In this blog series, I have been looking at the journey of trust, faith, and hope that Abram walked out as he was becoming Abraham. Through his process not only did Abram leave all that he knew, but he entered into covenant, identity, inheritance, and so much more. In this post I want to remind us not to settle for good, when God has great planned for us.
Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.” – Genesis 11:31
In Genesis 11:31, we read that Abram and his father Terah had left their home of Ur (now in modern day Iraq) to go to the land of Canaan. It may be that they left the fertile flood plains of the Euphrates and Tigris because it was becoming too crowded. Abram was making this journey with his father, but when they got as far as Haran (on the border of modern day Turkey & Syria) Terah chose to settle there. Terah had planned to go to Canaan with his sons and grandchildren, but never made it past Haran. We know he spent 60 years there after Abram left him (Genesis 11:26,32 & 12:4… do the math!). Like Terah, many of us settle before we have achieved our own goals. Perhaps we settle because we have become tired of the journey, or perhaps we have become disillusioned with or distracted from our destination. For whatever reason, Haran was the end of the road for Terah, but not for Abram.
Abram is seized by a new call, though he had not yet fulfilled his father’s original plan to get to Canaan. No longer does Abram pursue his father’s journey to Canaan but he chooses to follow the Lord.
And guess where the Lord takes Abram first?
Abram has arrived at the place he had wanted to come to, but this is still not the ultimate place where God had promised to lead him. So, even though Abram has made it to Canaan, where he and his father had originally purposed to travel, he continues to move southward as the Lord leads him. And as a result, the Lord tells Abram “I will give this land (i.e. Canaan) to your offspring” (Genesis 12:7) and He leads him further south to Negev and then Egypt.
Abram was willing to lay down his own plans in order to pursue God’s plans. In His goodness, God promises to give Canaan to Abram’s offspring – the generation after him. What Abram laid down in order to pursue God, God gave him back as his inheritance for his offspring!
The writer of Hebrews writes this about Abraham:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth… But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
-Hebrews 11:8-10, 13, 16
Ultimately, we discover that while Abraham was greatly blessed by God along his journey, his ultimate destination was a heavenly one. (By heavenly, we mean where God dwells).
And so it is for us. In this part of our life journey with God, we receive many blessings and God wants to prepare an inheritance for us to leave to the next generation who are pursuing Him, but our ultimate reward is not here and now, it is an eternal reward in ‘a city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God’.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” – Revelation 21:2-3
Our Father in Heaven, thank you that we can trust you for our provision, protection and identity. Give us the boldness to pursue you with faith that pleases you. Thank you that you are our ultimate prize. May we never settle for that to which you have not called us. Amen.