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The Lord Calls Abram

(Genesis 11:31 - 12:9)

Lesson 5 -- third quarter 1999
July 4, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications

Abram was told to leave for Who-Knows-Where. How could he go where he didn't know where he was going! That seems like such an impossible, even foolish, endeavor. Besides, he was to set forth on this journey, leaving behind much that was familiar and secure. That sounds scary to me. So why did he set out on such a mission? Though Abram did not know his destination, he knew the Who in the Who-Knows-Where.

In some ways, this reminds me of Peter, the fellow who it seemed could hatch and verbalize ideas before grasping their implications. Walk on the water...far from shore...in the dark...in a storm? Indeed! Talk about scary, impossible and foolish! Why embark on such a project, much less suggest it to begin with? Review the account. It strikes me that Peter wanted to prove the true identity of that Figure walking toward them on the sea.

Abram and Peter--only two of many people of God who willingly attempted and accomplished the impossible and the scary for God. What about us?

If the Lord told you to do something scary, would you do it? Maybe we should ask what makes things scary. Danger makes things scary...but I know that He watches over me. The unknown makes things scary...but I know the All-Knowing One. My limitations and my failures make things scary...but greater is He that is in me. So I'm wondering if God could ask of me something so scary that I would refuse to do it. What about you?

Well, if the Lord told you to do something impossible, would you do it? To begin with, identify some factors that render some assignments impossible. Then ask yourself if these factors limit God as well. Let me see...how does that verse go? "I can do...."

While scary and impossible constitute formidable issues, we ought to consider one that surely touches us more often than either of those. Perhaps even every day. "I don't want to do that!" No doubt about it: An unwilling heart makes more people useless for God than anything else.

How often we turn away from God's call for the simple reason that we have heard a different call we prefer to heed. Think about it! Every day abounds with practical manifestations of the call of God to us. Shall we heed those calls and live life His way? Or shall we (occasionally, you know) opt for some "variety"? I am telling you, this kind of variety is the spice of death, not life!

Back to Eve: she chose variety and followed a different call. Did she regret it later? I cannot imagine that she didn't, and often. How about Abram: Did he later regret setting his heart to follow God's call with all the sacrifices that included? No sacrifice made, no "opportunity" lost, could tarnish the blessings! So how about you and me? "Choose you this day...."

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