Study from Genesis 12 – 14; Passage for Reflection: Genesis 12: 1 … NIV 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.
My Journal for Today: F. LaGard Smith, my devotional Pastor this year and the Editor of The Daily Bible In Chronological Order [NIV], through which I’m reading this year, poses some interesting and challenging questions today.
• What does it mean to follow God’s call?
• Does God really lead people into disastrous conditions?
• How can we be sure we’re really following God and not our own selfish desires?
• By what means does God call His children?
• What gives … when we truly follow what we believe to be God and we’re disappointed?
But Smith is right that these questions become moot when we, like Abram, have no doubt that we’ve really sensed God’s calling. No, the question then becomes, “Are we willing to leave our comfort zone in life and just GO wherever and whenever God calls us to go?” Jesus in the NT has a challenging call on the lives of His disciples, when He says [in Luke 9: 23] If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me?” And if you have been an Abram and followed God, I’ll bet you’ve experienced and/or know that God seldom calls one into more comfort, more luxury, or a higher degree of “blessing” (at least how we worldly creatures would define “blessing”).
No, one of the things which tells us that a path in life is likely a Godly direction is whether one is being led, as was Abram, into an uncharted direction, requiring a test of our faith. If one is looking for God’s leaning, one of the first things we need to look for to determine if this is God’s direction in life is to see whether the direction requires more or less faith in God than the previous path or place. If it is the easy or wide road to follow, BEWARE; it is more likely that Satan or selfishness is doing the leading. If, on the other hand, the road is the narrow road, the one less traveled, and the one which is insecure or ultra-challenging, that is more likely the road God is testing you to travel. And if, in spite of the anxiety over that more challenging route, you pray and get a peace – that peace which surpasses all understanding - about that leaning or direction, (as instructed by Phil. 4: 6-7, which I hope you have memorized and use often in decision making) then, like Abram, you simply MUST pick up and go where God is leading You … whenever or wherever that might be.
Yeah! … This Christian discipleship business can be a bear, can’t it?
My Prayer for Today: Lord, may I be ever sensitive to Your leading in my life; and then may I have the courage to deny self and follow You. Amen