Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians (NLT).
The command was unmistakable. “Go!” His mind whirled with unanswered questions:
“Why? What's wrong with where I am now?”;
“Go? Go where?”;
“My support system's here. Why give it up?”;
“Is this really necessary?”
Willing to place his life and the lives of his household, his fortune, his reputation and his safety into the hands of his unseen God, Abram pulled up stakes and left Familiar. God required him to relinquish his past in order to find his future. Follow God, but to who knows where?
Abram's journey mirrors our own. Like our forefather in the faith God asks us to break with the past, leave Familiar and pursue the Glorious Great Unknown. Abram was required to surrender three things: his land, his family and his father's home in order to attain one object - “the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 (Tanach). Do the math. Give up three and get one in return. Lopsided trade don't you think?
A recent post In Means In delved into Acts 17:28. Abram's Great Adventure is another Old Covenant example of this New Covenant truth. Abram's land (live), his family (move) and his father's house (our being) had to shift from the realm of natural possibilities to that of supernatural supply in an unseen place (God). Abram did it.
Paul followed in Abraham's footsteps and apprehended more than he gave up. Both received new identities: Abram became Abraham, Saul became Paul. With much to lose, they took the risk and followed God. Both men faced difficulties and challenges. It's not easy pioneering a new belief system. Abraham and Paul experienced supernatural encounters with God, angels and so forth. Many believers secretly long for such experiences. If we do what these men did, we can have what they obtained.
The fact is Christianity's no cake walk if you're serious about pursuing God. There's a price to pay. It's no fun to be pruned and have your dead wood lopped off but it is essential for new growth to appear. In the end our “land that I will show you” will be far more valuable than all we give up. It really will.
How about you? If you took drastic measure like Abraham and Paul how could your life be radically different? What would you consider too extreme and would prevent you from entering a newer, deeper relationship with God? If so...why? Is it worth it?