Leaving the Land of the Familiar
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
1 The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go 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 whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
4 So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, 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." So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him
I. Living in the land of the familiar
a. Abe had it made! Think about it
i. He was comfortable with his surroundings. He still lived in the same place, he grew up. He knew everything there was to know about the land. He knew every short cut. He played in this land as a child. He could tell you how to get where you wanted to go.
ii. He knew people everywhere he went. He was kind of like Brad Barnett. He had more connections than AT&T. He was still friends with the kids from his little league team. He knew who to hang out with when he wanted to relax and have fun, he knew who to talk to when he needed advice. Living where he lived I can guarantee you he would never get a speeding ticket.
iii. He was already established. He didn’t have to wonder where he was going to live, or what he was going to do. I’m sure he had a routine. Life was easy.
b. The good thing about living in the land of the familiar is that it is comfortable, predictable and easy going. The bad thing about living in the land of the familiar is that it is comfortable, predictable and easy going. This reminds me of a poem I read.
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played;
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he one day passed away
His insurance was denied;
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never died!
c. Many of us have pitched of tents in the land of the familiar.
i. We eat the same meals, at the same places. Keep the same comfortable friends, without making new ones. Sit in the same chairs at church. Doing what we have always done and getting what we always got!
ii. Even more dangerous is when we are content to live in the land of the familiar spiritually.
iii. We become complacent.
Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. "Good enough" becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course -- downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.