Summary: A sermon illustrating the walk of faith, not just for Abram but for every Christian. A sermon where a founding pastor must also say "Good-bye" to his congregatioin.
What comes to mind when you hear the name Abram? Okay, what about Abraham? They are the same man, but he was only known as Abram until he was called to do something special by God - when he was 75 years old! Not long after that, God changed his name to Abraham, which has a specific meaning. It means, ’the Father of many nations.’ And what we find out is that blessing extends down to even us today.
There is much to be learned from Abram that can actually make our walk with Christ today easier. There is an old song we used to sing in our church in Arizona. The name of that song is, ‘I Walk By Faith’, and it is descriptive of Abram’s life, and is also appropriately descriptive of what our lives should be like. The first verse of that song goes like this:
‘I walk, by faith. Each step by faith. I put my trust in You!’
I love that song. The very first time I heard it, I knew it applied to my walk with God. It made perfect sense to me. That is the first time I realized that my personal walk with the Lord was to be none other than a walk where I knew nothing and God knew everything - and I was supposed to trust Him so much, I would willingly go anywhere and do anything He asked me to.
And that blind ’faith walk’ is what I am going to talk about today. And please be sure to note that God calls each Christian to a specific walk of faith. And to properly explain that walk of faith, I think we should talk about Abram’s obedient walk with God, and how ours should be just as focused on God as his was.
I want to begin with this caution: The key word here is ‘obedient’. Anybody can follow God, but most of us do it a little here and a little there. We make sure it is within our comfort zone, or realm of understanding, before we ever think about being obedient and just going toward God.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to GENESIS 12:1-4a. And let’s take the time to explain it as we go through it.
‘The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house – and go to the land that I will show you.’
God is telling Abram to ‘get up and go!’ But we find something missing here, too. If somebody tells us to go somewhere, what is the first thing we do? We always try to find out WHERE they want us to go, and then we follow that up by asking WHY they want us to go there. We do this because we have this innate need to always be in control of of our lives. And there is nothing Godly about that.
God is telling Abram to leave everything and everybody in his life, so that he can properly follow God. How many of us would ever even think about doing that? We are so stuck in our comfort zones that, even though we would never admit it, we would almost forsake our eternal home in Heaven, just so we could be comfortable down here today!
God calls Abram to go, but doesn’t tell him where he is to go. And Abram goes! How many of us would obey that calling today? We see our first sign right there that Abram was serious about following God. He didn’t play ’20 questions’ with God; he didn’t weigh the pros and cons of following God; he did none of those things we would do today, but he did do the one thing most of us would never consider doing today - he instantly obeyed God. What a mighty walk of faith he must have had! And no wonder God chose to bless Abram in so many ways.
God has called us to do many things for Him. Among them, we have all been called to:
··· Have a right relationship with His Son, Jesus.
··· Give witness at every possible opportunity.
··· Be His representative on this earth for His glory.
··· Put Him first, far above everything and everybody else.
Those are just a few of the callings we already have on our lives from God, but let me ask you this; how many of them have we been obedient to? The answer is, of course, none. That is because we are born into a sinful world, surrounded by a sinful devil, and all-too-often are only consumed with what our own sinful desires are. If anything comes at us that is not in our comfort zone, we will most likely refuse it at worst, and barely think about it at best.