of remembrance to God. An altar is a place of worship, and Abram took time to build an altar to worship God and recognise God’s faithfulness in his life. An altar can also be a place of remembrance. God had given Abram the promise of his life; that He would make him a great nation, make his name great, and he would be a blessing! Abram used the altars he built as a physical reminder of his encounter with God, and a reminder that God is faithful to His word. A practical way we can build altars of remembrance is to write down answers to prayers, or breakthroughs we’ve had that we know could only be attributed to God. This way, whenever we face challenges in the future, we can look back and remind ourselves of what God has done for us before. If He could come through for us then, He can come through for us again!