In this blog series, we are looking at what we might learn from the story of God calling Abram in Genesis 12. God invited Abram on a journey without revealing the destination to him. God often does this. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).
Abram went out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8) but trusting God to lead Him.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going…for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. – Hebrews 11:8,10
Have you ever driven to the same place over and over again, so often that sometimes you don’t know how you got there, it just seems like you arrived at your destination without even trying? You were on “auto-pilot.”
On the contrary, I have discovered over the years that when I have to travel somewhere without being previously familiar with my destination, I am much more attentive to the step-by-step and turn-by-turn directions that I have been given. I know I have to look out for “this sign” or “that landmark”, or else I might take a wrong turn. And, even if I do take a wrong turn that doesn’t mean I can no longer reach my destination – it just means I am going to need to be re-routed or else re-trace my steps back to the directions I have been given.
If I don’t know what my next step will be while I am traveling it is of little help for me to know that 5 steps from now I will need to turn left. I have to stay present – alive to the moment I am in.
When using a GPS device, for example, we are given our direction for the next step and we need to follow it faithfully so that we are ready to receive the instructions for the next turn.
My wife and I have found this same experience of following directions to be true of what it is like to walk with the Lord. I realize that it is often the grace of God not to reveal our final destination to us since we would probably be overwhelmed with the awareness of having no clue of how to get there or else possibly not yet have the character and heart to step into the promised land and steward it well. Our journey with God is as much a heart journey as it is a journey to a destination. God is invested in our process as much as He is invested in our production.
Abram is a prime example of a man who was attentive to following the step-by-step instructions of the Lord. (Just as well, since he did not reach his destination in his lifetime!) and yet Abram (who God renamed Abraham) became a model of faith, patience and righteousness celebrated by the New Testament writers (Hebrews 6:13-18).
Maybe you sense God has called you on a journey. Perhaps you even have a sense of what or where the destination might be. But what is God teaching you in the current directions he has given you that will be vital preparation for your heart and your character along the way?
I want to challenge you, don’t be in such a rush to ‘get to where you’re going’.
be present in the moment;
be diligent with what He is saying to you;
be attentive to your heart journey.