Summary: This message talks about the call of God in your life to an intimate relationship with Him. The fact is that most Christians never get to that point in their relationships, let alone with God. We insulate ourselves, fearful of becoming too vulnerable and
From Insulation to Intimacy
Genesis 12: 1-9
David Needham in his book, “Close to His” tells the story of a missionary in China who found it necessary to be gone from his family for an extended period of time. Aware that his leaving would not be understood by his youngest daughter, he placed in his coat pocket a rare treat in that part of China, a bright red apple, to give her as he boarded the train. Finally the moment came. He embraced his wife and each of the older children. And then picked up his little girls in his arms, and pressed the apple into her little hand, hoping this special gift would soften the impact of his leaving. But instead, as he looked back from the slowly departing train, he saw the apple slip from her hand and roll across the platform. Tears streaming down her face, she ran along the train sobbing yelling out: “Daddy, I don’t want what you give- I want you!” That is exactly what God proclaimed in the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. God doesn’t want what you have to give, he wants you. He wants nothing more than an intimate relationship with you, to be your bff, your confidant, your guide and your Savior.
Today we’re going to talk about the call of God in your life to an intimate relationship with Him. The fact is that most Christians never get to that point in their relationships, let alone with God. We insulate ourselves, fearful of becoming too vulnerable and as a result, we settle for a superficial relationship with God. We worship God on Sunday mornings but do not worship God with our life. We may know the laws of God but we never really seek to know God’s will for our life. We may give to God but never sacrifice for God. And all the while, God is calling us to move closer and deeper to him in our faith journey. It’s God’s desire to be close to you, to be intimate with you and for you to make the choice to have God at the center of your life, not just a part of your life. And God wants that to be your heart’s desire too so that you can cry out like the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 139:23-24
God longs for a relationship with us, no matter how rebellious we are or how far we might run from Him. Our Scripture today of God’s call of Abram to a life of faith follows the story of the tower of Babel. Rather than accept a relationship with God, the people of Babel wanted to become equal to God. In response, God punishes them by confusing their language and scattering the people of Babel across the earth. And yet God does not abandon them. By placing the call of Abram immediately after the judgment of Babel, we see God’s grace and salvation even in the midst of judgment and that God still longs for relationship with us.
Now Sarai and Abram had been unable to have children because Sarai was barren. In Abram’s day, barrenness was seen as a sign of God’s judgment. But for Abram and Sarai, it meant even more. Because of their barrenness, their family line would die out. Furthermore, it left no one to care for them in their old age, which was God’s retirement and care plan for the elderly. So not only is this a very painful reality in their marriage but it had some serious implications for their future. The third thing we learn is that they were probably pagan worshippers. The city of Ur and Haran were known for their pagan worship and the chief god of both cities was the moon god Sin. The women of the family were named after members of the moon god’s family. Because of where they lived and the names they gave their family members, Abraham’s parents and family probably worshipped the pagan moon god.
So it is in the midst Babel’s rebellion, the crushing reality of Sarai’s barrenness and Abram’s family’s pagan worship and lifestyle, that God calls. But this isn’t the first time God has called. God has called before. Prior to this, the Lord called Terah, Abram’s father, to leave Ur and go to Canaan.” But instead, he settled for what life had to offer in Haran. The story of Terah is the story of many people’s spiritual journey. God woos and nurtures and gently calls you into relationship with him but somewhere down the road you have settled for what the world offers and thus failed to enjoy the blessings of God that come upon a life of faith and relationship to Him. And yet, despite all of this, this does not prevent God’s yearning or desire to be in relationship with us and his continued call upon on our lives. He still calls.