When you sense that God may be calling you to something new, to take a step of faith, you can experience a variety of emotions. On the one hand there may be excitement as you think about the plan God has for your life and where he is leading you, on the other hand you may be anxious about facing the unknown and what he is asking you to do. Or perhaps stubbornly you decide to dig your heels in because you don’t want the change. You may be wondering why he is calling you to do something different when you are satisfied with life as it is, when you already consider yourself productive in your relationships, home, work, ministry at church etc. To leave all that behind may not make a lot of sense to you.
I wonder what emotions Abram experienced when he heard God’s call on his life. Abram was from a prominent family, his ancestry can be traced all the way back to Seth, Adam and Eve’s son. His was a wealthy family with many possessions and servants. Then in Genesis 12:1 he receives this call from God: “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” (NLT)
God’s call to him was to leave and follow his direction; there was no real explanation, just the command to go somewhere new. God was calling Abram to leave all that he knew – his people and his way of living. He was calling Abram to move from his place of security, comfort and position and on into the unknown. Abram had no idea where God was calling him to; God had not revealed that part of his plan yet. It took incredible faith on Abram’s part, to trust and be obedient to God’s word. We read in Hebrews 11:8 “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.” (NLT)
It can be far from easy for us to move out of our comfort zone, out of what is familiar to us and to follow God’s direction, especially when we don’t know where that might be. Although God has the whole plan mapped out, he often takes us just one step at a time, asking us to put our trust in him, depend on him and him alone. Taking that step of faith is scary, we often prefer to stay where we are, after all, we had it all figured out, we knew exactly where our life was heading, what was just around the corner, or so we thought, we were settled and comfortable. And then God steps in and tells us he’s got something new for us, a new direction to take.
Abram, from a human point of view, had pretty much all he needed, things were good for him, there was no reason to change and move on until God stepped in suddenly and directed him to something new. I don’t know how those left behind felt about him leaving them, maybe they didn’t understand, maybe they thought he’d got it wrong, but none of this deterred Abram from stepping out as God told him to.
In faith Abram stepped out and was obedient to God and as we read through the bible we learn just how much God did for and through this man of faith. If Abram had chosen to stay where he was, to disobey God’s call, he would have missed out on all that God had planned for him, he would not have known the blessings God had in store for him.
It’s the same with us. If we are disobedient to God’s call on our life we miss out on all the wonderful things God has planned for us, we will miss out on the incredible life that is waiting for us the moment we say yes to him. When we say yes to him and step out in faith and obedience God will do amazing things for and through us.
The notes in my NLT Parallel Study Bible read “God may be trying to lead you to a place of greater service and usefulness for him.” It also said don’t let what you have now, “the comfort and security of your present position make you miss God’s plan for you.”
To think about:
In what area of your life do you sense God is leading you into something new? In your relationships? Your home? Your work? Your church ministry?
Do you need to do what Abram did and leave or let go of something in order to follow God’s call and do that new thing he has planned for you?
Will you step out in faith and be obedient to God?