Summary: I’m glad to report to you that no failure need be permanent in the walk of faith. God does not want His children to live away from His plan. So He is working to draw them back.
Theme: GOING UP TO THE PLACE OF GOD’S BLESSING
Genesis 13: 1-4
A. Last Sunday we learned about the saddest event of the entire pilgrimage life of Abraham. It was when he left Canaan, the place where God called him to be, the land of victory and God’s blessings, and went down to Egypt, the land of bondage. There in Egypt we saw Abraham’s testimony being ruined, his life being lived in deceit, and his worship life being damaged. His little trip to Egypt was a disaster.
Likewise, anytime a believer steps outside the will of God, his spiritual life is going to suffer. His spiritual experience would be as never as joyful and satisfying when he was living in the center of God’s will. There will be what we call “scarcity of spiritual privileges.” The person who lives outside the will of God shall never find spiritual victory and God’s blessings. He shall forfeit God’s divine favors.
B. But this morning, I’m glad to report to you that no failure need be permanent in the walk of faith. In the case of Abraham, our passage tells us that he “went up out of Egypt.” That means, he never stayed in the life of failure. He returned back to the place of blessing. Well, it has two factors. First is God’s intervention. Henry Blackaby says, “God is always at work in the life of each believer.” God does not want His children to live away from His plan. So He is working to draw them back. Second is man’s realization. Abraham had realized where he failed and recommitted himself to walk in accordance to the Word of God again.
C. This particular event of Abraham’s life –his going back to Canaan, teaches us two things:
First, that there is still hope and chance for a wayward believer to go back to the place of blessing and victory. This truth shall encourage us that if we know someone, a friend or a relative who turns away from God, we don’t stop praying for him because God is working to draw him back. If you are that person, do not procrastinate to turn to God now.
Second, that there are certain requirements or conditions that must be met by the believer to be in the center of God’s will and to be in the place of God’s blessings. I shall give you two conditions this morning:
I. GOING OUT: SEPARATION
1. First of all I’d like to say this: to profess Christianity is not enough. To say that you are a believer is not enough. Following the Savior is not just something you say with your mouth; it is something your heart commits to do. Yes, there are things involved in a believer’s commitment to follow God. There are things required from the believer to be in the center of God’s will. To Abraham, it’s removing himself, his family, and possession from the land of Egypt.
2. Abraham realized that if he were to return back to the place where God willed and wanted him to be, he should leave Egypt right away. Staying there means staying away from God. He could never stay in Egypt and be in the center of God’s will. If he were to be in the place of blessings and victory, he should leave the land of bondage.
3. Likewise, no believer who stays in his waywardness can be in the center of God’s will. No believer in his waywardness can experience spiritual victory and God’s blessing. To go back to Canaan is to go out from Egypt. There’s no alternative to it. If you want to be in the center of God’s will, you must remove yourself from worldly compromises and from sinful activities. If you want to experience God’s presence, to enjoy wonderful fellowship with Him, to enjoy His blessings, and to live the christian life to its fullness, then you must separate yourself from anything that restrains you from following God. To be in the place of blessings and God’s rest, it requires you to leave away the wayward life.
4. One thing more I observed here: When he went out of Egypt, Abraham did not leave anything that he possessed. He removed himself, his family, and his possession from the land of Egypt. Abraham cleared himself from all encumbrances and holds of Egypt. In other words, there was total separation. Friends, there is no true commitment to follow the Lord without total separation from the world. There is no true freedom to walk with the Lord without total separation from the holds of the world.
Take note of this: when Abraham started to go out from Egypt, he also started to go up to Canaan. Abraham was able to rise up because nothing had weighed him down anymore. Friends, if you want to have the freedom to rise up in your walk with God, you must free yourself from anything of this world that holds you down. Lay down your burdens, your worries, your failures, & your compromises. Be free and see yourself rising up in your walk with God.