Posted by: New in Every Way | July 23, 2012

A Slow Man Who Became Quick

I’m talking about Abraham—who left an advanced culture in Ur of the Chaldees to go Who-Knows-Where because God called him to “leave….”

As amazing as his faith was, he was rather slow, initially, about carrying out all the Lord’s instructions. For example, the Lord had told him to leave his family behind, but he brought his nephew, Lot, with him. That was pretty understandable, when you consider that Abraham had no children (no heirs) and that Lot had been part of his household since Lot’s father had died.

But it did cause problems. After arriving in Lot’s herdsmen quarreled with Abraham’s over water rights—to the point where the two had to part company. Even then, Abraham had to rescue Lot and his household when the city to which they moved was captured in battle.

. . . I was reading along in Genesis a few days ago, and something jumped out at me. In chapter 17, the Lord instructed Abraham to be circumcised—along with all his male descendants—as a sign of their covenant with him. “On that very day” Abraham saw to it that all the males in his household were circumcised.

Then in chapter 22, the Lord tested Abraham by asking him to offer his miracle son (who was born when Abraham was 100 years old) as a sacrifice. “So Abraham rose early in the morning” to comply with this heart-wrenching instruction.

Notice how quickly Abraham now cooperated with the Lord? His slow obedience in the past had cost him. By contrast, obeying the Lord—even when it made no sense to him—had been the gateway to blessing and to his destiny. You know, Abraham didn’t need Lot, after all, to be his heir. When Lot moved on, it opened the way for the Lord to override Sarah’s barrenness and give her and Abraham a son.

In a recent sermon, my pastor, Eric Hansen, said you call tell whether a person is “on fire for God” by noticing how long it takes them to do what they hear God say. So did Abraham become quick to obey out of increased love and loyalty—or had he just learned his lesson? How about both? The more you know God, the more you love him.

Making It Personal

  • Do you know the reason for everything God asks you to do in the Bible?
  • Do you always know why the Lord impresses on your heart to do something?
  • Do you respond with trust and loyalty?
  • Do you have a good story of when you did what God said and you’re really glad you did?

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