Godship! That is the battle in the human soul. Who will be in charge—God or me? If my flesh wins out, I will seek the comfort of doing things my way; I will work to get fame for myself. I will get neither. If I go with God, I will sacrifice the comfort of my way for the adventure of his way—and he promises me the blessing of influence and success along the journey.
Going Deep // Focus: Genesis 12:1-2
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.”
Two roads diverged on the path to God…
What a contrast Abraham’s life is to those in the previous chapter who wanted to build the Tower of Babel. They wanted to keep themselves from being scattered in order to make themselves famous. (Genesis 11:4) In this chapter, the Lord made a promise to the childless Abram—soon to be called Abraham, which meant, the father of many nations—that if he would trust the word of the Lord and step out in obedience to leave what was familiar in order to go with the unfamiliar of following God, then the Lord would scatter Abraham’s fame throughout the earth and make him a blessing to all the people on the planet.
Two roads diverged on the human path: stay on your own course to find wealth and fame—at least temporally, or go with God to gain significance and satisfaction—not only in time but for all eternity. Those who choose the risky road of faith will never be short on gratitude.
The humanistic mind says, “do it my way, protect what I have, and seek fame for myself.” The God-centered mind says, “if I let go of what I have in order to follow God’s voice, he will make me prosperous, he will give me success.” Joshua 1:8 famously backs up the assumption of the godly mindset: “Don’t let my Word depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night. Then I will make your way prosperous and give you success.”
The world’s logic is to “get all you can, then can all you get, sit on the lid, and spoil the rest.” God’s logic calls us to give it all away to follow him, and when we do, we will always have plenty to give away. That is the right-sided logic of God.
Rebellion says follow your own desires. Redemption begins when you follow what God desires.
Genesis is the story of contrasts: The rebellion of man at first dominates the narrative. It is first seen in Adam, then perpetuated through Cain, the Babel builders, and right on down the line. The human race seems hopelessly lost when we consider the self-centered lives of these. But the story takes a hopeful turn when human rebellion is interrupted by a few who were willing to listen to God, trust his call to the life of faith, and put the Lord’s desires ahead of their humanistic longing. Abel, Noah, Abraham—all imperfect men who, nevertheless, found favor with God and found God to be trustworthy as they stepped into the unknown to hear his voice and follow his call. These are the true heroes of the human race.
Thank God, when we step out in obedience to follow the Lord, trusting that even in the unusual way he calls us to walk, risking faith to let go of selfish desires to take on eternal values, he fulfills the same promises to us that he made to the Genesis heroes: personal blessing, eternal fame and earthly influence—100% guaranteed.
Thank God for the steps of faith that he places before us.