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Stepping out in Faith

prayer

In our final meeting of the season, Thomas Murray brought a closing word of encouragement to the young Believers gathered at Listooder Mission Hall. Turning to the book of Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, Thomas introduced us to the character of Abram (Abraham). Featuring also in each of the Gospels and in much of the rest of the New Testament, Abraham is a significant figure throughout Scripture.

We find him here in the land of the Chaldees. A land that, although advanced in many ways, although technologically wise and scientifically able, it was a land that did not love or worship the true God. But it was from this land that God chose out Abraham, who was going to be the father of a nation, a new nation, that God would bless and take as His own.

The Lord spoke to Abraham, exhorting him to get out of the place of idolatry and Godlessness. In showing his commitment to his Heavenly Father, Abraham had to turn his back on the sins, circumstances and influences of his old life. Likewise we, as Believers, must be willing to demonstrate our love for the Lord by turning away from those things that would cause us to err in our walk with Him.

It was not only his home that God asked Abraham to give up, but also his family. Abraham was asked to leave his 'kindred' behind. Christ should be the central focus of our Christian lives. Everything else, even our closest friends and family, must take second place to Christ. This is the significance of the call for Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees behind.

The Lord asks His people to make sacrifices. He asks us to sacrifice our own ambitions, hopes and dreams and leave ourselves entirely in His loving hands. But He does not do this so that He can leave us without purpose, without direction or without guidance. Instead, God promises that everything that we do in His name will be honoured. What we give in the name of Christ will be returned to us again, not like-for-like, but in abundance. A life, given to Christ, is a life of fulfillment, of joy and of blessing.

Abraham obeyed God, but it was not a perfect obedience. Rather than leaving his kindred entirely, he took some of them with him. Rather than continue his journey from Ur to Canaan, he dwelt for some years in Haran. Abraham failed to act on the commandment of God. He failed in his obedience. Satan will seek to hinder us in going all out for God. The world, the unsaved, will try and hold us back from full obedience. Our own selfishness, lust and pride will delay us in our progress for Him. The path will not be an easy one, but it is one that we should be willing to take, and desire the strength of God to walk out in faith.

Abraham failed, but the purposes of God did not. God's plan for Abraham to father a great nation was fulfilled completely. A nation that would be as vast as the stars of heaven, a nation that would dwell in the land of Canaan, a nation that would be a blessing to all others. God's plans never fail. Take encouragement. God has a plan for your life, and despite our many weaknesses, He will fulfil those plans.