Recently, I was studying Genesis 12 & 13. It is the beginning of Abram’s, later Abraham’s, journey with God. Genesis 12:1 reads, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”” That was quite a great call the Lord gave to a man and it would be a response of great faith Abram would have to take to follow what the Lord instructed him to do as he did not know where he was going. Yet in verse 4, we’re told that Abram went as the Lord told him. He obeyed the call the Lord gave to him.
God often calls us to do things that are bigger than us because he thinks so much differently than we do. We’re all praying for God to bless us and do great things in our lives, yet we do not want our faith stretched. Abram was tested to the limit, he was asked to leave his home to an unknown place that he was unfamiliar with. I don’t know about you, but it would have been difficult for me to leave certainty for a land of uncertainty, however, that is truly what God is asking from each of us. He wants to choose where we live, whom we’re in relationship with, where we work, where we fellowship at, etc. Often however, we’re stuck in our comfortable place and convince ourselves that truly if it were to have come from the Lord the path would be easy.
I would like to turn your attention to Mark Chapter 6. In the beginning of this chapter, we see where Jesus has just fed five thousand. Following this great miracle, verse 45 tells us that “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd”. It goes onto say in verse 47 & 48, “Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them. Shortly after dawn he went out to them walking on the lake.”
The disciples were in the will of God, going to the other side of the lake as he instructed. Yet in the midst of their obedience, the winds were against them. We must be reminded that we have an opposition, the evil one, that will do anything to keep us from the destination God has called us to go. The bible said, they were in the middle of the lake, so they had journeyed through faith quite a distance. It would have been easy to turn back, give up and stop fighting the wind, but the bible tells us they were “straining” at the oars which means they were forcing the boat with great effort to stay on the path to the other side. When God saw their fight, he went to them. Hallelujah! He went to them, just like he will come to us. Through the pain, the tears, the courageous battle God sees you and will help when you need him. He doesn’t leave us out perish during our struggle forever. He sees and will come along side to join you in the push, but we must be in his will and we must be moving forward trusting that we’ll get to the other side!
Since the beginning of the year, God has called me to make many decisions that I wouldn’t have necessarily made had I been the decision maker (I now allow God to make my decisions). I would normally make the comfortable decision, the one that wouldn’t be too risky. After all who enjoys being uncertain and uncomfortable? It’s been a bumpy ride, but God always shows up on time to let me know he’s with me on my journey. I know God’s destiny for me is greater than I can imagine. He can truly do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or think, but we’re required to put our faith in him greater than ever before as well. That means we must believe on him and take action as if he’s telling the truth about things he’s promised, about the direction he’s told you to go. James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if does not have works, is dead.”
We are required to do something. God works through us and with us to accomplish great things for his kingdom. Each of us must play a role in the fulfillment of his promises. We must follow through on God’s instructions even when we feel fear, doubt and moments of discouragement. Abraham is a testament of where great faith can take us. After all, he is the father of many nations having lived a blessed life.
God wants to do so much in our lives. He wants us to dream big, but we may have to fight to take hold of it. We may have to face our fears, break shackles, be delivered from strongholds, sacrifice our time, sacrifice our money, stay in a place God has told us to stay though we want to leave or like Abram leave a place we’re comfortable being.
Though we’d like it to, victory doesn’t always come as easy. Wherever you are on your journey with the Lord, remember that he is with you. Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you or forsake you.”