Get up and Go

Bible Reading: Genesis 12; 13; 14

"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.... So Abram left, as the Lord had told him.... He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot ...and they set out for the land of Canaan" (12:1-5).

When a famine arose in Canaan, Abram went to live in Egypt. Fearing that the Egyptians would kill him for his beautiful wife, Abram asked Sarai to say that she was his sister (which was half true, as she was his half-sister). Sarai was taken into Pharoah's palace, but God inflicted serious diseases on Pharoah's household until Sarai was given back to her husband.

Abram and Lot continued "moving about" with their families, going "from place to place" (13:3,5). When their flocks became so large that "the land could not support them while they stayed together" (13:6), Abram suggested that they peacefully part company. Given first choice, Lot took the "well-watered" land to the east which promised the most comfortable lifestyle, but the people there "were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord" (13:10,13). Though Abram was left with the less fertile land, God promised to bless him and to give all the land to him and his offspring.

The Lord has led us, many times, to leave our home, job, friends, or family, to go to a new place. He hasn't always shown us immediately where or why he wants us to go; he has simply said, "Leave ...and go to the place I will show you." We have spent months, even years, in transition, waiting for a house to call home, a church to call family, or a stable job to call our own.

It is frightening to be left uprooted, especially when there is "a famine in the land," (i.e. a weak economy). When, once again, we are faced with an insecure future, it's easy to panic and seize the reins of our life away from God, into the control of our own hands. Even though God has always protected and provided, we are sometimes tempted to manipulate our situation, like Abram, even to the point of misrepresenting the truth. It's true that God can work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), but surely, he would prefer to have our honesty, integrity and obedience to work with!

At other times, we are faced with a decision: do we "go to the left," or do we "go to the right" (13:9)? The most attractive option isn't always the best choice. We have to determine what or who is pulling us through (or pulling us away from) the door of opportunity: money, power, pain, fear, relationships ...or God?

Lord, when you ask me to leave what is familiar and comfortable, give me the wisdom to discern your will, the patience to wait for your timing, and the courage to trust you. When my future is unclear, make your promises clear to me. Calm my fears and increase my faith throughout the journey. "May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you" (Psalm 25:21). Help me to keep my hand in yours as you lead the way, and to hear your voice in my ear, saying, "This is the way; walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).