Follow the Lord (Genesis 12)

February 12, 2017

In Genesis 12 the Lord calls Abram to leave everything, follow him, and be blessed.

He tells Abram, "Go from your country" everything familiar, "and your kindred" the people you love, "and your father's house" the place where your very heart is set... and follow me to a life of blessing you can't yet imagine. He calls Abraham into a life of promise - he lives his whole life in a land he's been promised but never possesses. He's a wanderer for the rest of his life.

Have you ever been settled, established, comfortable… and the Lord, in his providence, moved you? Everyone is a wanderer of one kind or another. In the Lord's providence everyone has lost something familiar, something or someone they depended on. The question is: As you wander, are you lost? Abram wandered, but wasn't lost because he depended on God in faith. And we who trust in Christ are the sons of Abraham. (Gal 3:7) We can wander without being lost. This plays out in both our salvation, and our ongoing life as Christians:

Our salvation (as expressed in Ephesians 2:1-10) mirrors Abram's call:

We who trust in Christ are the sons of Abraham, and Christ patterns our story after his:

  1. Like Abram, we were sinners – unworthy of the Lord’s blessing. (Joshua 24:2; Eph 2:1-3)

  2. Like Abram, the Lord came to us and offered blessing. (Gen 12:1; Eph 2:4-6)

  3. Like Abram, the Lord calls us to walk by faith in a future promise. (Gen 12:2; Eph 2:7-9)

  4. Like Abram, the Lord blesses us so that we will be a blessing. (Gen 12:2-3; Eph 2:8-10)

And our Christian walk mirrors Abram's response:

The rest of Gen 12 (verses 4-9) are Abram's response to God's call and promise. They show us what the life of faith looks like. There are several facets of the life of faith we could discern from this (obedience, wandering without anxiety, serving God instead of self, etc), the one thing that stands out is worship. Abram responds by building not one, but two altars for worship.

So as we wander through this life the Lord directs our paths in difficult directions far from the comfort, safety, and companionship we’re used to or desire. In that moment we're tempted to become anxious, tired, depressed, angry. We might cope with food, drink, sex, achievement, the need to control. Or we can follow Abram as he makes altars to the Lord in the midst of uncertainty.

Will you focus on the wandering and succumb to worries, or will you look to God in worship?