My personal quiet time today took me back to a familiar story from the Old Testament book of Genesis. It’s the story of Abraham. Whether you are Jewish, Christian or Muslim, you know who Abe is. He is considered to be a prominent figure in all of these religions. For Christ followers, he is considered to be a patriarch of the Israel nation and a glowing example of what a life of faith should look like.
So as I am re-reading this story, I was reminded of Abraham’s mention in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. There, Abraham is commended for the wonderful life of faith we hear told in Genesis. But catch what this verse says:
By 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. Hebrews 11:8
The literal meaning of this verse is this…By faith Abraham, as he was being called, obeyed…
Notice the significance of this. Here is Abraham. He has never met God, seen God or heard from God in his life until the point we meet him in Genesis. One day, God shows up and says,”Abraham, I’m going to take you, bless you, multiply your descendants and use you to bless all the nations of the world.” So far, so good. None of us have a problem with those kinds of statements. If God showed up in my office right now and said the same thing to me, I’d be all on board. It’s the next part that is amazing. God adds, “And we’re going to do this in a place far from here that I’ll let you know about later.”
For most of us, that would bring a little consternation, a little unsettled nature in our spirit…a little nausea from fear. We would begin to negotiate and debate. “Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty comfortable here. Could you possibly make it work here and now? Is there a chance you meant the Abraham who lives one block over? Could you at least point to the place on the map where you are taking me?”
Not old Abraham. The next sound we hear from him is the beep-beep-beep of a moving truck backing up to his door and the sound of packing tape wrapping up boxes. Abraham knows better than to sit still. He is on the move because, in faith, he believes the promises of God. You see, God only hits moving targets.
Here’s why. First, your first step of obedience proves to Him that His next command won’t be wasted. You are going to listen. Second, when you obey step one and God delivers on His part of the promise (and He always does), it increases the faith you will need to take step two. Three, if you move without having to have ALL of the information up front, it means you will trust God ALL the way and let Him guide you, instead of trying to take control and think that you can do better than God.
After all, isn’t that the great “lie of the Garden of Eden”…that somehow, the creation can do better than the Creator? Whatever God is asking you to do today. Take step one and know that God will guide you to the place He has prepared for you to bring Him glory.