Summary: Using Abraham’s call to learn how to hear God’s voice in our own lives.
Get Up And Go! 7-30-06
Series: Can You Hear Me Now? Gen. 12:1-10
Intro. Walking from the back saying – “Can you hear me now?” I love cell phones. They’re convenient, inexpensive and practical. But as we all know, they do have a few little quirks. Do you know what drives me crazy about my cell phone? NO, it’s not the dropped calls because I know I can just call you right back. The thing that makes me want to smash my phone on the floor is when I’m talking to a friend and I can only hear every 3rd or 4th word. When that first happens I try to act like I know what you’ve said. But sooner or later I get so frustrated having to ask, “What’d you say?” that I normally just hang up and decide to talk with you later.
That same level of frustration due to the lack of communication is evident in the church today. Just look around you and notice all the xians who have given up on hearing and understanding God’s voice. They’ve decided it’s just plain easier to let others hear from God and then tell them what to do. Now that certainly is easier, but it’s not God’s plan for your life. He wants to speak directly into your life; he wants to communicate to you personally; He wants you to not only know what to do, but how to do it. And that’s what leads to the abundant life that Jesus promised…hearing and obeying God’s voice.
Over the next 4 weeks we’re going to work our way through a new series called, “Can you hear me now”. What I want us to do is to investigate how God continues to speak into the lives of individuals just like you and me. What I want you to remember is that my call and your call may look very different, that is God may speak to us in different ways, using different methods. But there is one similarity in every call that God issues to every human heart…He expects obedience.
We’re going to begin our series by looking at one of the most famous calls in Scripture. It is the call of Abraham found in Genesis 12. Let’s listen in as God calls Abraham and then step back to see what kind of eternal principles we can apply to God’s call in our lives. Read Gen. 12:1-10
I. God’s call requires major adjustments.
In v.1 God tells Abraham to do 2 specific things. Abraham is supposed to leave what he knows and go to a place that he doesn’t know. Leaving the familiar and going to the unknown is what I call having to make some major adjustments. In Henry Blackaby’s classic study, “Experiencing God” he says, “You can’t go with God and yet stay where you are”. In other words, following God always means moving into some unfamiliar territory. When God calls you, it will be a call from the familiar to the unknown. Think about it for a moment. When God called Moses it was from the backside of the desert to the palace of Pharaoh. When he called David it was from tending sheep to killing giants. And when God called the apostle Paul it was from persecuting the church to preaching the gospel. In every life, the call of God demands some major adjustments.
Now what kinds of adjustments did Abraham have to make in order to follow God? I think we can categorize his adjustments using 2 familiar words. Abraham was called to make a step of action and a step of faith. The action step finds its focus in the word “leave”. It took real determination for Abraham to leave behind the things we find listed here in v.1. Leave your country, you relatives and your father’s house. To leave his country meant leaving behind his old associations. It meant breaking way from some old friendships, the buddies he grew up with; the business associates he trusted and worked with. Leaving his country meant Abraham would have to relinquish his inheritance; he’d be giving up his security and his sense of belonging. This was a call to break away from the past and look to the future.
God’s call on Abraham to leave his relatives and his father’s house was a demand to sever the ties of that, which was once familiar and comfortable. To put it simply this was a call of separation. So instead of finding his strength and security in the things he knew, from this moment on Abraham would have to rely on God. Now before we get too embedded in the life of Abraham, let me remind you that the same call is issued to every person who follows Christ. That’s why 2 Cor. 5:17 says when a “person becomes a xian, he becomes a new person, they’re not the same anymore, the old life is gone and a new life has begun.”