Summary: God has a plan!
One of the currently circulating e-mails is the story of a wealthy man who every time he picks up a penny, stops and prays. When asked why he does this, he remarked, "On our money it says, "In God We Trust" and then points out that it reminds him from who all things come.
Our main text for this morning is about a man who illustrates the ability to trust God when told to make a big change and move to a new location. Why? Because God has a plan!
Now, let’s contemporize and personalize Abram’s story for a moment this morning. What would it be like for Abram to relocate if God told him to do so today? Now, to get us thinking in the right direction, we are going to do a modified version of "Simon says" in which I give you some statements that begin with "God says" and you respond with the feelings and implications of the directive.
God says, "Resign your job." What are the implications and feelings of resigning your job?
God says, "Sell your house." What are the implications and feelings of selling your house?
God says, " Move to __________." You fill in the blank with the least desirable location to you. What are the implications and feelings of moving to a new location?
Abram faced all of this. At age 75, according to the Genesis 11 text, God told him to relocate. Why? God had a plan!
Okay Jim, that’s nice to know, but why should Abram follow God and do what He asks? And what does this have to do with me? I’m not moving!
First of all God has a plan for Abram - fatherhood. God says in verse 2 "I will cause you to become the father of a great nation."
Hey dads! Can you recall the feelings you had when you found out that you were going to become a dad?
To be honest, it took me about a week to get used to the reality of becoming a dad. I had been married 11 years and I knew that the freedom to come and go was going to change and I would have to share my life, and my wife, with another human being. But, I don’t regret it at all. My life has been made richer for becoming a dad.
Now, I do not know what kind of impact will be made by role as a father. I hope and pray that it will be the right kind of impact for I want both Jonathon and Daniel to become men of God who serve Him and follow Him.
It was different for Abram. He knew that God was going to make him the daddy of a great nation! But, he was 75 years old! How would that be possible? He was not even the father of one child let alone a great nation. But, God had a plan! And that plan included Abram.
So, as we read in Genesis 12:4 "So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed him." Then, moving on to the end of verse 5 we read, "and finally arrived at Canaan." Abram trusted God. He did not argue with God, he did what God said to do - move.
What makes it hard to trust? Fear of the unknown, past circumstances and experiences, and the desire to be in control are some of the reasons that we find it hard to trust. Several years ago, James Eads built the first steel bridge in America. It spanned the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. No one believed that it would support its own weight.
Eads ordered 14 locomotives to stop on the bridge at the same time. The people then trusted the integrity of the bridge. But, its builder already had faith that it would stand and remain standing.
God has a plan for us. And like Abram, it requires us to walk by faith and not by sight.
But, God also has a plan through us. Abram was part of a larger act of God. This great nation that God said that would come into being would come through the life of Abram. This great nation would be known as Israel, through whom God would bring the salvation of all humanity into a reality.
In the late 1980’s I spent sometime working in retail. I loved it. I had fun doing it. I worked for two major retail corporations during that time. The home offices were hours and hours away from where I worked.
Every once in a while I would get frustrated with the inability to get a product for a customer who needed it right now. I also was sometimes was frustrated with all the policies and procedures in place that I thought hindered business instead of helping it. In other words, I wondered, "Where do I fit into the plan?"