Genesis 12 (50 Days – Day Twelve)

Open Hand

It is so important that we see God in every step of our lives. Sometimes we start out on a path so convicted of the direction God has called us to that we miss the journey. Sometimes we the path that God calls us to has many detours and if we focus so much on the destination then we just get confused when we end up somewhere else or even worse, feel like there must be something we’ve done wrong because God has clearly abandoned us.

If that’s you today, I want to encourage you to take something in from the life of Abram today.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (v. 1-3)

God makes a promise to Abram and he sets out sure of where God is leading him…

Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. (v. 5)

That seems to be the destination that God is leading them to. However, Abram doesn’t end up there. He arrives there, but does not stay. Once there, God lets him know in a manner of words that he has other plans for him. What does Abram do? He leaves, and we must assume this too was under God’s direction. But before he does, he builds an altar. He recognizes that this change in the game-plan doesn’t mean something went wrong. He recognizes that the significance of a journey with God is not where you’re going but rather who you’re traveling with.

Abram moves to the hill country. And builds another altar. Again he recognizes that while his path has changed, his God hasn’t. He moves again. And again. Why does he move? Perhaps God lead him some of the time. Sometimes he moved for practical reasons like famine. While he made some mistakes in his conduct in places like Egypt, we shouldn’t assume that Egypt was a mistake. After all if your argument is “things didn’t go well in Egypt so obviously Abram was out of God’s will” then the same logic could be used when he left Bethel – “why would God lead him to a place that had a famine?”

The problem in Egypt wasn’t that Abram went the wrong direction, it’s that on that part of the journey, at some point he let go of God’s hand. He started to fear man instead of God, and that’s the true lesson we should take from it.

My encouragement to you is to just enjoy walking with God today. Picture it like a walk in a beautiful park instead of a walk on a highway. A walk on a highway gives you only two choices and you would have to assume that one of them is wrong. However, when walking in a park, stopping to smell the roses all of a sudden becomes appropriate, even normal behavior. Grab hold of Jesus’ hand and try not to assume where you’re going. Just enjoy the journey with Him.

Matt Jones

Matt is the lead pastor at Lakeside Church. When he’s not “pastoring” in the city, you can find him “pastoring” at Schneiter’s Bluff Golf Course.

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