You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s crazy. It’s stupid. Why would I even do that? There’s no way this makes sense….
Have you ever had an Abraham moment?
You know, one of those moments where you felt God was telling you to do something that made no sense at all. Abraham actually had a few of those moments. The most famous was when God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. That’s some craziness right there! But I have always loved the beginning of the story….way back when Abraham was known as Abram, and he lived in a place called Haran with his dad and a few other relatives. One day, after his father died, God talked to Abram.
Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing…
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him and Lot went with him. (Gen 12:1-4)
Look at that. God said “Go.” Go from your home and to….where? “I’ll show you.”
Can you imagine that? Just think for a moment… You’re scrubbing the kitchen counters one day, and all of a sudden God says, “Sell your house and move.”
What’s your first thought? “Um, where am I going?” But Abram didn’t ask where to. He may have thought it, but the action that took place is the important part.
He called the realtor and set up the house sale that very day. He asked his friends for some cardboard boxes and started packing. He sold the couch and the living room rug. He cancelled the utilities and contacted the post office.
He left home (and took his family with him) with no clear direction.
He wandered for a while and asked God, “is this the place?”
“No,” God said, “I’ll give this place to your kids, though.”
“Ok,” said 75-year-old, childless Abram. He just accepted that with no question.
As the story continues, God makes a covenant, an unbreakable promise, with Abram to give him offspring too numerous to count and to give them a land in Canaan. Abram takes it all with faith.
Eventually, though, he begins to wonder if maybe he is going about this all wrong. His wife isn’t getting pregnant. She proposes that he have children with the servant in order to fulfill God’s covenant.
Things don’t go well after that decision. A child is born of a forced union between Abram and his wife’s servant. No one is happy about it.
Then God says to Abram. “I am God Almighty. Walk before me and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. (Gen 17:1-3) I think I would too!!
True to his word, God gives Abram, now called Abraham, and his 90-year-old wife a son, and promises “I will establish my covenant with him.”
NOW, the part where God tells Abraham to kill his son in sacrifice seems even more profound. It’s not only about the beloved child, but tremendously more about the faith that God will fulfill his promise.
Your Abraham Moment
Have you ever had an Abraham moment? Have you ever felt like God was telling you to do something that didn’t make any sense? Leaving a home for no reason to go wander with no direction is a little crazy. Having a child in your old age is ill-advised if not impossible. Giving up the treasured blessing God has promised you seems illogical. Why would God ask Abraham to do those things?
God wanted to show his people how to trust him.
There are three parts to Abraham’s faith:
The First Steps.
Stepping out in blind faith is easier said than done. For some people, it’s the most challenging part. They cling to the status quo and white knuckle conformity. For others, a leap of faith is not quite as difficult. Like Peter, they see the Lord moving and they leap out of the boat to walk on water with Him. For the boat-leapers, it’s what comes after the first steps that is most challenging.
You may hear God’s calling and be ready to accept the story he writes for you, but you feel unsure about the practicalities. “I’m going to have a multitude of children? Maybe I need to sleep with the servant girl and start making that happen.”
Nope, sorry. That’s not how this faith thing works. No, you’ve got to trust God’s timing and God’s plan for fulfilling his promises, too.
At no point, not ever, should your plan to fulfill God’s calling go against his commandments, his character, and his word. To know the will of God, you must know God. He will never ask you to compromise your values to achieve something for his kingdom. In fact, that goes against the next part of walking in faith.
Are you trusting God to do the work or are you trying to do the work for him, convinced that your way is the correct way to accomplish his plan?
In working “as unto the Lord,” you have to work… You have to till the soil and build the rows. You plant the seeds and pull the weeds. But you have to trust God to bring the sunshine and the rain. You have to realize that no matter how hard you work, only He can make a plant sprout from that tiny bean. So do you work hard? Yes. Is the fruit of your labor dependent on your work? Only to a very small degree.
Ultimately, you trust Him to accomplish the story he has written.
What happens when you step out in faith?
I find the most amazing things happen when I respond, “Yes, Lord,” and take the first steps. I may not know the story, but I know the Author, and I’ll keep turning pages as long as he lets me. I want to take every journey he has planned for me and use whatever talents I’ve been given to glorify him.
I am convinced that my way is almost never the right way.
I’ve had my share of Abraham moments, the faithful kind and the failure kind. Faith isn’t about taking the perfect steps, it’s about trusting the Perfect one with your steps.
Has God ever asked you to do something crazy?