As I was wrestling with the clear impression to move to Vancouver Island last year, God again brought to my mind and heart the story of Abram—one that He has used repeatedly to guide me.
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
12:1—The Lord called Abram. He did not give Abram specific details. But in His command there is a promise, “to the land I will show you”. God went before Abram, had a place already in mind for Abram and His family.
God has already told me where to go, he is going before me and setting all things up according to His plan. I simply must follow in faith.
12:2-4—God followed His command with a promise. We know this promise well, it is something we learn again and again and come back to. We use it to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness, and in Hebrews to remind us of Abraham’s faith.
God has called me, and He has given me a promise. My efforts in obedience will not be wasted.
I was talking with a friend and I thought about walking blindly by faith. As I chewed on that thought, I realized that I never walk blindly if I am truly walking by faith. My gaze, when walking by faith, is ever on the Lord. As long as my eyes are on Him, and I am seeking His will and guidance, I am never walking blindly.
Think of driving without a map. You may not know exactly where you are, where you are going, or when you will arrive. But looking out the window, you can see ahead of you. You see the road signs, the weather, the scenery. You see the speed limits, the other travellers and around here the wildlife. You never truly drive blind. And if you do, maybe it’s time for new glasses?
12:5-7—So what then? Abram followed the Lord immediately. He took his wife, his nephew and his possession and began the journey. When the journey was not yet complete, he built and altar to the Lord and worshipped him.
I am amazed at Abram’s attitude and faith. At this point, what was Abram thankful and worshipful for?
He has just left his entire family behind, he left behind all that defined him, his livelihood, his home, his status, even his culture. He did all this at the command of God in return for a promise.
He is probably really smelly, sleeping with the animals, his wife is more than likely irritated with him for dragging her across the wilderness to the middle of nowhere. And yet, he pauses to worship and to remember God’s goodness to him.
The most common question I have been asked is “Why Vancouver Island?” and the simple answer is “Because the Lord commanded be to”. Is this answer enough? Looking at the life of Abram, the calling of the father of the nation of Israel, I would say yes, it is.
Then the question begs what does following look like?
Abram did not know the full scope of his journey. He knew the starting point, and he knew the ending point. The stops in-between departure and destination were at best vague.
I feel a little like that myself. I know that the starting point is University so far the stops in between have included Clearwater, Sexsmith, Grande Prairie, Kansas City, Missouri, Vietnam, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Ohio, McBride and many other places. I trust that the Lord is using this to refine me to the woman He needs me to be to effectively minister to the His people. And even more than that, to be willing to follow the Lord anywhere, is truly freedom indeed.
A good friend once asked me, “If Jesus pulled up beside you in a car, and offered to take you anywhere you wanted to go, what would you say?”
My initial response was “Who cares?! It’s Jesus. I would respond ‘Lord, take me to your favourite place.’”
Upon more reflection, I realized that Jesus is already taking me to his favourite place. In scripture we find Jesus with the lost, the poor, the broken and the needy. Here is that place, and the more I walk with my eyes on His, the clearer my calling becomes.
***Edited from a message I gave in 2013 regarding following God’s call.