Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pause and Ponder--Twelve: One

Genesis 12:1

Now the Lord said to Abram,
"Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house
to the land which I will show you;"



"Now the Lord said..."

Is my mind and heart prepared and sensitive to hear what the Lord says?

Sometimes I realize I've done more talking at the Lord than listening to Him.

"to Abram,"

I love that the Lord speaks to us personally.
Often I can be distracted by what I think the Lord is saying/teaching someone else.
This distraction crowds out my ability to hear what He is speaking to me.
I need reminding often, that He is speaking to me about my relationship with Him.

"Go forth..."

Isn't this the crux of the Christian life-- going forth?
When I'm feeling parched in my walk with Jesus, I've come to realize that I'm not actively pursuing the things of the Lord by meditating (not simply reading) the Scriptures and earnestly seeking His face in prayer.

"from your country,"

Uh-oh... here is where the Lord starts to get specific. He begins generally with the command to "go forth from your country."

There are many of us that the Lord actually calls to leave our physical country.

Sometimes it is for a short-term missions trip like this one Shannon went on.

Or, sometimes the call is for a longer period, like the one Jenn is preparing for.

The question I ask myself-- am I willing to leave the comfort and security of my home to go where the Lord leads?

Whether or not I am ever called to leave the U.S. and travel to another land, I cannot say anything except, "Lord, Your will be done."

But, always, the Lord is calling each of us to leave our "country" of popular culture.

The Lord desires us to be set-apart "from the nations."
We are to be conformed (or shaped) by the truth of His Word not the deceit of academia or the distortion of advertising.

"And from your relatives"

All of us have a lineage that we've been shaped by and are expected to live by to a certain degree.

When the Lord called us to homeschool, my husband and I obeyed even though it went against both of our public school histories and the expectation of our families. Even though we had made up our minds to do it, we were still nervous about telling our families and wondered what their reactions would be.

We are grateful they are supportive but we didn't know they would be until we made the decision to walk in trust to the Lord and His leading.

"And from your father's house,"

"And" is not "or."

God didn't ask Abram to pick one of this list and determine which one he was willing to forsake.

"And" means, "Are you willing to go against the grain of the world, your history, and now, your family?"

Families have a tremendous amount of influence over us. Expectations, both spoken and unspoken, are part of our decision making.

Am I willing to obey God even if it means disappointing my parents?

I've had to make that choice.

Having grown-up Catholic, I was baptized as an infant.
Growing up Filipino, I heard lots of superstition.

After I became a Christian in 1995, my mom forbade me to be baptized "into another religion" at least until she "was dead."

Oh, okay Mom, just as long as there is no pressure! Hee hee

The Lord spoke to my heart early in my walk and quietly asked,
"Whom will you follow? Your mother or Me?

I was baptized days later.

Seeing both my parents baptized eight years later reinforced my understanding of the truth of God's Word which says we cannot out give God and that truly, He blesses obedience to His Word and to His Spirit.

"to the land which I will show you."

In other words, I have to trust Him.

There is no getting the itinerary ahead of time (with all the where, when, and hows neatly laid out for my control-freak self).

There is no Mapquesting directions so I can find it myself and arrive in my timing.

Nope.

Instead, I have to to walk and trust and trust and walk by the leading of the Lord by His Spirit.

I must trust that He is, in fact, leading me and that He will show me this "land"--
in His timing--His absolutely perfect timing.

*****

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the stories of the Old Testament that provide us with pictures of the truth of Your nature and unchanging character.

Thank You for leading me gently, yet purposefully. Yes, to specific works You have ordained for me. But more importantly, You lead me to the sanctified life as You work the character and nature of Jesus into my life.

Lord, help my unbelief and ignite in me a fire and passion to know You.

Amen.




2 comments:

Abigail said...

Thank you Mom! It was definitely needed.

Ann said...

Very Jon Courson-esque:) LOVE it!

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