Leave the Familiar

In Genesis chapter twelve, Abram (latter called Abraham) is told to leave his country, his relatives, and everything that is familiar to him. To leave everything familiar and embark unto the unknown would scare even the bravest soul.  For some reason, change scares some people. Oddly, people will continue in a poor direction that they are familiar with instead of stepping out into the unknown.

I heard of a story where a tribal village started having many deaths. A scientist went to the tribe and realized that there was a bug living in their wooden huts that were causing these deaths. The scientist gave them three options.

  1. Let us spray chemicals on the huts to kill the bugs. There are some minimal risks spraying chemicals around a home.
  2. Relocate and build a new village elsewhere away from this pest.
  3. Do nothing. Stay where you are and continue to have the high death rate.

Which option did they choose? Sadly, they chose option three. They did nothing. They were familiar with their surroundings and sufferings and feared change more than the unfamiliar.

God tells Abram to go and he willing steps off unto the unfamiliar.

Traveling in those days are not like traveling today. Today we can map out our course looking for the smoothest route. Before we climb in our comfortable car; we can check the weather and even Google map the streets to get an idea of what the area looks like. As we map out our course; we can adjust our route so there is a five-star hotel on the way and specific restaurants.

In Abram’s day, it was dangerous to travel. Chances are that Abram took a whole entourage of people and animals with him, so there was some safety in numbers and a nice supply of food. But to go in uncharted areas could be trouble. He could run into a dangerous group that outnumbered him. Abram probably worried if there will be enough fresh water? Will the terrain be too rough for some? What if we push through an extremely tough area only to run into something that is impossible to cross?

Abram laid down his fears and simply believed that God had something great for him. His journey wasn’t trouble free. He quickly finds out that there is a famine going on which pushed him down to Egypt. While in Egypt. The Pharaoh was attracted to Abram’s wife, Sarai, and Abram ends up lying about Sarai being his wife and says that she is his sister, so the Pharaoh takes her away. God had to induce plagues upon Pharaoh’s house so he would release Sarai.

So, Abram was escorted from Egypt and began his journey again without knowing where he was going. Abram was willing to step off unto the unfamiliar.

This is usually how God works. He shows the first step and once the first step is done, he shows the next step and so on.

Your word is a lamp to my fee, and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

When Abram showed his faith in action by leaving the familiar it showed that he believed that God would be true to His Word by directing and providing for him in his journey, and ultimately fulfilling the promises that God said would come about (Gen 12:1-3).

There are times that God asks you to step out of your familiar surroundings and embark on a journey that would cast fear in the hearts of many. Like Abram, lay down your fears and boldly move forward knowing that God has something great for you and He will direct your path as you cling close to Him. By doing this, your relationship with God grows and God ultimately gets the glory for the outcome.

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