Thursday, February 02, 2012
Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 2/2/2012
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PATH TO EGYPT, Part 1g
We have before us what is probably the saddest event in the entire life of Abraham. We see him making a decision that will bring tremendous trouble into his life. Our text tells that during a time of famine in Canaan, Abram took his family and moved to the land of Egypt.
Now, in the Bible, Egypt is always presented to us as a picture of a type of the world. It was where the children of Israel were held in bondage to Pharaoh for 400 years. Even after they were delivered by the power of God, they still longed for what they had left behind in Egypt (Ex. 16:3). That's just like us! Regardless of how the Lord blesses us, there is still a part of us that looks back longingly to the world we have left behind. As we see this man make his journey into Egypt, there are some truths about the path he took to Egypt that we need to notice. Let’s look for a few minutes about The Truth About The Path To Egypt.
Gen 12:10 IT IS ALWAYS A DOWNWARD PATH
When a believer leaves Canaan (The place of victory and blessing) to go to Egypt (The world), it always leads him down ( Jonah 1:1-5). Amos described it as a low place as well (Amos 2:10; 3:1.)
It Led Him Down From The Land Of Promise - The land of Canaan represented God's Best for Abram. Canaan land was where he was supposed to be! There is no place more precious than the place God wants you to be! (Joseph -Gen. 50:20.)
It Led Him Down From The Land Of Preparation - The famine in Canaan was not a punishment for sin, rather it was a test of faith. He left God's best and ran away from God's test. Real faith will always be tested. The great test is to submit to the test and trust God instead of running away! Abram was to choose the uncertainty of Canaan over the abundance of Egypt.
It Led Him Down From The Land Of Provision - God had promised to bless Abram in Canaan (Gen. 12:2). Canaan was also the place of God's rest for Abram. Only there could he rest in the arms of providence and trust God to take care of him. The best place to be is where the Lord places you, even if it is difficult - (1 Kings 17:4, 9 -16 )
Gen 12:11-15 IT IS ALWAYS A DISHONEST PATH
Abram Birthed A Lie - It is a sad day when a believer turns away from the truth to embrace a lie. This may be the saddest episode in Abraham's life, and it forever preserved in the word of God. We can learn from his mistake! We all have those times when we birth a lie in our hearts to try and justify the things we do and allow in our lives. It is a sad day when it happens!
Abram Became The Lie - After he told the lie, he began to live the lie! One lie always leads to another! This is clearly seen in David's lies and actions following his adultery with Bathsheba ( 2 Sam. 11.) Your lies always affect your life!
Abram Believed The Lie - He came to believe the lie he had fabricated more than the truth he had received from God. Verse 12 tells us that Abram was worried about something that could never happen. He could not die because God's promise to him had not been fulfilled, (Gen. 12:2-3). This is always sin's way. In Gen. 3:1-6 , Eve sinned because she believed the devil's lies more than she believed God‘s command. Peter fell because he believed his own lies more than he believed the Lord's word (Mark 14:30-31).
Gen 12:15-17 IT IS ALWAYS A DISASTROUS PATH
Because Of The Potential , Abram's sin had the potential to cause others to fall. Pharaoh could have taken Sarai to be his wife! When a believer goes to Egypt spiritually, it causes others to fall away or stay away.
Because Of The Punishment - Abram's sin brought God's hand of judgment into the situation! Wouldn't it be a shame to know that our sin caused a believer to stumble or a sinner to be confirmed in his decision for hell? (Matt. 18:6).
Because Of The Profits - The Bible tells us that Abram left Egypt with more than when he entered. This is not always the case (The Prodigal - Luke 15: 11-24), but sometimes the believer will prosper in the far country. However, those things that people think are gain are really often loss! Among the servants Abram acquired while there was an Egyptian girl named Hagar (Gen. 16:1-3). She became a problem for Abraham and Sarah and Abraham's sin with her still has consequences in the world today. The lesson here is this, "What we think are the world's best blessings often become life's greatest burdens." (Matt. 6:19-21)
Gen 12:18-20 IT IS ALWAYS A DISAPPOINTING PATH
The world and all of its allurements can never satisfy the soul that has ever tasted of the goodness of the Lord!
Because Of The Testimony It Forfeits - Abram lost his testimony in Egypt. He is even told by Pharaoh, "Take her and go!" He was literally kicked out of the world by the world! Lost people never forget a ruined testimony! They may never remember your good works, but they will never forget your failures! What gets more air time, Peter's preaching at Pentecost, or his denial of Christ? What about David and the Ark, or David and Bathsheba?
Because Of The Things It Forgets - In Egypt, Abram had no altar, he offered no sacrifices and he lifted up no prayers. He totally left God out of all that he was doing! When in the world, the child of God lives like the world. That is a tragedy within itself! God, and all that pertains to Him are neglected and ignored! You see, no man can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).
Because Of The Tragedy It Fosters - Instead of bringing the light of the one true God into the darkness of Egypt, Abram only brought more darkness! He was not "salt and light" as he should have been! When we walk out of Canaan into Egypt, we cannot be what God has called us to be (Matt. 5:13-16)! It is always a tragedy when believers leave the world worse off than it was when they found it!
Conc: Where is your tent pitched today? Are you camping in Canaan, firmly fixed in the land of blessing, victory and testimony, or have you gone down to Egypt? All it takes to get to Egypt is a little compromise here and there, and before you know it, you are miles away from the Lord. You will never prosper as long as you are not where God wants you to be! Come home! Rebuild your altars and live for Jesus like He saved you to do.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
New International Version (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’S unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
To Be Continued Tomorrow!
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps of Faith, 2/1/2012.
ABRAM'S OPPORTUNITIES, Part 1f
While this man was called to walk by faith to an unseen place, he was given opportunities that others knew nothing about. These include:
Gen 12:7 To Experience God's Promises - This man could travel as a pilgrim in Canaan knowing in his heart that every square inch of ground was his and his children's forever! They are fighting over that patch of ground even today, but I've got news for you, that ground belongs to the Jew! As he traveled, Abraham enjoyed the future, though it still remained unseen!
What an example he sets for the children of the Lord! Even as we continue on our pilgrimage toward glory, we can see the future by faith, as though it were a reality today! Friend, keep traveling for Jesus, you are as sure for Heaven as if you were already there if you are saved. (Eph. 2:6)!
Gen 12:7-8 To Enjoy God's Presence - As he journeyed, Abraham had a companion that excelled all others. God walked with him every step of the way!
In His Worship - It seems that whenever Abraham pitched his tent he also built an altar. He took the time to worship as he journeyed. His altars give loud testimony to the condition of this man's heart. The fact that he built them in the center of Canaan, where all around the people were enveloped in the gross darkness of idolatry, says much about his love for the Lord.
God's people should be known for their altars! Not just in church, but everywhere our path takes us. We should mark our days with prayer and with time spent in His presence. We must make worship a priority in our lives (John 4:23-24). When we build our altars and are not ashamed of the God we serve, it stands as a powerful witness to those around us! There is nothing wrong with telling people about the Lord, and we should all be vocal witnesses. But, when you get right down to it, if you have to tell someone that you are different, that you are a Christian, then something is wrong with that too! Our devotion to Him should make us stand out from the world around us!
In His Wanderings - Notice that as he journeyed, Abraham and God enjoyed sweet communion and fellowship. God spoke to him and he worshiped the Lord. It seems that Abraham was determined to include God in his pilgrimage. Far too many people attempt to leave God out of their journey. That is a recipe for disaster! Whether you acknowledge Him or not, God is always there with you as you travel (Heb. 13:5). If you include Him in your life by listening to Him when He speaks and by worshiping Him as you travel, it makes the miles shorter and the trials easier to bear.
In His Ways - Verse 8 tells us that Abraham pitched his tent between Bethel and Hai. The word Bethel means "House of God." It was at Bethel that the patriarch Jacob would later meet God one lonely night (Gen. 28). The name Hai or Ai means "A Heap of Ruins". It was here that Israel would later learn a valuable lesson about faith, obedience and the destructive power of sin. I find it interesting that as Abraham journeyed, he seems to be moving away from "A Heap of Ruins" toward the "House of God". This symbolizes the fact that Abraham was moving away from what he used to be, toward that which God desired for him to be! That's what happens when a person sets out to walk with the Lord by faith!
When we determine that we will walk in the paths of the Lord, He will begin the process of transforming this "Heap of Ruins" that is our life before Him, and He will transform us into a "House of God" for His glory (1 Cor. 6:19; Rom 12:2). That's why He says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels" (2 Cor. 4:7). He takes us like He finds us and He changes us into His image (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 15:49; Eph 4:22-24)!
To Enter God's Place - This passage closes with Abraham journeying on with the Lord. He was headed somewhere. He may have pitched his tent at many addresses in Canaan, but in his heart, Abraham was already living in a far away country. He had already looked away by sight and had entered a land called Heaven (Heb. 11:8-16)! Friends, that is why the life of Abraham is a study in successful living, because He lived on a higher plane than other men. He lived in Heaven while his feet walked on the earth! He had plenty of things, but his things didn't have him. He held this world with a loose grip, trusting God to give and take as He saw fit. That is how you make it successfully through this life!
May the Lord help us to get our eyes and our hands off this world! When we begin to live on a higher plane, we will see the things of this world become less and less important. When we determine that we will be heavenly minded, it will transform our walk down here (Col. 3:1-3). It will take us away from thinking that we have this or that. We will be satisfied with Jesus! When that happens, we are on the path to certain victory in our spiritual journey.
Conc: Abraham sets the example of a man who was totally committed to a life of faith. Can you say the same thing about your journey? In which country are you more firmly planted, earth or Heaven? God is still looking for those He can call to a life of faith and use them to astound the world. Are you willing? Are you that one God can use at this time to touch the world for His glory? If there are needs, this altar is open! Answer God’s call and walk by faith.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
New International Version (NIV)
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
To be continued Tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 1/31/2012
Gen 12: 4-6,
ABRAM'S OPPOSITION , Part 1e
Abram wasn't going to find everything "smooth sailing". There would be difficulties in his pilgrimage, just as there will be in ours. Let's notice a few obstacles that Abraham faced as he journeyed.
Gen 12: 4 The Days Opposed Him - Verse 4 says that Abram was 75 years old when he left on his pilgrimage. That's about the age when some people begin to seriously think about slowing down. Not this man! He set out at that age to follow the Lord. I'll guarantee you some of his kinfolks thought he had lost his mind. I can almost hear them as they try to talk some sense into old Abram, but, he is determined to follow the Lord in spite if his age.
May I just remind you that there will never come a day when you can turn in your traveling shoes and your walking staff for a rocking chair? There may come a day when you can't teach anymore. There may come a time when you can't preach anymore. There may come a day when you won't even be able to attend church anymore. But, until we go home to glory, there will never be a day when we will have the liberty to sit down on the Lord and quit! Don't let your age, whether you are young or old, stop you from serving the Lord (Titus 2:2-3; 1 Tim. 4:12).
Gen 12:6 The Darkness Opposed Him - This verse says, "And the Canaanite was then in the land." That statement reveals much about the country that Abram was moving into. The Canaanites were a godless people, trapped in a system of religion that involved the worship of many gods. They practiced human sacrifice, various fertility rites, and had no regard for morality and decency. Abram was headed into hostile territory, where no one would be sympathetic to his lifestyle or to his God. Yet, he was determined to follow God regardless of the opposition from darkness that he faced!
Nothing has changed since Abraham's day! Those who determine that they will live a life of total dedication to the Lord soon discover that "the Canaanite is still in the land." The world, the flesh and the devil have no sympathy whatsoever with our desire to live for the Lord. If you choose to live a life of total dedication, you might as well know up front that there will be opposition (2 Tim. 3:12). Of course, if the Lord Jesus faced opposition and difficulty when He walked in this world, why should we expect any better treatment? (Matt. 10:16-23; John 15:20).
In spite of the fact that the world is against the child of God, we should still determine in our hearts that as long as there is breath in our bodies, we will live for the Lord, regardless of the personal cost. Who cares if we are opposed, mocked, hated or ridiculed? Who cares if persecution comes our way? A life of total commitment demands that we stand faithfully in the face of all opposition (1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 6:10-18) --- Stand and BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD!
Gen 12:5-6 The Distance Opposed Him - From Haran to Beersheba, in the south of Canaan was about 500 miles. That isn't too great a distance today, but then with flocks, herds, servants, household goods and all the other things they had with them, this was quite a journey. It surely would have been tempting for Abram to stop short of going all the way. But these verses tell us that he didn't stop. In fact, he just kept on going until he had seen everything there was to see in Canaan land, (v. 9). God had promised it to him and he wanted to see it all!
What a lesson for the child of God today. How often are we tempted to unhook and drop out of the race? How often do the loads of life get heavy and the ways of life get rough? Isn't there a tendency for us to get weary and want to quit? Let me just encourage you my friend: stay in the race! It will be worth it all when we get home. Right now, the way gets hard. When it does, you can count on the fact that God is just trying to help you grow in your faith.
Determine in your heart that you will never stop, never pull up short and never quit until you have seen everything that God has for you in your “Canaan-land“! Just keep going on with the Lord. One day we will reach the end of the journey and step out of Canaan into glory, but until then, just keep on keeping on for the glory of the Lord!
Gen 12:5 The Duties Opposed Him - Abram was a man with many responsibilities. He had his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot to look after. He had servants, flocks, herds and all that came along with the “to-look-after“. If he was like most men, then he would have believed that it was his responsibility to feed that whole crowd and to provide for the needs that arose. It took great faith for him to place the unseen ahead of the seen and trust God to take care of all the needs of life. Yet, that is just what he did!
That is the place God wants us to reach as well. He wants us to arrive at that place where we willingly abandon the seen for the unseen at the command of the Lord. He wants us to come to the place where we know that we have what He has promised us, even when we cannot see it (Heb. 11:1). He wants us to come to the place where all of our tomorrows, all of our needs, all of our fears, cares, worries and problems are left at His feet (Matt. 6:25-34). When you get right down to it, you and I only have one requirement as pilgrims for the Lord: trust Him and leave all the details to God!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
1 I love you, LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
To Be Continued Tomorrow!
Monday, January 30, 2012
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith. 1/30/2012, Part 1 d
Gen 12:1-3 ABRAM'S PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITIES: THE WONDER YEARS
At the age of 75, this man named Abram finally makes his break with the old life. He had travel 577 miles from Ur to Haran, and now was to begin a journey of faith that would cover 955 miles. He leaves out from Haran on the great adventure of faith. These verses tell us that after all the wretched years in defilement and all the wasted years in delay, that God reserved some wonderful years of delight for this old servant of God. Notice the qualities of these wonder years.
Gen 12:1 To Walk In God's Presence - This man Abram has been called out of the gross darkness of sin to walk in the presence of the Lord. This verse implies that God intends to lead Abram in the way he should go. God Himself will direct this man's pathway.
There is nothing in this world more precious that walking with God by faith! The faith walk puts you in a place of dependence upon the Lord and He will not let you down, (Heb. 13:5). Those who lean solidly upon the Lord need never fear that He will leave them or desert them. They need never fear that God will fail them as they lean their weight upon Him, (Psa. 37:19).
Gen 12:1-3a To Watch God's Providence - God makes some grand promises to Abram in these verses. Look at all the things God promises to give this great man:
•A New Home
•A Great Name
•Abram Will Be A Blessing
•God Will Protect Him From His Enemies
•God Will Bless His Friends
•All The World Will Blessed Through Abram's Faith
Abram doesn't know yet how God will work it all out, but he knows that God will do it. His faith has grown to the place where he is willing to trust God and just leave the details to the providence of the Lord. He is willing to live by faith day by day as the Lord works out His plan and purpose in his life! Everything God promised to give to Abram, He did give him! He kept His promises to the letter. Also notice that some of these things are still being worked out today and that God will faithfully continue to work our His promises to Abram until all are fulfilled!
That is where He wants to bring us as well. He wants us to come to the place where we can simply take Him at His Word and be satisfied in our hearts that He will do what He has promised to do. Regardless of what the devil, the flesh and the world tell us, we can trust God. Everyone of His promises is true! You can depend on Him to take care of you if you will live your life by faith (Rom. 4:21). He will look after those who lean on Him!
Have you reached the place where you can rest in the arms of divine providence and know that He will take care of you? That is where we all need to be! Remember, no matter how life looks, God is doing what He does for you for good (Rom. 8:28.)
Gen 12:3b To Wonder At God's Purposes - As Abram began this journey of faith he must have questioned how God could take an old idolater and make him a blessing to all the families of the earth. When he died a hundred years later at the age of 175, he still did not have the answer to that question. But, this man Abram died in faith. That faith was counted for righteousness (Gen. 15:6), and when he died, he went to a place called paradise. Well, he waited there some 2,100 years. Then one day a man appeared in paradise. This man said that His name was Jesus and that He had just died on a cross for the sins of everyone in paradise and for the sins of all who would believe on Him (1 Pet. 3:18-19; Eph. 4:8-10). When Jesus appeared in that place that day, Abraham realized that the last piece had been placed in the puzzle. This man, Jesus, Who descended from Abraham through His mother Mary was the One that would make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth.
When Abram left Haran, he did so with all his hopes hidden in his heart. He held all the unseen things of the future in the hand of faith. He trusted God to take care of it and the Lord fulfilled every promise, just as He had said that He would!
As we live this life of faith in this world, there will be times when we cannot see the way. There will be days when we too will wonder how God could ever do anything with the likes of us! There will be times when we will have to walk by faith and not sight (2 Cor 5:7) . Of course, some people just can't do that! If they can't see how it should be done, they won't do it! If they can't explain it, then they avoid it. Those folks never grow! The people God uses greatly are those who will walk obediently wherever the path of God leads them. Whether they understand it or not, whether they like it or not, whether they know what will happen or not. Those are the people who get to see the Lord part the seas. They see the multitudes fed. They get to walk on the water. They walk unharmed through the fiery furnaces and lion dens of life. They live life by faith and they get to see the Lord do the impossible over and over again.
Conclusion: There is an old saying that goes, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." It took Abram a while, but he made that step. When he did, he saw God do things that amazed him until the day he died. It makes us wonder, have we made that first step of faith? Have we made the step of faith for salvation? Have we made the step of faith to total surrender and obedience? Have we made the step of faith that will take us beyond the hum drum, ordinary run of the mill life into that other worldly realm where God operates and calls people like us for His glory? You and I will never be all we can be for Him until we cut our ties with this world and cast ourselves on Him by faith! God will help each of us to do just that today!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
New International Version (NIV)
“1 LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”
To Be Continued Tomorrow!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith. 1/29/2011, Part 1 c
Gen 11:31-32; 12:1 ABRAM'S PARTIAL OBEDIENCE: THE WASTED YEARS
Gen 12:1 The Call To Depart - We are not told how the call came to Abram (Abraham). Notice the word "had", but we are told that God spoke to this man in his darkness and called him into the light to follow a new path. Abram was called to leave behind everything he loved and everything that had shaped his life up to that point. He was ordered to leave his Region, his Religion and his Relatives behind. For any man, it would be a difficult task. He was issued a call to Follow Faith and to a new Future. He was to leave his home, not knowing where he was going, or when he would arrive. He was to leave all such matters in the hand of the Lord! That takes FAITH!
The call of Abram raises some questions. First, why did the Lord pick this one man, out of all the men of the earth at that time? Why didn't God choose some of the other inhabitants of the world, or of Ur to call to this new adventure called faith? "Why does God call anyone?" Why did He call you and not your neighbor? Why did He call you and not you coworker? The answer to those questions dwell within the cloud of God's sovereign (Rom. 9:18-23)! May I suggest that God knows the heart of man (1 Sam 16:7). Did He not chose Enoch and Noah because He knew they would walk with Him and in His ways? God knows our hearts well and doesn’t want anyone of us to perish (2 Pet 3:9). We are not told why God chose Abram ,but perhaps Abram was seeking God! God finds those who seek Him (Matt 6:33).
Regardless of why God calls who He does, those who have been called by Him should rejoice in the fact that they are saved and secure in the blood of the Lamb! Thank God for the day when we received the clear call to follow the Lord! Bless His name for on that day He turned the light on in our soul and showed us the way to Himself! Therefore, let us rejoice in what He has done for us (Luke 10:20).
When the call of God does come to a life, it is a call for that person to sever all ties with the past life. His call is a call to a new life with new priorities and a new Lord. His call is for total commitment (Matt. 16:24). His call is for the believer to leave the old life behind and to begin a new life of faith (Eph 4:22-24), where every moment is lived in utter dependence upon the Lord alone for every need. That is the nature of the divine call! God's call is for you to follow without your being concerned about the destination. His call is for you to leave the details to Him. His call is for us to surrender to His call, regardless of what it costs, where it leads or how much it hurts. His call is still to follow Him!
Gen 11:31 The Compromise In Devotion - The nature of Abram's call was for him to leave. Note the word "thee" in Gen 12:1. Yet, when they left Ur, notice that it was "they" who went (Gen 11:31). It seems that Abram compromised by not separating from his family totally as he had been ordered. He failed to fully submit to the Lord's call!
Some may argue that he just wanted to take his immediate family with him as he began his journey for the Lord. That is noble, but it should be noted that there is no indication that they were all saved. There is no hint that they ever placed their faith in the Lord as did Abram. The only ones who were saved, it would seem, were Abram, Sarai and Lot. The rest were still pagans, trapped in the darkness of their sins.
The Bible says that “they” (Terah and family) came to Haran and dwelled there. If you look at map, you will find that Haran is north and east of the promised land. This was not where God wanted Abram to be! He had yet to make the journey into the land God had in mind for him. He needed to separate from his family and follow the footsteps of faith to the place he had been called to. Always remember that partial obedience is simply disobedience! Until you have done all God says to do, you haven't done what God said to do!
What has the Lord told you to do that you haven't done? Have you come short in the obedience department? I know first hand that not all of God's commands are easy to obey. Some are difficult, some are frightening and some are costly, but all are to be obeyed without question by each child of God who wishes to walk by faith and be found pleasing to the Lord (1 Sam. 15:22).
Notice that Abraham did not leave Haran and fully follow the Lord's command until the death of his father Terah. The name Terah means "A Station or delay." It has the idea of a stopping place, a rest area or a roadblock. Evidently, Terah was a roadblock between Abram and his doing the will of God. When Terah was removed from the scene, Abram was ready to move on in the things of God.
Terah is a type of flesh and other roadblocks that hinder our progress in the things of God. You see, until those things are taken care of and "reckoned dead" (Rom. 6:11), there will be little or no progress in your life for the glory of the Lord. What is your Terah today? Oh, if you aren't exactly where the Lord wants you to be, you have a Terah. Oh yes! You have a roadblock between you and your doing what the Lord has told you to do. You know what has to happen when there is a Terah in your life? There must be a death! That thing that serves as a station or a delay in your life must go! What's holding you back today? Let it die so you can move on. Also, we all need to be careful that we do not stand in the way of others doing the will of God. If you aren't careful, you just might find yourself being a Terah to someone in your life. Don't let your lack of faith prevent someone else from following God fully!
Gen 11:32 The Cost Of Delay - Abram's delay in this matter of obedience was costly to him. While he lingered in Haran precious years past him by. Those were years that could have been spent enjoying the best God had to offer. Instead, those years were spent watching the father he loved waste away. Those years were spent being grieved by the sins of a family still in the grip of idolatry.
The work of God is too precious and time is too short for us to hesitate in carrying out the orders we receive from Heaven. Why should we settle for second best while the wasted years pile up in our lives? Everyday brings us one day closer to the grave, let us determine in our hearts that we will make every moment count for the glory of the Lord (Rom. 13:11-14; Eph. 5:16).
God was so patient in His dealings with Abram! He gave him time to get things squared away in his life. But, it is far better for us to hear His voice and respond in immediate action for the glory of God! That is what Jesus did (John 5:19-20), and that is what the Lord wants for you and me too! Have you been putting something off that God has told you to do? If so, the time for delay has past! Get busy carrying out the will of God. Delay is dangerous and it is costly.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE And BLESSING:
New International Version (NIV)
“5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” say the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation
To Be Continued Tomorrow!
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