Here is a sermon I recently preached at my church in Fayetteville, GA. Be encouraged!
It was by faith Abraham obeyed God’s call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go. Hebrews 11:8
Obedience Is The Key.
Where do I need to be and what do I need to do? I have struggled with those questions often throughout my time on earth. You may have too. They are very important questions. However, I’m finding this to be true over and over again; God is more concerned about my obedience than my location.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God has specific places for specific people. This does not negate the fact that God carries those people there. He sends those people there. He somehow manages to get those people there as would be the case for Jonah and the great fish.
Who I Am? vs. Where I Am?
The issue with God is not can He use me where I am or where He’s taking me. The issue is who I become along the way and through the situations. God’s greatest ambition is conformity to that of His Son. There is none who was or is more obedient than Jesus. Obedience is a benchmark of Jesus, even obedience unto death on a cross (Philippians 2).
God seems to have a greater concern about developing me into a certain person than taking me to a certain place. How does He do this? No other way than through the revelation of Himself. So often, I want God to reveal His plan instead of Himself. I want to know the in’s and out’s, the details, the lowdown but God does not cave into my desires. He instead fulfills me with Himself. For me to become all that God wants, I have to stop looking ahead and start looking up.
Which Way Do I Go?
Abraham went out not knowing where He was going but He knew Who he was going with. He was going with God. I wonder how many times I have gone without God…knowing where I was going but oblivious that God was not with me? The knowing of the Christian walk is not to a place but with a Person, the person of Jesus Christ. As we walk with Him we become. We move forward at times but we move inward all the time. Obedience is an inward job and the only way to accomplish it is to obey.
Maybe God is not sending me anywhere except to Himself? Maybe that’s the ultimate destination?
I can’t always see what God is doing…oh how I wish I could! Faith materializes things unseen but perseverance gets me there. At times it’s like grasping for air or vapor as James puts it but life cannot be grasped, only experienced. I cannot hold onto life but I can experience it by letting it go. God has intentions well beyond my scope of vision and faith. He sees things I cannot fathom with such earthly eyes. And His goal is to get me there. Whether I go kickin’ or screamin’ or with faithful trust and compliance is up to me.
I may feel that the path is too hard for me to handle, too rough to bear but He is simply preparing me for something greater than I can understand at this present point. My faith in God must be tested beyond ease and comfort to the depth of the deepest pains in my soul. Christ wants to save my soul while I try to save my life. He has made it clear that anyone who saves His life will lose it and yet how I still try to hold on! Forfeiting my soul for things of this world is not a wise move either and yet I daily face the challenges of letting go of everything to cling to Christ.
If knowing Christ is the goal of God and even some remote part of who I am and what I desperately want, then God will continue to strip away any and everything that competes against that goal. Christ is bringing me to a place where my faith will not waver, where my love will be real and my life will be saved. He is teaching me that holding onto anything except Him will prove to be another empty promise of life. His life is on the other side of the vision. I can’t see it very clearly yet but I have to trust He will get me there. God placed all bets on Christ to get me there and I have to as well.