In our daily meditations, we are looking at the life of Abraham, named Abram in his younger years. We can learn many lessons about how to walk with God when we look closely at how God transformed Abram to become the Father of the Faithful.
When God initially spoke to Abram about stepping out to live a life of faith, He gave large brush strokes on the canvas of the vision. The initial call in Ur of the Chaldeans was to get up and leave the area that is now in South East Iraq. They traveled northwest following the Euphrates river until they came to Haran, a city in Northwest Mesopotamia, now Iraq. The distance to Haran was about 2000 miles. We don’t know how long they stayed there, but this was where Abram's father Terah, died. Abram was seventy-five years old when God spoke to him to leave Haran and go the 800 miles further to the land He would show him. Imagine being seventy-five years old and God speaking to you to leave the comfort of Haran to go to Canaan. Most of us want the comforts of home at that age.
It is natural for us to want to know the details of the vision before we take the first step, but that is not the way God leads. If God would show you the end at the beginning, you may not be ready for it, or it may scare you, causing you to drift along the path rather than being propelled by faith. God gives us just enough vision to move us forward. I learned as a commercial fisherman in my younger life, you cannot steer a boat while it is drifting, but when it is under power and driven through the water, to be steered easily all it takes is a small rudder. Begin to step out in faith and give God control of the helm, the steering mechanism of your life. Remember Psalm 119:
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:105).
Where does the Lord shine His light? He shines the light of revelation, His Word, on where the next step is, at the feet. Most of us are not given a glimpse of the far distance, just the next level or step where we are to put our feet. You have to trust Him for the small distance ahead.
Only when Abram arrived in Canaan did God give more specifics concerning the future (Genesis 12:7), telling him that the land he was walking on would be given to his descendants. God would make a great nation from his seed and would bless him and make his name great, and those who bless him and his descendants, will be blessed in return. Those who curse his descendants will themselves be cursed of God. We should be careful about our attitude towards the Jewish people for the Lord spoke to Zechariah the prophet, saying, "...has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye" (Zechariah 2:8). We may not agree with all the policies of the government of Israel, but the people of Israel and the seed of Abraham are precious to God. His Word is eternal, and the Lord stands by it. We are called to bless those whom God is blessing, and us Gentiles are rooted in the faith of father Abraham. "Do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you" (Romans 11:18).
Those of you who are mature in faith can look back and see how God has grown your faith step by step. I'll bet that there are things you are doing now which you never dreamed of doing in your younger years. That is certainly true for me, and I am convinced that it is true for you too. Keith Thomas
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