Beginning today in our daily devotionals, we begin to take a look at how God changed the character of Abram and made him into the father of those with faith in the God of Abraham. Over the next two or three weeks, we will learn lessons of how God works in an individual to grow and mature a man who is willing to follow the God of Abraham. Like us, he was not perfect, but he was willing to learn to walk by faith. His walk of faith began with the Lord speaking to him and giving him promises concerning his future:
1The 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 (Genesis 12:1-2).
We often don’t stop to think of what it cost Abram to leave Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) and walk by faith step by step. We may know the whole story, but Abram did not have the benefit of knowing what the end would be when he was called to take his first step of faith:
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
He embarked on this journey, leaving behind all he knew, for the unknown. God called him to leave his country, his relatives, his father's house and with it, the inheritance that he would have gained by staying. One would worry about the language barrier that may await him in unfamiliar territory, and what about provisions for a journey without a definite time? Would he have enough money for a trip of this magnitude? What if he encountered thieves and was robbed on the way? It is essential to understand that God was asking Abram to take a risk. To undertake such a journey of faith was fraught with great risk. But that is what this faith walk is all about. One person has said that faith is spelled R.I.S.K. It is still the same today. To walk a life of faith in God is never a comfortable "walk in the park."
Think of what the move was like for Sarai, his wife, to leave all the security of family and friends, and to live in a tent. The Scriptures tell us that when Abram and Sarai left, they did not know where they were going. How do you think Abram broke the news to his wife Sarai? Somehow, he had to explain to her that he had heard from God and that they were to uproot from their home and city and go live in a tent in a different land. Don't you think she asked him where they were going? At that point, Abram could not even tell her where they were going! We do not know if Sarai had any resistance to the move. Wouldn’t she have wanted to think through all the practicalities? She must also have been a woman of faith because we read of no opposition from her. They were merely to uproot themselves and get on the road. God would lead them only as they acted in faith in what He had told them up to that point.
In the Hebrews 11:8-10 passage of Scripture above, what motivated Abraham was a vision of eternal things—the eternal city and God's reward. Have you ever had to make a significant change in your life’s path? Was there a cost and compensation to it? What battles did you have in your mind when you took that step? Sometimes God will require you to step out in faith, not knowing the result or even where the journey will take you. Is that a word for you today? Keith Thomas