“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. ” – Genesis 12:1
Imagine you’re in Abram’s (soon to be Abraham) sandals. You’re 75-five-years-old, married, pretty much settled I would say and God tells you to leave everything familiar: your family, your friends, your pets, everything. Like Abram, you have a choice, you can say, “Forget about it!”, “Try back in a few days!” or you can mirror Abram’s decision and obey God’s instruction.
Why was it so important for Abram to obey God’s instruction?
Because obedience activates the promises of God.
As I read this particular chapter, I’m reminded of the television show Deal or No Deal. See in verse 2 & 3, God proposed a deal that stated, “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. 3: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be bless through you.”
Scripture says in verse 4, “So Abram left, as the Lord had told him…” And do you blame him? He had a sweet deal!
So what’s the big deal?
I’m glad you asked. This particular text hits on so many relevant points- I’m going to focus on two.
Point 1– We live in a generation where society has esteemed rebellion and defamed obedience. It’s not cool to obey your parent(s), it’s outdated to obey our spouses and we’re convinced that all authority figures abuse their power. Furthermore, I believe that rebellion nestles in the comfort of familiarity and fear. And while we’re enjoying the routine of our lives, we’re deaf to God’s call. Think about it, how many times have you felt like God was asking you to leave your current job to pursue other endeavors? But because of our economy, you ignore God’s call to secure your paycheck. Hey, maybe God’s asking you to leave your relationship? You know the relationship is over, but you’re afraid of being alone, so you ignore God’s call.
Here’s the amazing thing about obeying God. You know only what you can see, if you leave your job, the paychecks aren’t coming in. If you leave your spouse, you’re single. That’s what you can conclude. But God knows our stories from beginning to end. So while you’re looking at the natural, trusting your paycheck; God’s seeing that by you leaving your job and trusting his instruction, you’re going to sign paychecks. By you leaving your dead relationship, God sees that marriage proposal in your future.
So here’s the big deal- when you obey God, you always reap more than you sacrificed.
When Abram obeyed God, he became Abraham- a father of many nations. The scripture reveals that Abraham lacked no good thing, and he continued to see the blessings of God until his dying day. In his day, it wasn’t cool to rebel. I mean let’s think about this- Why did Lucifer fall from heaven?
Point 2– Abram was 75-years-old when God called him. There are some of us in our thirties, forties, fifties and sixties that feel like it’s too late to fulfill God’s calling for your life. You’re saying, “my routine isn’t changing, it’s too late.” Let me repeat this: Abram was 75-years-old! Do not think for one second that it is too late to obey God. If God’s calling you, obey! God is not restricted by age, time or any other factor. If he calls you at 45, obey. If he calls you at 68, obey! After Abram obeyed God, he lived to be 175-years-old.
How do I know God’s going to bless me for being obedient?
Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t seek a reward for obedience? Isn’t God great enough to deserve our obedience without a prize? I liken it to treating God like a box of Cracker Jacks. We don’t really want the caramel popcorn, but we’ll eat it to get to the prize. But, boy, if there’s no prize in the bottom of that box!
But God knows his children, he knows our hearts and he can discern the authenticity of our obedience. For those who are pure in heart and intent, here’s how to know that God’s going to bless your obedience- God says it in Deuteronomy 28:
1If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God.3Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field. 4Blessed shall be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock. 5Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading trough. 6Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. 9The Lord will establish you as a people holy to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name [and in the presence of] the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11And the Lord shall make you have a surplus of prosperity, through the fruit of your body, of your livestock, and of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.13And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day and are watchful to do them. 14And you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
I will not lie to you and say that obedience is always easy, but I will promise you that it’s always the right decision and it’s always worth it. God is too good to receive partial obedience. He didn’t give us partial life, did he? So let’s make a decision, a promise to God, that when he calls us we will obey. As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Take that step, obey His command and watch the blessings flow.
God bless you,
Prayer requests: I’m growing, you’re growing; I’m learning, you’re learning. We’re all trying to live the life God called us to live, so why not uplift each other in prayer? I don’t know about you, but I subscribe to the PIP (Power In Prayer). So, if you have a prayer request, I would love to pray for you! You can send any prayer requests or questions to Ciara_Lilly@live.com!