Elisabeth and I just began a new Bible study. Talk about really awesome! This one is going to dig deep! I expect some awesome growth as we dig into it! If you are not plugged into a regular Bible Study, I cannot encourage you enough to get plugged in. We need to be breaking the bread of God’s Word regularly together. We need that accountability and that encouragement from the Body of Christ. Plug in! You won’t be sorry!
Off my soapbox! hehe!
We were going through our daily study yesterday when something grabbed me away from the study–I have an inclination towards this with ANY study that I pursue! 😀 Of course, this one is GOOD! So good that I just wanted to share it with you. I think you will love it!
I am not sure how many of you really “connect” with Abraham in his story throughout Genesis. I guess that besides Jesus, he was the first person in the Scripture that I really “connected with.” His life seemed to parallel the life that Harold and I were required to walk in our life journey. I found Abraham to be a mentor from the very beginning. Everything about his life story ministers to me in the various aspects of my life journey.
One thing that hit me fresh as we were studying yesterday was that Abraham WENT THE DISTANCE!
Soak that in.
Abraham WENT THE DISTANCE…
Did you get that? He was called to leave his home, his homeland, his family to go to a place. Yep, a place that he was not even told about at the beginning.
Just leave and go to–A PLACE!
Yet, he went the distance!
Just think about how tough that was… Really put yourself in his position. Picture it in your mind.
He was called out of a culture that was much like our culture. He lived in a bustling city with all of the comforts of city living. He came from a large, “connected,” and very close-knit family.
So, why did God call him away. Why did God call him to leave it all and go the distance? Well, beloved, Abraham was much like all of us. Living in the city was nice, but the lifestyle had become increasingly pagan. Being a part of a large family certainly had its perks, but it also had its pressures and drawbacks–especially in the light of the family being known for their polytheistic beliefs. The Bible seems to indicate that Abraham had something different about him than the rest of his family. Maybe he didn’t quite fit into the social scene because of the blatant immorality that was all around him. Maybe he struggled with his family background, thinking that there must be another way to live and wanting to get back to God’s perfect design for the godly home. We are not quite sure how it all really looked in his life there in Ur. But, one thing that we do see is that God saw something special in him. Something that He could work with. Something worth saving. Something that HE knew could go the distance.
I love the beginning of the story of Abraham. I SO relate! In fact, it seemed that every time our church would begin a series on the life of Abraham, we would be moving or about to move at the time–hummm… (I think we are ok on this one this time–although God sure is asking me to get MOVING spiritually!)
My first time encountering Abraham was just after Harold and I married. We really needed to know what God wanted for us to do about college. Harold had several great options, but the very best option appeared to be in North Alabama. We were from South Mississippi. All of our family and friends were from there. We knew EVERYBODY…and of course, being from a small town, everybody knew us! For us to move away and “GO” to this unknown place, we would have to leave all that was precious and all that was dear to us. We were going to have to risk breaking our parent’s hearts to move away to the place that God was leading us. It was so hard to step out there, leaving all that was familiar for a place that God would show us. Can you see how much we had in common with Abraham?
Oh, that is not all. God was up to more than we could have ever imagined! Not only was He calling us away “physically” for the college years, but we knew deep-down that He was also calling us to a “spiritual place” that we had never known. It was a place that our parents had never gone. It was a place where our family could not go with us or for us. We were to step up and go the distance to a place that was completely out of our comfort zone. A place where God would show us…
Well, we did it. We were a bit better off than Abraham. We could have all of our same comforts–thank God for air conditioners and cars to move!! He did not ONCE require that we eat worms (Yep! I was one of those children that read WAY TOO MANY missionary biographies–I seriously feared that following God would result in having to live in Africa as a missionary, eating worms and crickets (MISSIONARIES SHOULD NOT COME HOME AND GIVE SAMPLES OF FRIED YUCKIES!!!)–made me shy away from surrender! hehe!). Nope! Not one worm. But, there was a cost that was rather hard. The holidays were desperately lonely, especially in the light of our famly traditions. The special memories with the children were no longer shared with the family. We were completely unknown (those in the south will TOTALLY get this!) after years of just saying our name and EVERYONE knew who we were! It may have seemed as though we moved only 300 miles away, but there was nothing familiar around us. It cost us to go the distance!
Not only did it COST…but it also paid off! This is yet another parallel with Abraham! As we stepped out there to go wherever He wanted to send us, God blessed us SO richly! Not only did Harold get a great education, but he also got a great start in his career field. Our family was established strongly, apart from some of the distractions that can come from building on those old foundations from previous generations. Our unknown became our life that would not trade for anything in the world! Those tough times were completely outweighed by the blessings that came to us. That simple step was the first beginning toward God’s “promise” for our family–for US! It was the first step toward the life that God had in store for us. It was worth going the distance!
So, what about you? Has God been calling lately? Is it time to “leave the place” where you have been for a while? It is time for you to “leave” something? It is time to go to the “place” that God wants to show you?
OH! DO IT! I can make a solid 100% guarantee on behalf of our Heavenly Father! Sound strong? Sound presumptious? Oh, it is guaranteed! If you will step out there and do exactly what He asks of you, He will never leave you or forsake you. He will show you the way each step along the way. He will take to you a place of promise! You can then have ALL that Christ died to give you! Ready?
Go the distance!