It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8
I will never forget my first time wearing prescription glasses. I experienced the world in a completely new way. The sky was a brighter shade of blue and the trees were so green. Everything was also much closer to me than I realized! For the first time, my sight was corrected, and I could truly see. The strange thing about this situation is that before I went to the eye doctor as a middle school student, I had no idea I could not see. I had been going through life with poor vision, and I did not even know it!
Life is a little bit like that, isn't it? With clouded vision, we think we can see everything clearly and assume that we have the best plan for our lives. Other times, we are aware of our poor vision. We become fearful when we cannot see the "big picture" of God's plan for us, and when He asks us to take a blind leap of faith. When our faith needs strengthening, we can learn from Abraham, a man who certainly demonstrated courageous faith.
God called Abraham to leave his family, friends, and home and move to a new place that God would show him. I do not know about you, but I would have had a tough time obeying. Abraham was asked to leave everything behind in order to go to a place he had never seen before. In fact, God did not even disclose his new location to him. Abraham did not have a chance to visit this new place before he decided if he would obey or disobey! He had to base his decision wholly on his faith in God. But, despite the uncertainty and confusion, Abraham obeyed God and left. And that changed everything for Abraham. He was a man of courageous faith who was blessed by God because of his faith. Abraham's story is a valuable lesson for us that courage is choosing faith over sight.
How do you think you would have responded to God's command if you were Abraham? (Be honest with yourself as you answer this question!) Would you have obeyed God and left everything behind? It is really hard to have faith when we cannot see what God is doing in our lives. Often, He only gives part of the picture, which provides us with an opportunity to grow courageously in our faith. The good news is that though our vision is impaired, God's vision is 20/20. He sees everything perfectly, including the things we cannot see. We may be fearful of stepping out in faith, but the knowledge that God has perfect vision should give us courage.
One way to increase our faith is to look back on God's past provision. When we remember how God has taken care of us in the past, we can trust Him to care for us in the present and future. When we remember God's past faithfulness, we can courageously follow Him, even when we cannot see His plan. In your notes, make a list of the ways God has taken care of you in the past. Next, make a list of the ways you hope for Him to care for you in the future.
Read Genesis 12:1-9 (NLT)
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. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.
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