Summary: Why God leads us into problems.
A. BECOMING A FAITH-WALKER
“So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land” (Gen. 12:4-6).
1. Faith is obedience to God’s Word. “Abram departed as the Lord had said” (12:4).
2. Why is it never easy to take a step of faith? The Lord wants us to trust Him with our entire life. “By faith Abram obeyed when he was called . . . not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).
3. The life of faith attracts followers when you obey. “Lot went with him” (v. 4).
4. You are never too old to correct the compromises of youth. “Abram was 75 years old when he departed” (v. 4).
5. You are never too old to take a threatening step of faith.
6. Your family is involved in steps of faith. “Abram took Sari” (v. 5).
7. A step of faith puts everything on the line. “All their possessions they had gathered” (v. 5).
8. The first action is a step of faith and is negative. “They departed” (v. 5).
9. The second action is a step of faith and is positive. “They came to the land of Canaan” (v. 5).
10. There are no detours in the walk of faith. “Abram passed through the land” (v. 6).
11. God does not lead/call us to a place with no obstacles. “The Canaanites were in the land” (v. 6).
12. There is a time to fight and time to avoid. “He moved from there” (v. 8).
13. God knows about our enemies/problems before we do.
Why God Leads Us Into Problems
1. To grow us.
2. To use us to solve the problem.
3. To get rid of sin/problems.
4. To test us.
5. Because the measure of life is solving problems.
B. TWO SYMBOLS OF FAITH WALKING
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘I will give this land to you and your descendants.’ Abram built there an altar to the Lord and he moved to Bethel and pitched his tent and built another altar there” (Gen. 12:7-15).
1. The first symbol was an altar that stood for fellowship with God (12:7-8).
a. The blood was sacrificial that stood for forgiveness.
b. The worshipper had to confess and repent of sin.
c. The worshipper gave up something to get back in fellowship with God.
d. Since man sinned continually, he must always build altars.
2. The second symbol was a tent that stood for separation from the world.
a. The cities became sinful, so Abram left them to live in the wilderness.
b. Separation from sin (negative) and separation to God (positive).
c. Separation was based on fellowship with God. “The Lord appeared unto Abram” (12:7).
d. Away from people, Abram could pray, listen to God and fellowship with Him. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:8-10, KJV).
e. Abram confessed, he was a “stranger and pilgrim on earth” (Heb. 11:13).
3. Whenever Abram is out of fellowship with God, there is no altar or tent.
4. What’s the first thing Abram did after taking a step of faith? Worship. “The Lord appeared unto Abram” (12:7).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.