Summary: There are times in our lives when faith seems more essential than others. In fact, we will eventually encounter a season where faith is all we have. We must learn to walk by faith as we follow the Lord and serve Him.
Series: Walking by Faith #1
The Call of Abraham
Genesis 12: 1-9
As believers we often speak of faith. Most are aware of the value of genuine faith, but we often find it difficult to practice faith. I was reminded of the lyrics to the popular song – God on the Mountain. “We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain, but talk comes so easy when life’s at its best.” In reality, we rarely live by faith during the mountain top experiences of life. When life is easy, and all is going well, we tend to rely upon ourselves and our own abilities. Faith lives in anticipation and expectation rather than reacting to current circumstances or relying on experiences of the past. Heb.11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
However, we all know that life is never a continual mountain top experience. We all are forced to walk in the valley as well. We all face situations that are beyond our ability to control. Sooner or later we will find ourselves in a situation where faith is essential. In fact, you may encounter a situation where faith is all you have. It is beneficial for every believer to exercise their faith and learn to walk according to faith.
Over the next few weeks I want to preach a series entitled: Walking by Faith. The Bible is filled with those who walked by faith, leaving us a gracious example to follow. I hope to examine the lives of three individuals in the Old Testament, and three individuals in the New Testament. When faith is mentioned, Abraham often comes to mind. Today I want to examine the aspects of Abraham’s faith as we consider: The Call of Abraham.
I. The Reception of the Call (1-3) – Here we discover the details surrounding the call Abraham received. (I am aware that God had not changed his name from Abram to Abraham at this point, but I will likely refer to him as Abraham out of familiarity.) Notice:
A. The Context (1a) – Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house… As God called Abraham, he was asked to leave his homeland, the place he had lived his entire life. He was asked to leave his family, and depart from his father’s house. In essence Abraham was asked to leave everything he knew and loved behind to follow God. Abraham was expected to leave his comfort zone in order to follow the Lord.
In a very small way I can identify with how Abraham might have felt, but I can at least get back home within an hour’s drive. God may not ask you to leave your hometown or separate you from your family, but I am certain He will lead you beyond your area of comfort as you follow Him. Regardless of our geographic location, we must all learn to walk by faith as we follow the Lord. Likely you will experience separation from some friends and loved ones as you make God the priority in your life.
B. The Conditions (1) – Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee. We find that God gave Abraham no specific details about the trip. In essence God said, “Don’t worry about a thing; just follow Me. When we get where we are going, I will let you know.” Can you imagine how Abraham must have felt at this moment? He was clearly a man of faith, but I am certain he wondered where they might go. He would not know it when he saw it, and he had received no description or information about the trip. He just had to walk by faith until God revealed the final destination.
Most of us would be very hesitant with such a proposal. We like to know the details. We want to know where we are going, how long it will take to get there, what kind of accommodations we will have when we arrive, what we are going to eat, and on and on we could go. Eventually God will ask us to step out in faith and follow Him. That will be the call – Follow me. There will be no additional information. In that moment, if we choose to follow, we will have to walk by faith!
C. The Comfort (2-3) – And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. While Abraham didn’t receive specific details about the trip, he was promised great blessing for his obedience. Such a promise would have been incomprehensible at this moment, but Abraham believed God and trusted His word.