If Abraham was ever to enjoy the blessings of God he would have to relinquish the comfortable, the worldly, and wholly follow the Lord. The difficult portion of God’s summons to a life of faith was this call to relinquish those things which ultimately hinder the journey.
“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;” Genesis 12:1
God’s summons was simple …“go forth.” It was an imperative command. Everything hinged on Abraham obeying those first words. Abraham was commanded to disassociate himself and relinquish those things which might cause him to stumble. All bridges to his past had to be burned by his own hand. The Lord was asking Abraham to give up his past and his present situation in order to give him hope and a future.
I have never been to Ur. Some believe it was an ancient port city. When my wife and I moved to New Orleans we thought we were moving to another country. Port cities are different because of the influx of people. We saw things in New Orleans that we haven’t seen since! This was probably the type of environment God wanted Abraham to leave behind.
Sometimes God calls us out of bad environments and sometimes He calls us into these situations. He knows what is best. What we do know is that Ur would become the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans would become the Babylonians. The Babylonians would become the Syrians. Canaan did not compare to the luxurious comforts of Ur. Yet the Lord was asking him to relinquish his country for the sake of Canaan.
In addition, Abraham was commanded to leave his relatives. Acceptance, affluence, and protection would now be forfeited. This included his inheritance and rights to family property. Had Abraham and extended family been able to move as a clan, he could have kept his identity and inheritance. In addition, there would have been a small group to lend support and protection in a new country and a new culture.
This seems harsh when we look at all that God was asking Abraham to relinquish. God knows what is best when it comes to the journey of faith, and He knows what is best for our spiritual development and progress in our life of faith.
Throughout the ages God has consistently called people to leave places of safety and security in order to place our total trust in Him. Jesus echoed these same principles only in a different way.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The summons to a life of faith is a summons to total commitment to the Lord. What many people fail to understand is that though the summons to a life of faith is a summons to relinquish, it is also a summons to receive. For when we relinquish all to follow the Lord we receive in return the greatest blessings that don’t come close to comparing to those things we give up. Tomorrow I will share a few of those blessings.