When Abraham received God’s call, he packed up, loaded up and headed toward Canaan, the land that God promised to him. Acquiring the land and the realization of the promise (that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars) required a lot of patience. The journey was long and there were many obstacles. Canaanites inhabited and possessed the Promised Land. A famine sidelined Abraham and Sarah in Egypt for while, add in an angry Pharaoh and it becomes apparent that the fulfillment of the promise didn’t come easily. Then, Abraham added to the problems by bringing along his nephew Lot, even though God had told him to leave the relatives behind. As time marched on Sarah decided Abraham should have a child with her servant Hagar, to insure he would have heirs. Their failure to fully obey God resulted in complications and time-consuming distractions. Abraham and Sarah grew old (too old in the natural sense to have children); the promise seemed impossible. Their micromanaging of God’s plan would bring long-term conflict to their heirs, but at last, the impossible happened—Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the son of the promise. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Ge 12:1-2, 5, 7, 17-18, 15:5, 18:14-15; Js 24:2; Ro 4:13; He 11:11-12
The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your relatives, and your father’s home. Go….” (Ge 12:1-2) Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” (Ge 15:5) “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Ge 18:14)
When God calls it is personal; Abraham had no doubt that God had spoken to him. God’s call gives direction, but not necessarily destination. Abraham knew he was headed to Canaan, but he had only heard of it. He wasn’t sure how God would bring about his possession of the land or make him the father of many nations; however, Abraham trusted God enough to move forward. Following God’s call means obedience even when the destination is uncertain. God didn’t ask Abraham where he’d like to go or if he’d maybe consider heading to Canaan, he told Abraham to go. God must lead. He must be in control. God’s call contains a promise. Abraham and Sarah clung to God’s promise. Faithfulness always yields reward. God’s call involves change. God will move us from our comfort zone into uncharted territory. Abraham left his homeland, relatives, all that he knew for a land he’d never seen. Even when we are obedient, obstacles are a certainty. We add to the obstacles when we are not completely obedient to God. Abraham and Sarah brought many problems upon themselves because they deviated from God’s perfect plan. The Canaanites and the famine brought more complications. The road wasn’t easy, but despite their failings, in God’s timing, God fulfilled His promise.
When have you heard God’s call? Explain. How did you know it was God? What uncertainties were involved in being obedient? How did it turn out? Have you ever altered God’s call to suit your comfort? How is God’s call time sensitive? What is the outcome of waiting too long to respond to God’s call? What promise have you received in obedience to God’s call? When God calls you out of your comfort zone how do you respond? As you get older, is it harder to get uncomfortable for God? Why? In light of Noah and Abraham’s call, is age a factor to God? If God searches to find an available follower, are you on His list?
Listen for God. Be available and sensitive. Pray. Read God’s Word. Serve. Be part of a small group. Document times when God has called and how you have responded.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to draw strength from those who have heard your call, obeyed your voice and persevered to their destination. I seek your blessing, Lord. Use me to fulfill your purpose. I am available. I am listening. Call me. Help me to fully trust you. Thank you for your faithfulness! In Jesus Name, I pray.