Ready for the Journey?

What if God asked you to pick up from where you are right now and told you to just go? He didn’t give you specific instructions on where you’d be going, or even how long you’d be traveling. He just said, “Go.” Assume He’ll take care of anything that would hold you back. Finances, job and family obligations, everything. God has them under control. He’s left it so that the only thing you have to do is just go. Would you do it? In our society today, it’s hard to imagine God speaking to us in this manner. We like to prepare and plan. We like notice. And we don’t like much change. In our personal lives we tend to like things to stay consistent to the point that we’ll even tolerate some things that hurt us or hold us back. It makes life simpler and easier to bear. So how would we respond if God spoke one day and said, “Go?”

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. – Genesis 12:1-5, NIV

What God asked of Abram, later to be renamed Abraham, was exactly that. He wanted Abraham to go, without a clear time table or a clear destination. He was asking Abram to trust. In today’s world we might think this as something that would be feasible for a single man or woman with no long ties. A family? Not hardly. But note that with Abram it was including family. Abram was married to Sarai, later to be renamed Sarah, and took along his nephew, Lot, for good measure. So it’s not just one person striking out on his or her own. When Abram answers this call, it will affect not only him, but two other people. And as Abram answers this call, if he stays faithful to God, as he grows his family, it will affect those new additions, too. Yet Abram answered. The writer of Hebrews drove this point of uncertainty home, as well as the effect on his child and his grandchild:

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:8-10, NIV

Abram went because it was God calling. Nothing else mattered. He didn’t look back and say, “I need to take care of my dad as he gets older,” or “But I’m just trying to start my family.” Instead, he packed up everything he owned and headed out, just as God ordered. Would we be willing to do the same? Would we be willing to pick up our family, leave behind all that is familiar and go, not knowing the destination? At first glance this seems like an incredibly difficult question to answer. But it’s not, because this is ulimately a question of faith and trust. Do we have faith in God to provide and do we trust Him when we can’t see the destination? That’s what this boils down to.

I’m not saying God is asking all of us to do like what He asked of Abram. But it leaves me wondering if I would be ready if He asked me. Would I be able to respond as Abram did? Would I be willing to let go of all those familiar things and just go? I know what the answer should be. It should be an unconditional and unhesitant, “Yes, Lord!” But I know in my heart it isn’t. It doesn’t matter if He’s going to ask that of me any time soon. What matters is I’m not at a point where He could ask it of me and I would answer the way I should. And that means a gap between where my faith is and where it should be. Upon thinking about the question, are you facing a similar gap? If so, you’re not alone. I think most Christians today are. And that’s something we need to change.

Ultimately, though, it isn’t something we can do without the Lord’s help. And that’s what I’ll be seeking in this coming year. I’ll be asking Him to increase my faith. I know this will likely mean tests and trials as He refines my faith (1 Peter 1:6-7), but if I’m not where I should be and I desire to have a heart like His, this is something I must desire to go through. Will you go, too?

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