When we do not bear the cost.
These are words Abraham would never utter. We covered Abraham’s initial call on Tuesday in Genesis 12: 1-5. Here is what Abram heard, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…”
Verse four starts like this, “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” If you never heard another thing about Abram, this would be enough. The Lord told him, so he did it. This is a rare thing. It is more rare than a Chicago Cubs World Series victory. This is a man hearing God speak and then actually following through with the request and doing it.
Abram did not reap some immediate windfall. God did not rain buckets of money on him, showering him with riches, and filling his pot with the finest of lamb. God said you go, “and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”
These are all things in the future. They were going to happen, but not in Abram’s lifetime. Did I mention Abram was 75 when this started? Imagine that now. You are 75, been married quite some time, your hips hurt, your back is shot, you have a bad knee and a bad ankle… You have already moved 600 miles from Ur to Haran with your pappy dragging your family in tow. Now you are living the good life. You have everything a man needs, but an heir and the blessing of God.
You are really considering your life pretty full at this point and God says I want you to pack it all up and walk hundreds more miles for things you will never see in your lifetime and for a promise I will give to your offspring that you have not had.
I have to tell you, that kind of faith is in short supply in Christianity today. It exists, some people have it, and the world is blessed through their faith like the world was blessed through Abram’s.
For many, I might even consider using the word most, even making a two hour commitment per week is too much today.
No one has ever said to me directly, “Pastor Ian , you ask too much of me with the two hours you expect me in church per week.”They don’t have to. The empty chairs say it loud and clear.
Maybe I, and other pastors like me, are not asking enough. God asks for everything and we are reticent to give it. I ask for almost nothing, and people are hesitant to give. Maybe that is the problem with Christianity today, faith comes too easy so we can sit back and relax.
God did not call me to walk across the country….maybe not. I bet he called you to walk across your property though. I bet God called you to walk across the street. I bet God called you to cross the store, the aisle, and anywhere else you happen to be to share Him. Did you go? Abram packed up and went, remember verse four?
Does our verse four say something like this, “So Ian closed the door and turned on the television, and God called a faithful servant to replace him and when Ian slept with his fathers there was gnashing of teeth and fire.
In our churches across America, those Sunday services are one of the easiest things to drop from our schedules. Bible Study on Tuesdays, or Life Groups on Wednesdays…”Gollllllly, that is the day of the dart tourney, Big East hoops, or tacos are on special at the Hilltop in Pullman,” and about 300 million more excuses that make skipping a church service or event an easy thing to do, so we do it.
Abram went and the Lord blessed him.We are still talking about him today, just like God said we would when He told Abram to get!
We turn on the tablet, the computer, the television, or just hit the snooze bar…and God does not bless our lazy faith and calls another in our place. And then they heard the gnashing of teeth and their feet started getting warm.