Summary: Using the life of Abraham, we see the need to put God first in all things, from which will flow an unfolding of revelation, and a response of worship.
CRUCIAL STEPS IN THE JOURNEY
SEPARATION; REVELATION; WORSHIP
In the life of
The life of Abraham is remarkable, in that it clearly reflects aspects of our own life with God. There were certain very positive decisions that he had to make that were to become landmarks in his journey of life with God. We also see how kind and gentle the Lord is, as He presents each step to Abraham – He presents them one at a time, so that they can be dealt with in a gentle but positive manner. The Lord knew the end result, but did not overwhelm His friend by showing him the final completed picture - just one step at a time.
As we look at these five important steps in Abraham’s life, we will see that they are also steps that challenge us in our walk with God.
The first of the steps forward was
1. A SEPARATION FROM FAMILY
Genesis 12:1. 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.
This is a hard step to face, and you will see that it is the first step! Here is a challenge for us to assess our love for the Lord, and see if He really has first place in our hearts! The Lord knew that Abram would never get very far with God if he stayed where he was. There was too much to pull him away from the things of God; so it meant leaving his country, family and friends; and stepping out into the unknown – with God!
We see the Lord Jesus giving a similar challenge in
Matthew 10:37. The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. [Holman]
If we are going to progress with God, and enjoy the many blessings He has waiting for us, then we must give Him first place in every part of our lives. This will seem to be a very big step to take, but it is what the Lord desires of us.
II Corinthians 6:17 Come out from among
You can be certain that if we take this first vital step there will be a response from the Lord. As Abram responded to the Lord, so the Lord responded to Abram, and began to reveal the incredible blessing that was in store for him. But once again it was one step at a time, as I feel certain that Abram would not have been able to understand the amazing things stored up for him. See that with Abram’s response came God’s revelation!
A REVELATION OF GOD’S PROMISES
Genesis 12:7. 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.
It may be that when we first came to know the Lord as Saviour our understanding was limited, but it was still wonderful to know that there was something in store for us, and we can rejoice in the certainty of the Word of God.
John 10:28. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me. [NLT]
What a wonderful revelation God has given us; to KNOW that we have eternal life! That should bring a further response from our hearts, as it did with Abram, for we see that the revelation of God’s blessing led to a heart response of worship.
Genesis 12:8. He went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
This was worship as a response to the blessing of the Lord. There was nothing ritualistic about this, it was from the heart. The Father is still looking for this kind of response
John 4:23. But the time is coming - indeed it’s here now - when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. [NLT]
When our heart is right before God, it follows that there will be a desire to be godly in the way we behave, and we come to a part in the record concerning Abram when there was contention developing between Abram’s people, and Lot’s people, and this was in front of the nations around them! It obviously grieved Abram, and he saw the need to separate himself from this contentious spirit.