Friday, September 24, 2010

OTC Day 5: Genesis 10-12

Life tempts us to settle for what we have rather than press on for what we still can’t see. We play it safe by holding onto what we have, staying where we are, and finding security in what we can accomplish and provide for ourselves.

God calls us to keep following Him into new areas that we have not seen before, leaving everything that we know, and risking all that we have for a better reward. It’s unsettling for us because everything is unknown. The secret is to focus on the One who is known.

Twice in Genesis, God has made His desire for men known. Both Genesis 1:28 and 9:1 show that the purpose of man is to fill the earth, go out, and keep pressing on. Instead of going out, we want to gather in. Instead of trusting God, we trust ourselves.

Genesis 11 shows that tendency with shocking clarity. The primary sin at Babel was not the building of the tower, but rebellion against God’s desire for men. He says scatter and they say gather. He says make my Name great and they say let’s make a name for ourselves.

In contrast, Abram was called to leave behind all human support and follow wherever God led. Abram is called from his home in Ur (Acts 7:2-3), beginning the journey with his father. But Terah became an example of what confronts all of us: He succumbed to the temptation of settling. Rather than press on for what God desired, he settled for what he could acquire. In his life, tragically, we see the results of settling: He lived. He died. (Yawn.)

God wants more than that for us, but it requires us to risk all that we have for all that He can provide. Abram risked everything – he left his family, his country, and everything he had ever known. Essentially, he left all the things most of us find security in. He didn’t leave with a plan or even a clear destination. He just walked into the unknown, following the One who is known. This is called faith and God finds it pleasing.

In fact, it is impossible to please God without faith. It is how we know and follow Him. While we are tempted to settle and be content with where we are and what we have, God calls us to something better.

What is keeping you from arriving where God wants you? Take the first step in faith.

1. What additional light does Hebrews 11:8-12 shed on Abram’s response to God’s call?

2. In what ways did Abram demonstrate faith in Genesis 12:1-9?

3. What did Abram fear in Genesis 12:10-20? What did he gain? What did he lose?

4. What are your biggest fears? If you knew that you could not fail, what would you attempt to do for God with your life?

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