Reading in Acts 7 this morning the story through Stephen of Abraham being told by God to "Leave your country and your people and go the the land I will show you" So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child."
As I reflected on this and the journey of Abraham stepping out in faith into a land that he received no inheritance in but a promise of what was to come for his descendants of which we live in the fruit of that, I thought of todays generations in which often is only doing things that we want to do or that will benefit us personally as we live for 'today' not worrying about tomorrow. A sense of if it feels good then do it, if it doesn't then we will move on - perhaps I heard wrong from the Lord and so move in a different direction than what we believed the Lord had originally said to us.
This is not at all the message portrayed throughout scripture, rather it is one of obedience to what the Lord has said and walking through the trials that come and it wasn't of ones personal benefit but a trusting in the Lord and knowing that he would work it for our good. Jesus when he went to the cross did it by faith trusting in his heavenly father that he would work it for good and we live in the promise because of his obedience, of his sacrifice.
I find we can often be obedient with what we hear God say to us but when it gets tough or challenging then we question whether we heard God correctly.
Commitment and Obedience are two words that currently are like 'dirty' words that are spoken I find within the church because people have been hurt and wounded and misunderstood what the Lord is trying to work in and through us through words such as these. But if Abraham didn't make in his mind a commitment to follow the Lord and be obedient come what may, we would not be living as a children of faith, a children of promise and hope and future. If Jesus didn't make a commitment to follow the Lord come what may, we would still be living as a people to rules and regulations without the freedom that comes through the cross.
If we are to be a people of the cross, a people of the promise, a people of faith, then we need to learn what these words mean in all their fullness. We need to learn to let go of the past where our understanding of these words put a yoke around our necks that it became a 'bondage' or 'law' in which we find ourselves running from anything that would ever so slightly 'bind' us because that is not the truth of the gospel and what the Lord have you walk in.
Last week a person gave me a picture where he saw many plants coming to the point of blossom but not yet fruit but then they transplanted to another field and so went through the seasons again but again not yet bear fruit and then transplant again into another field and it was a picture he saw in the that people were not patiently walking through all the seasons in order to bear fruit but rather they were transplanting themselves before the blossom had a chance to fruit. This picture can be translated into many situations, the church, in a work situation, in marriage, in a relationship, whatever it may be.
If Abraham hadn't been obedient and stayed in a land that he never saw the inheritance from which we would not be now living in the promise that the Lord gave him and we are called to be a children of faith, a children of the promise.
Heb 11:11-16 "By faith Abraham, even though he was past age - and Sarah herself was barren - was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numbers as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.....If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.