“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8
And he went out not knowing where he was going. Have you ever stopped to consider what this would be like?
Abram, as he was known at the time, was living in Haran. The Lord called him, saying:
“Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3
And that was it. Off he went. No deliberating, no delaying, he just went. At 75, Abram walked off his map.
Abram moved his whole family and all his possessions and left his home in Haran. We understand from Exodus 13 that Abram had considerable wealth, so it’s not like he just took a tent and some sheep off he went. How would we deal with a call like that? Could we just move house and family and just go without knowing where we were going? I would certainly be challenged.
And yet, I believe, this is how God calls us to live. Sold out for Him, walking in faith, ready to walk off our maps, whatever they may be.
For some, walking off the map could be beginning a new job, for others, moving to a new town, while for others it could be stepping out and praying for people they don’t know. Whatever it is, that uncomfortable feeling that comes with it means that you are in just the right place.
“Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?” – Francis Chan
So how do we go about walking off the map when we do not know where we are going? We do it in relationship. When God is not telling you where you are going to, nor is He giving you directions, He is just going to hold out His hand.
Imagine being blindfolded and having someone lead you through a maze or an obstacle course. The only way you would know where to go is to hold out your hand and allow yourself to be led. This is actually an interesting exercise that is worth trying if you have never done it before. Pick someone you trust and let them lead you, without speaking, through some challenging terrain. You will learn that you are totally reliant on what they do with their hand. Sometimes they will lift up to get you to step up, or they will pull hard to get you to move faster or take a big step. It is something that you feel out between the two of you. You figure out the communication by touch and the longer you do it the better you get and the more you trust each other.
I believe this is what the Lord does when he leads us this way. We have to learn to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we grow in relationship with Him and we learn to respond to His promptings. The more we do it, the better we get, the easier it is to trust the Lord. This is what it is to walk in fellowship with the Lord.
And what is the whole point? To learn how to trust the Lord. The more we trust the stronger our faith becomes, and we know that it is impossible to please the Lord without faith.
Lord, thank You that I don’t have to know where I am going and that all I have to do is hold out my hand in total reliance on You.