Genesis 12:4 – So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…
The beginning of Genesis 12:4 is just a few words that represent a massive amount of faith. When God asked Abraham to leave the pagan, evil country where he grew up so that He could make him, an old man with a wife who was barren, a great nation and start the family line through whom would come Jesus, it seemed like a crazy ask. But he went anyway.
At some point, every marriage and family experience the Abraham and Sarah moment where they are called to leave what they have known for the unknown. The Bible talks a lot about our journey with God through life as a faith walk. Sometimes, that faith walk starts in the darkness of night before the sun rises. Those can be scary seasons when we do not see where we are going, but trust that the Lord is leading. This is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s easy to understand but it can be very anxious and overwhelming to do.
Our family has walked this path some years ago doing pretty much what Abraham and Sarah did – packing up our life and not knowing where we would be led to by the Lord for our future. I wish I could report that in the years of transition, I was filled with faith and slept well with no worries. The opposite was often true.
Several years ago, our family went through the hardest season of our entire lives. We had decided to stay in the place where we had lived our entire adult lives and Grace and I had lived our entire marriage. We had just finished building our dream home and had no intentions of leaving. Not knowing where God is leading is really hard for us planners because not having a plan is a lot of stress. The truth is, sometimes God does not give us His plan because we would trust the plan and not the Lord.
I am happy to report that God was faithful in every way to our family. We love our life and are in the best and most blessed season of life. If you are still taking tentative steps in the dark, I want to encourage you that the sunrise is coming, and you will look back and see that God directed your steps through it all.
When Abram arrived in Bethel, he built an altar to the Lord to praise God in Genesis 12:8. I was asked earlier this week the question of what constituted an altar and I essentially said that an altar is a special, set apart place where you meet with God and it can be made out of anything – wood, stone, whatever is nearby at the time. For me, my altar is in the corner of my office and is a special wooden chair.
The night before I married Grace, I stayed with her great uncle John, who was an incredible man and husband to a wife who declined over years with Alzheimer’s and continued to love her faithfully until her death, even when she didn’t remember who he was. That night, he asked me to promise him that I would love Grace even if she didn’t remember who I was. He went to bed, and I sat in this chair and prayed for our future family, for generations, and for many of the things God has blessed our family with that we’re enjoying now.
I started ministry teaching Bible studies in our home sitting in this chair. I sat in this chair holding every single one of our kids as little ones, praying over their lives and legacies. Every time I’m ready to preach a sermon, I kneel before the Lord near this chair, and it’s become a special place where I meet with God, thanking Him for so many things, including giving my family and I faith to make a crazy journey, much like Abraham did. You can either worship or worry your way through life, and the point of building an altar in your life and for your family is to worship through it.
Have you ever made a big move like Abraham and Sarah did or like our family did? How was God faithful to you as you had faith in Him?
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