In the last two weeks I shared a message both with our students and leaders called “Living in a Certain Uncertainty”. The life of Abraham has encouraged me in the current season of life that my family and I are experiencing. You can read about that here. If you find yourself in a similar season of life you’ll be encouraged to look a little closer at the life of Abraham.
The Context of Abraham’s Life:
- He was living in a place called Ur of the Chaldees - on the banks of the Euphrates River, not far from the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
- Ur of the Chaldees was considered a world-class city in it’s time. It’s estimated to have been home to over 250,000 people and was considered the center of mathematics, astronomy, commerce and philosophy for the greater area.
- History suggests many people were actually moving towards this city, not away from it as we see Abraham doing.
- He and his wife Sarah probably worshiped the moon-god Sin.
- Based on the historical context of where he lived it’s safe to assume he is a prosperous, middle-aged man.
It is in the midst of Abraham’s successful and comfortable life that God clearly and unmistakably speaks to Abraham that it is time for him to move. The heavenly instructions not only change Abraham’s life, but ultimately the world as we know it.
What is interesting however, is that although Abraham is CERTAIN God has spoken to him to go, he is UNCERTAIN of exactly where he is going. (I know that feeling.)
Using Abraham’s life as a playbook of sorts for how to live in a certain uncertainty let’s break it down into 3 simple to understand steps (albeit challenging to live out):
#1: Living with a certain uncertainty is obeying God's call without knowing where it will lead.
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
I’m guessing here that Abraham’s friends probably would think he had lost it. Let’s be honest, his decision to move was crazy to begin with. He was giving up friendships, his career, his traditions, his home, his position, his influence, even his country. He was risking his health and ultimately his future to move away from Ur of the Chaldees.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! (I always love those infomercials)
He was doing all this not knowing where he was going, when he would get there, what it would look like and how he would make a living. Genesis 12:1 is a vague promise at best, from an unseen God, to lead him to “a land that I will show you”.
Please don't miss the point.
If you truly want to do God's will, sometimes you will find yourself exactly where Abraham was - setting out on a new journey that doesn't seem to make sense from the world's point of view.
It doesn’t make sense to family and friends. You can’t really explain it, but you know it’s right. You try to talk about it only to feel a sense of frustration because you just know your words can’t really fully dictate what you’re feeling and what you’ve heard from God.
The only thing that is certain for you, as it was for Abraham, is that you know God has called you and you must respond with obedience. The final destination and sometimes even the next step is shrouded in mystery.
That fact makes his obedience (and yours) all the more impressive.
The NIV version of Hebrews 11:8 says he "obeyed and went." This is actually the greatest miracle of Abraham’s life. Every blessing that flowed from that point forward came as a direct result of the decision to obey.
God called; he obeyed.
Sometime we have to go before God will show. That truth was the secret of his life. Is it the secret of your life?
In part two we'll talking about "Working While You Wait".