Into the Unknown: Abraham’s Obedience
Abram (later renamed “Abraham” by God) was a man of faith. All he needed was a word from God and he would go. He left the comfort of his home, his family, everything that was familiar to him – to venture into unknown territory. He didn’t even know where he was going! But he knew that God was leading him.
“The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”Genesis 12:1
“Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”Genesis 13:17
To take possession of the land the Lord had promised, Abraham had to step out in faith. And what faith he had! As I read the stories of so many in the Bible (among them Abraham, Moses, Noah) I admire their courage to walk into the unknown, to do what didn’t make sense at the time, simply because God had spoken to them. Beyond admiration, I also learn a thing or two about what it looks like to partner with God and be obedient to His word.
In both verses above, we see a call to action, followed by a reassurance of the promise.
Call to action #1: Go out
- God’s instruction to Abraham to “go out” was one of a physical relocation, moving from one place to another. At a deeper level, I know from my own experience that when God asks us to “go” in the physical sense, we are likely to also experience a shift spiritually and emotionally
- There is an intentionality behind the move from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the known to the unknown. You find yourself in a position where you can’t simply go through the motions or rely on what has worked in the past, and so you rely on God
Reassurance #1: I will show you
- Though Abraham didn’t know where he was going, God assured him that once he did step out, he would receive direction
- In my own life, there have been numerous times that it wasn’t until after I had taken the step of obedience that I was able to see things as God saw them. Stepping out provided clarity of vision, positioning me to catch a glimpse of the promise
Call to action #2: Get up
- This instruction implies a change from a seated to standing position, from rest to rise. The subsequent command for Abraham to walk around the land is almost as if he is required to mark his territory before he can receive it
- Though Abraham walking the perimeter of the land promised by God was symbolic, I believe it represents the preparation needed to receive a promise of this nature. There are some promises for which God requires us to indicate our readiness by our willingness to do what may be inconvenient to us
Reassurance #2: I will give it to you
- Emphasis on the word “will” here, God didn’t instruct Abraham to make sacrifices and take action for the chance that he might receive what had been promised
- God demonstrates His faithfulness to His word, providing a guarantee of the certainty of Abraham’s inheritance
“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going.” | Hebrews 11:
To make sacrifices and take action to step into the unknown in response to a promise from God, requires faith. That faith then reaffirms the promise.
I believe that on the other end of your courage, is the fulfilment of God’s promise to you.
Written by Oyelola
Oyelola is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. When not writing for clients, she shares her musings from life with Jesus through He Speaks, I Write. Beyond writing, she enjoys throwing back a frothy matcha latte, bushwalks with friends and curling up with a good book.
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