You know the feeling, sometimes you just get so comfy, you just don’t want to move…
The Lord Chooses Abram
12 The Lord said to Abram:
Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.
4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had got while in Haran.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to start again, leave everything else behind? It can be thrilling. It can also be terrifying. I’ve known both – usually reflected in whether I’ve chosen to move or not. In the first two years we were married, we moved three times, and since then we’ve moved three times more. But each of those move has reflected a different stage of life’s journey: our first home together, also moving for the first time to a new town; some time back in the city we grew up in, but now as an established couple; then a move to another new city, buying our first house; then with a growing family to proper suburbia; then to a Manse as I moved to be a Circuit Minister; then finally to where we are now, as I had to leave full time work, and face retirement on health grounds. The journey meanders on…
God invites Abram, as he still was then, on a journey with him. He asks him to leave behind all that he knew – his home, his family – his community – and to journey in faith onwards with God.
No comfy old age for Abram then. No putting his feet up – but a whole new adventure with God. Was he comfy where he was? Or could he leave it all behind and go where God asked him?
Abram was invited by God, not just to journey with him, but to let him do something new in their lives, to bring them blessings; to go to a different place to where he is now. A reluctance to go, would have missed out on what God was offering them.
All of which brings me to wondering, how willing am I to move to a new place, to somewhere and something different to what I know? To go where God is calling me?
As disciples, we have to ask ourselves,
- where is God leading us?
- What is God calling us towards?
- what is the next stage of your journey?
- to move on requires a conscious decision – will we make the move? Or stay where it’s comfy?
God invites us all to travel with him. We journey because we believe. We are called to keep on growing in God. To keep walking with the God who stays with us
The broadcaster Jake Humphrey says his motto in life is ‘Never sit in the comfy chair’. Is God saying that to us?
God calls us to let him do something new in our lives.
God invites us to journey with him – every day. To set off, and follow where he takes us. Are we comfy where we are, or ready to hear the call of God?
He doesn’t just invite Abram to journey with him, God makes a commitment to Abraham – he is going to be blessed, he is going to be a blessing to others – and his descendants will become a great nation. God doesn’t just invite us to wander around with him – he has a purpose and a work to be done, that we are called to be part of. Going with him is not just about leaving behind, but what we are going to.
God invites us to go and keep on growing. We may have questions, we may only be able to see to the next bend in the road, but that is as far as you can ever see. The eternal God can see the rest, and he journeys with us.
Life is never static, but God always journeys with us.
This poem was one of the many things that formed part of my call to move. Sadly I don’t know who wrote it, but I’ll leave you with it:
And the Lord said, “Go!”
And we said, “Who us?”
And he said, “Yes, you”.
And we said, “But we’re not ready yet
And there’s company coming.
And we can’t leave the kids,
And you know there is no-one to take our place.”
And he said, “You’re stalling”.
Again the Lord said, “Go”.
And we said, “But we don’t want to”.
And we said, “Listen, we’re not that kind of people
To get involved so deeply, besides
Our family wouldn’t like it.
And what will the neighbours think?”
And he said, “Baloney”.
And yet a third time the Lord said, “Go!”
And we said, “Do we have to?”
And he said, “Do you love me?”
And we said, “Look, we’re scared.
People are going to reject us.
And cut us up into little pieces.
And we can’t take it all by ourselves.”
And he said, “Where do you think I’ll be?”
And the Lord said, “Go!”
And we sighed, “Here we are Lord, send us”.