Devotional: January 29, 2021
Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
Genesis 12: 1-3 NRSV
The call of the Lord to Abram, who would later become Abraham, comes as a surprise. Abram was simply minding his own business, when the Lord asked him to leave behind everything he had known. God was calling Abram to venture forth into the unknown. He would leave behind familiar geography, and family members, in order to follow this call.
Abram answered this call from God. He set out in faith, trusting in God’s promises. He believed the Lord would be faithful to His promises, and so he left everything in order to follow God’s leading.
The promises of the Lord are significant: Abram is told that his offspring will become a great nation. He is promised God’s blessing. The Almighty even promises fame: “[I will] make your name great.” Abram is told that he will become a blessing. The blessings of following God’s call are significant.
Yet the costs of answering God’s call are also quite significant: leaving behind everything familiar: the town, the region, family. It is a “big ask”!
If you were in Abram’s shoes, would you have answered the Lord’s call? How would you feel if you were Sarai, Abram’s wife? What if you needed to leave behind your house, the places you loved, and even some of the people you were related to: people whom you loved? Would you leave everything familiar behind, in order to follow God’s call?
Abram does leave everything behind, in order to follow God’s call. There are many challenges along the way, but God is faithful to His promises. Every single part of God’s promise is fulfilled.
We live in a rapidly changing world, with the pace of change accelerating, due to Covid, rapidly evolving technology, and sweeping social changes.
We need to ask ourselves,
“How is God calling us to minister to these challenges?
Where is the Lord calling us to go?”
What do we need to leave behind, in order to follow God’s call right now? And on into the future?”
As Abram and Sarai stepped out in faith, to follow God’s call into the unknown, so we, too, must answer God’s call. The unknown awaits, but God will be with us in that unknown future. Will you go?
You call us to faith, rather than to fear. Help us to trust You, even when we are uncertain. Like Abram and Sarai, may we boldly follow You, wherever You are leading us individually, as a church, and as a nation. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ Holy name. Amen.
PS. You are welcome to take part in our denomination’s National Gathering, which takes place today, and tomorrow. It is free, and fully online (virtual). All that is necessary is to register. For more information, please go to econationalgathering.org.