Following After His Voice: A Lesson in Obedience

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. Genesis 12:1

I know it’s been quite a while since I last wrote. Lately, I’ve been posting my ‘devotions’ directly on Facebook. But today, I felt the need to write and share a little testimony.

Among the many things God has led me to do in my life, there are two things that weigh heavy on my heart, and the most current is my having to leave home and everything I know to move to New Orleans. You see, since the day I set foot back in South Carolina, I was stricken in virtually every area of my life. I commonly refer to the last 4 years I spent at home as my ‘wilderness experience.’ During that period of my life, I learned so many things, but I think the most paramount of those lessons were to have faith and trust God unrelentlessly.

So trust I did. I sought God about His desires for every area of my life–career, ministry, family, love, etc. This journey has brought me to this place, like Abraham (or Abram at the time) where I have had to leave everything I know and love behind: a brand new niece that has filled some of the voids in my heart, friends that have become family and their children that are my own nieces and nephews now, and my family. I knew I had no desire of staying in Charleston or even South Carolina for that matter, but that did not make leaving any less hard. I even left the place I feel is my true home, Atlanta, leaving some of the same things there, and I’m certain after this part of my journey, I’ll get back there.

Sometimes in life we are faced with those not so easy decisions: to follow our dreams and take the road less traveled, leading to ultimate fulfillment in Christ or to sacrifice those dreams and ignore our appointed purposes to remain comfortable. Trust me, there is nothing easy packing your whole life up and driving your packed to capacity truck, dog in tow, to a ‘foreign land.’ I knew no one here other than my linesister Ashley, my two uncles, and a little cousin. I left what I had grown accustomed to over the last four years, having everyone I love in a near vicinity and driving distance.

And today, this morning, I cried because my heart was heavy over having to leave them behind. Then God reminded me of Abraham. Abraham is the father of many nations, and right here in Genesis 12:1 is when God calls him away to become that very person! God spoke to me and reminded me of this, that I too, had to leave ‘home’ (Charleston, Columbia, SC, Atlanta) to go to a place that He had shown me, so that He can continue shaping me into the woman He called me to be. Like Abraham, I had to leave my appointed place (I believe, Atlanta) to go somewhere to be enriched (Abram leaves Canaan quickly after arriving and goes to Egypt–Genesis 12–and I will say with certainty that my time in Charleston definitely enriched me). Not once during his journey did Abraham doubt–yes, he got impatient and tried to make things happen his own way…and YES I’ve done that too, much to my discomfort in the end. Abraham–what God names Abram after He changes Abram’s name and reaffirms His promises in the covenant–gets to a place of rest in God’s word to him, that he quickly obeys from thereafter. Even in fear (he feared he would be killed for Sarai/Sarah because of her beauty both in Egypt and in Abimelech’s territory), God blesses Abraham. And upon Abraham’s return to his ‘home’–for him it is Canaan–God fulfills His promises to Abraham. Even greater than that, God has increased Abraham tremendously throughout his journey both in material wealth and in faith.

So I will be at ease, because not only did God bless Abraham’s end, but He blessed His entire journey! So I will remain encouraged and stay focused, because God wants to bless some people through me! (Gen 12:3) At this point, I have too much to lose, and life without God’s hand steering me is not really life at all…be blessed!

“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. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. Genesis 12:2-4 NIV

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