Genesis 12: 1-7 1The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and who ever curses you I will curse: and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. “
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land. “
What speaks to me is the close relationship that Abraham had with God. God chose him because of his strong faith. Abraham feared God, and trusted him. He could do no less than to obey God, when he told him to “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household…” it didn’t really matter where he was going. God said, “Go”, so he went. Abraham did not question God, or hesitate; he just went.
Because of their close relationship, Abraham's Faith in God was strong and solid!
He may have done a lot of things wrong, but this was what he got right, and was blessed by God because of his Faith in God.
I remember making a very important decision many years ago, in which we had to trust God. We believed that God was leading us in a new direction. We had been keeping with the tradition of both of our families and were attending the traditional church that we had been raised in. We had our two boys baptized and thought that we would raise our children in this church as well. God had other plans for us.
After our first daughter was born we were sensing that God wanted us to leave this church and go to another church that was very different in how they worshiped and how they taught the bible. We had been feeling stuck and needed more than what the church we were attending had to offer.
We were making an important life-changing decision. It would not only impact us but our children as well. To leave the church where we were raised, it also meant breaking from our families’ traditions and beliefs. It was difficult because it caused a dispute with our families. They were disappointed with our decision. We didn’t want to disappoint them, but we needed to do what we believed God was calling us to do.
We had to let go of the traditions that we were raised by; that we were familiar with and comfortable with, in order to follow God and begin a new way of living our lives. God was calling us to step out in faith and to trust him; even if it lead us away from how our families lived and worshiped God.
Over the years we have had to make many decisions in which we had to trust God. Moving to Texas was God leading us. We were not even looking to move or change jobs. We had only been in Maryland for seven months, and thought that we would be there for at least a few years. We were growing restless, and unsettled. We began praying for God to show us his plan for us. We prayed for a church that would help revive us after feeling burned out from serving in various areas at the church we were attending.
We asked for a pastor who was real and excited about God and where the Holy Spirit was present in the people. We asked for a church with a contemporary worship, but still had a reverence for God in the worship, and in keeping some traditions of service that we loved and believed were important parts of our connection with God and with other believers.
Well God knew the exact church that would be right for us, and brought us all the way to Pflugerville, Texas, to Point of Grace! God knew the depth of our prayers, even when we did not! He knew exactly where he wanted us to be. He brought us to a place where we would experience healing of past hurts and to be refreshed and renewed in our faith in him.
Now we can look back and see the path that lead us to where we are now, and how it lead us to what God is calling us to do now. We are now involved in new areas of God’s mission through the church and other ministries. God is still opening new doors and leading us to do new things. Even more God has revived us and changed our attitudes and motivations from seeking God just for our own needs, to seeking God for his purpose and plan.
I loved Pastor’s sermon this Sunday about letting go of the old to get something new and better, to follow the plan that God has for us.
Abraham had to leave, what was familiar and safe; in order to go to the life God had for Him and be the beginning of God’s plan for all of mankind.
I believe God is asking us to leave what is familiar and safe and trust him as he leads us to new attitudes, new adventures, and new experiences. As we let go of more of ourselves, we receive more of God and all his goodness.
Our life of FAITH is fueled and powered by the Promises and Presence of God.
We need to leave our Comfort, Control, Fear, Shame, etc. of our lives, in order to get peace, joy, love; and all God has planned for us by the presence of his Holy Spirit!
Please help us to let go of the old things that we cling to that are comfortable and make us feel safe, and trust to you in all you ask us to do. Amen.