So let’s recall the generation of people in Genesis 11. They were so self-serving that they wanted to be seen as the biggest, the best and the baddest…they sought recognition at all costs. Yet in the middle of this generation was a man who was separated and able to seek after God’s own heart. There was a remnant!! A person who would do what God says and so He begun to prepare for the next step that would save the generations.
Genesis 12 introduces us to Abram later called Abraham. He was one of the people in the generation of the Tower of Babel. He wasn’t an outsider or looking in…he was born into this family yet his heart heard God when He spoke to Him….
1Now the Lord said[a] to Abram, “Go from your country[b] and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
Imagine what that meant to Abram…a God he didn’t know asked him to leave everything he knew for a place that he didn’t even know. Would you do that today? Imagine the level of madness that was attributed to him by all those around him. He was now the epitome of madness and strange behaviour. I can imagine the response of Sarai as she considered what he had said he heard and what that would mean for their lives. They would move about in tents, eat off the land and hopefully make a living…would they survive? Would they die? Would they find a place to live? Was this for rea? I can imagine the questions and uncertainty.
Yet Abram packed and left. Yes, he packed and left to follow that still small voice he heard in his heart. This was inspite and despite of the challenges. As I read and listened to the message I saw why he moved on despite the state of affairs. Abram understood that God had made a series of promises that would be the trigger for his new found faith and ability to keep moving.
- 2 And I will make of you a great nation,
- I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
- 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you
- I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”[c]
Can you imagine this? He had a guarantee of blessings, greatness and influence as a result of the hand of God on his life. Isn’t that great? Abram was blessed and became Abraham and his walk with God did not end. It started when he was 70 and he was over ninety when God visited him again and again and gave him victory again and again. Genesis 17 outlines even greater dimensions of his relationship with God
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
- “I am God Almighty;[a] walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
- 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
- 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram,[b] but your name shall be Abraham,[c]
- I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
- 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful,
- I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7
- I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
- 8 I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession,
- I will be their God.”
Abraham lived and walked in faith with God. He had a deep, comfortable relationship that allowed him to ask questions, deal with his doubts and fears and still remain a man after God’s heart. Abraham had never known God before the day he was told to leave and go to a land that he would tell him. He didn’t have a Bible to read to tell him about this God. He didn’t attend church or Sunday school. He didn’t have message tapes to listen to or even a congregation to support him…all he had was God. All he knew was his conversations with God.
So this got me thinking about how we struggle with doing exactly what God has said even when we have the bible to tell us the stories of the lives of people who have walked with God and all the things He has done in, with, through and for them. His life radically changed and his blessings radically grew yet he sought the heart of God more than he sought the hand of God. I begun to ask questions of my life:
- Do I plan my life myself or do I seek direction from God?
- Do I credit my growth to me or God’s leading?
- What do I focus? What drives me?
- What do I hold onto? What is my anchor?
In that moment I realised that I have no excuse for walking in fear or doubt. No excuse!! The only way to finding greater and greater depth in life is by listening closer to the voice of God and spending time in the word.
What have you learnt in your walk? Where are you going in this life?