Summary: Three tough things God asks of us just as much as He did of Abram.
Three Of The Toughest Challenges Of Our Walk Of Faith:
- What we’re going to see here is that Abram’s physical journey is a picture of our spiritual journey.
- Most of us will not have to move physically to be obedient to Christ (though some will), but we all have to move spiritually to be obedient.
- Let’s talk about the word “walk” for a moment. It’s a walk of faith. It’s a journey. We are called to follow Him.
1. You have to leave where you are (spiritually speaking).
- Genesis 12:1 – “leave.”
- The Christian life is one of change and transformation.
- It’s not just about salvation, but transformation.
- I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating here: God’s goal is to transform you into someone in this life who lives and loves the way Jesus did.
- This means that we have to leave where we are: our attitude, our priorities, our values, our dreams.
- Obviously, there are distinctives about us that are not tainted by our sinfulness (He’s not making us into robots!), but much of us is defined in ways that are intrinsically compromised. Those things have to be left behind.
- The sad truth is that many of us want to be saved but not be changed. We want the hope of being in heaven someday with the pain of becoming changed people. We do not really believe that following Christ is the best of all possible paths.
- To get where you’re going, you have to leave where you are.
2. You have to leave behind things you value (spiritually speaking).
- Genesis 12:1 – “your country, your people, and your father’s household.”
- That’s a tough statement that God makes: “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household.”
- Now the issues we’re talking about are spiritual, not physical (though some do have to physically move to do missions’ work). As we walk with God, there are going to things we value that we have to leave behind. There are going to be things that are hard to let go of that we have to leave behind.
- Let’s get specific with what I mean by citing two examples of each:
a. “Your country.”
- We all love America, right? We’re all thankful to have been born here, right? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean that America isn’t tainted with sin like the rest of the world. Two examples:
- The accumulation of wealth is a sign of a good and valuable life, according to capitalism. The more money someone has the more productive a presence they are in society, according to capitalism.
- As a Christian, I acknowledge the helpfulness of economic development, but I more deeply believe that the value of a soul is not based on its net worth.
- I think that democracy is the best system of governance that we have available to us right now. We can allow the idea, though, that I have an equal voice in how things should go to roll over to my spiritual life. We may act like we’re equal partners with God and we both get to decide together what to do.
- Our spiritual life is not a democracy. It’s a dictatorship. God is in charge. Certainly, it’s a benevolent dictatorship because He loves us, but it’s a dictatorship nonetheless.
b. “your people.”
- We live in a country that tells us our appearance and reputation are what we need to cultivate. Who you appear to be is who you are. We cultivate our image on Facebook. We wear the right brands.
- As a Christian, I believe that what really matters is what’s inside you, not what image you’ve cultivated.
- We live in a country that tells us that those who are famous are important because of their celebrity. Kids and teens throw up videos on YouTube hoping to become a viral sensation.
- As a Christian, I believe that public will not be my judge. It’s God who I need to please.
c. “your father’s household.”
- Maybe you come from a long line of drinkers or a long line of shopaholics.
- Just because that’s the way your family has always been doesn’t mean that you can continue it. And sometimes that could bring some hard feelings.
- In a similar fashion, we may have a family that puts its highest priority on money or even family. We have to acknowledge that God is first for us.
3. You have to start without knowing where exactly you’ll end up (spiritually speaking).
- Genesis 12:1 – “go to the land I will show you.”
- We don’t know where our journey is going to lead us: what He’ll ask of us, what people we’ll have to talk to, where we’ll have to serve, what impact we’ll have.