God Chose and Guided Abraham (Genesis 11:27-12:20)
Illustration:Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master".
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22.
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how God chose and guided Abraham because of his faith and obedience
2. Explanation of the Aim: Everyone needs to know that God has specially created them for a unique purpose. God chose and guided Abraham as an example of how He blesses those who trust and obey Him.
God not only calls Abraham out of his familiar surroundings but sets him apart for special service, blessings and future multiplication purposes.
Ask God to help you realize all the ways that Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God. Instead, Abraham chose to grow more mature in faith by going to a land that he knew nothing about.
Let us learn how to give God greater glory through a remarkable faith as demonstrated in our obedience to His promises.
Great people of faith act in such a way that they have a confident expectation that God will do what He says. Abraham experienced some anxious moments, but refused to give in to fear and looked beyond the superficial difficulties to move where God directed him to go.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen and the assurance of things hoped for. As a result, Abraham has been known as the Father of faith. His life is an example of how we should trust God to use us in great ways since the things that are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 1:37)
Whenever God tells us to do something we can be assured that even though it may not make human sense at the time, it will always result in our best interests.
Just as God fulfilled all of His promises to Abraham so we can claim all the promises in Christ according to 2 Cor. 1:20 which says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken to us to the glory of God.”
Allow the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s promises to be appropriated in all aspects of your life, relationships and ministries.
Understand some of the difficulties that Abraham faced in leaving his home to a strange land.
How would you feel if you were told that you must prepare to leave everything behind and go to a place they had never heard of before?
The BIBLE STORY focuses on Abraham’s faith and obedience that God blessed in ways that demonstrate the Lord’s complete dependability regardless of outward circumstances.
Concentrate on looking at the trust and obedience that God blessed in the heart of Abraham.
HOw can we grow in our trust and obedience to God. Even if you have been a Christian for a long time you can mature in your trust and obedience as you seek to be more like Jesus in every way. Perhaps you need to express your faith and willingness to obey God in regards to studying your Bible, witnessing, praying and following the directions of those who are over you in the Lord.
What are some of the things that frighten people about having to go to a new place that is completely strange to them? Why?
What are some of the reasons why a person like Abraham might hesitate to go to a completely strange land when he has everything he needs in his own area?
Why do you think that God often tests our faith? How do you think people are able to grow in their faith?
What are some of the ways that you can determine if a person has great faith in God and in His promises?
One time Abraham was directed by God to go to a strange land and he went, not knowing what was ahead. God rewarded Abraham’s faith and obedience and will do the same for anyone who will take Him at His word.
The Bible Story (Gen. 11:27- 12:20)
1. Abraham’s faith is tested when God directs him to leave the things he loves the most, his land, his security and his dearest friends. But God knew what was best because Abraham’s land had become idolatrous, his family and friends were a constant temptation to him and he could not continue there without being infected by his surroundings.
2. God’s directives are always best even though they may seem difficult to adhere to at the time. Whenever we leave our human dependencies and rely completely on God and His word we will never be disappointed. Learn to replace all the negative human responses of our old sinful nature with the positive aspects of faith, love, and hope that come from the Spirit that empowers us to do whatever God asks of us.
3. God guided Abraham because he was willing to abandon his natural affections for divine grace in determining his future. Only when we are willing to replace the negative desires of our sinful nature with the positive responses given to us by the Holy Spirit are we able to discern God’s best for our relationships, ministries and directions. Jesus said, “Unless a person is willing to love me so much that it would appear that they hate their own Father, Mother, wife etc, they cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:26)
4. God always wants to know if we are willing to be completely yielded to His will before He reveals greater plans for our life. We need to learn how to be faithful in the little things before we can expect God to give us greater responsibilities. Jesus said, “If you have not been faithful in the little things, who will give you responsibilities over much.” (Luke 16:10-12) Whenever our natural affections come into competition with God’s choices we must learn to yield all of our rights to the Lord.
6. God guided Abraham as long as he demonstrated great faith and obedience to His word. When people consistently exhibit a trusting and obedient heart to the scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit, they will enjoy the blessings of being guided in the best paths of life. Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do my will, they will know of the correct teaching.” (John 7:17) Abraham was willing to abandon the sinful environment of his homeland because God was preparing him to do a new thing in his life and also through his descendants of the faith.
7. God is able to make a way in the wilderness and a stream in the desert for anyone who looks to Him alone for their directives. (Isa. 43:10-13) Let the Lord guide you through His word, through prayer and through godly counselors.
8. God directed Abraham through a special covenant when He said, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:1-3)
9. God’s promises help us determine what directions the Lord wants us to take in our decisions. Abraham knew that every promise God makes is conditioned on our obedience and trust in His will. Unless he was willing to listen and follow God’s commands he could not expect to receive any more revelation, instruction or illumination about the next best decision to take.
10. The more we obey God, the more He reveals about His will for our life. If you want to know what God wants you to do tomorrow you must be first do everything He asks of you today.
Here are suggestions in growing in your trust and obedience. Ask yourselves these questions:
God’s will is determined by seven main criteria:
1). What the Bible tell us to do?
2). Have we sought out advice from godly counselors? 3). Have we prayed and asked God for directions?
4). Have we consulted with people who are our spiritual mentors?
5). Have we discerned where the Lord gives us the greater peace and joy in our service to Him?
6). Have we understood how we can use our spiritual gifts for God’s kingdom priority purposes
7). What are the ways we can best help the church grow in qualitative and quantitative measures?
Let us explore how Abraham serves as a great example for a person who trusted and obeyed the Lord and was blessed for doing God’s will even though it might not have made sense at the time.
Memory Verse – Romans 4:20,21 – “Yet, he did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in his faith…being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.”
Song: “He leadeth me Oh precious thought. Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught. Whatever I do, wherever I be. Still, tis God’s hand that leadeth me.”
Prayer: Ask the Lord to guide, lead and provide all the wisdom you need to discern God’s best will for your life.
Conclusion:Where our Captain bids us go,
’Tis not ours to murmur no;
He that gives the sword and shield
Chooses too the battlefield
Where we are to fight the foe.