Then the LORD told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).
The Bible gives us clear, if not symbolic direction on how to cast off things that sabotage our confidence and emotions.
Leave your country…
Abram’s family was Sumerian from the land of Ur, an extremely wicked place wrought with polytheism, human sacrifice, and the roots of astrology, occultic practices, and witchcraft. It also gave birth to Babylon, Assyria and portions of the Persian Empire. God was calling them to a better place, a place of promise and blessing not stained with the evil.
Oh, yea, we definitely need to be freed from the sins of our past and former ways of living. But yet, despite Christ’s promise of freedom, we cling to their past. I’ve met so many people who have not only hit rock bottom but they’re content to stay there so they can’t fall any deeper.
Leave your relatives…
It’s hard to admit, but sometimes the biggest hindrances are those closest to us, if not emotionally, then proximity. Abram could have easily followed his father’s pattern of not finishing. There are comments made that paralyze us: “you’re no good, you’re a disappointment, you’re hopeless, you’ll never amount to anything.” There was an intern who worked with me years ago who came from a wonderful family. While they were well off, they lived humbly and were so generous to college students in the area. Their house was always open for meals, hanging out, and having fun. It was a refuge of joy and encouragement. They were a tremendous encouragement to the students who felt called into ministry and promised to support them down the road. But with their own son, who felt called into ministry as well, they discouraged him saying that he needed to aspire higher. What?? Now years later, he has a great job but I doubt he is fulfilled because of an unmet commission on his life.
Leave your father’s house…
This requires the bold move to deny “curses,” negativity, tendencies, and thought patterns that bring about defeat.
Our churches are full of aimless people who aren’t advancing spiritually and don’t even give a second thought to serving others. People allow themselves to be beaten up by mistakes and failures. I’m not trying to minimize sin. We need to repent and get rid of it. The Bible is full of failures who eventually overcame – just one more reminder that God can’t use perfect people. He is so full of love for us, desiring to free us from emotional and mental traps.
Surprisingly, Haran has another meaning: GRACE. For the staggering and doubting Christ follower, there are words we glean from this passage: Get up and get going!! Imagine the scope of God’s promise to Abraham affecting people’s lives for the next 5,000 years. There are 3 major religions still arguing about the fulfillment of that conversation Abram had with God in the desert. What if he hadn’t responded? The implications would have impacted billions of people. God’s calling on our lives is no less important. There are things to be done, accomplished…meant for us to do….if we’d only say YES.
Think about these questions for a moment.
- What are some “Harans” (things/issues causing delays) in your life?
- Have you packed too much for the journey? What do you need to leave behind?