The Call of Faith
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. (Genesis 12:1-4a)
The account of Abram’s call in Genesis 12 is interesting both in the details it provides as well as in the details it omits.
1) The LORD told Abram exactly what he would have to leave behind to follow God’s call – his country, his people, and his father’s household.
2) The LORD told Abram the many ways he would be blessed if he followed God’s call – God would make him into a great nation; God would bless his name; God would treat others according to how they treated Abram; God would bless all the families of the world in Abram.
Details left out:
1) The LORD never told Abram where he was going.
2) The LORD never explained how any of these blessings would come to pass.
What is clear from this comparison of details provided and details omitted is that Abram’s call was a call of faith. When you know more about what you are leaving than where you are going, you are stepping out on faith. When you’ve heard all about God’s promises but have no idea how those promises could be fulfilled, you are stepping out on faith.
God’s call of Abram played a unique role in the history of redemption, yet the writers of the New Testament didn’t hesitate to use Abram’s faith as an example of the kind of faith to which God calls us. (See Rom. 4:1-5, 13-17, Gal. 3:9; Heb. 11:8-10.) To follow Christ, we must “have the faith of Abraham” (Rom. 4:17); we must live by faith.
So, allow Abram’s example to encourage you (Rom. 15:4). You may be in a place where you have no idea where God is taking you or how his promises to you could be fulfilled. Abram was in the same place, yet when he stepped out on faith, he found God to be faithful. As you follow the Lord by faith, he will be faithful to you, too.