Lifelines June 23, 2019

The pathway to blessing was clearly marked out for Abram (Genesis 12:1-3).  It began with giving up all that was comfortable and familiar.  Old surroundings and the same old environment would not take him there.  He had to walk away for parts unknown.  It was surely a challenging decision to make.  It is for everyone.  Blessings are just beyond our grasp unless we change, and that is never easy.  Comfort zones hold us back from the best that the Lord has to offer.

The promises were remarkable.  He would be made into a great nation that extends far beyond biological connections.  It is family and then some.  Numbers exceeding our ability to count would be included.  It all began with one man, a solitary individual with nothing more than the word of God and faith in the Lord who spoke it.  All the faithful ever since, regardless of genealogy, are citizens of that great nation.

Obey the instruction and be blessed.  It was a simple statement, but one which required great trust.  There was no indication where he was to go.  Simply, go where you are told.  He did.  It was a bumpy road at times.  Occasionally, there were doubts.  Years of waiting came between the call and any indication of fulfillment.  Ishmael testifies of his impatient doubting.  It called for a willingness to sacrifice.  He did.  He sacrificed the familiar and nearly his son of promise.  He was not perfect, but he was willing.

Through the centuries his name has been synonymous with faith.  He is the father of the faithful.  God promised to make his name great, and He did.  We still look with admiration at Abram, whom we know better as Abraham.  He carved out a life through which the greatest of all blessings came.  In so doing, he was not only blessed but became a blessing.  Those who follow his lead will share the experience.

His descendent and our Savior came to bless us (Acts 3:26).  Jesus came to change the course of our lives so that we might be blessed.  He gave up the glory of heaven which He shared with His Father to show us a different way.  But then, change is difficult.  The Son of God could vouch for that.  So could Abraham.  Both gave up their homes, and we are called to do the same.  Blessings are waiting, and His word tells us how to get them.

What holds us back? “This is how we have always been.”  “This is what I have always done.”  Doubts?  There are no guarantees, except that the Lord only wants the best for us.  It may call for leaving some people, places and things behind.  There could be long delays with no apparent results.  It might demand sacrifice…like the Son of God.  He sacrificed His life for us that we might be among the blessed, and we follow in those steps.