When God spoke to Abram, He gave Abram instructions or a code. God’s code was for Abram to Go from here to there, and I will tell you when to stop. In my strength, you will become great, and through you will come a blessing for everyone. I will protect and react accordingly by blessing or cursing those who bless or curse you. Abram packed his things and went. After setting up camp, a famine came over the land. Abram began decision-making out of fear instead of faith. He went down to Egypt for fear of dying from starvation. He lied about his relationship with his wife for fear of death from people. Because of that lie, Pharaoh took Sarai as a wife and paid Abram generously for her. This was outside of God’s plan, so He let Pharaoh know that Sarai was Abram’s wife. Pharaoh confronted Abram and gave Sarai back to him. He then sent Abram and Sarai on their way.
We can sit here and pick apart how Abram failed. And he did fail. But Abram made decisions based on fear instead of faith. He left the land God had given him; he self-protected from the people in Egypt. This ultimately led to his wife as a sacrifice so that he could live. But what is the root cause of his fear and failure? Did he think, “God can’t meet my needs; I have to meet my own needs.” I must find my own food, making sure I live to fulfill God’s promise. Did he question the power of God to handle the situation? Abram, who God changed his name later to Abraham, is known for his faith throughout the bible. So, what happened here at the beginning?
Abram is the father of the Jewish nation. This is where it all began. Could it be because he lived 75 years one way, and suddenly because God speaks to him, he is trying to live another way? What was his faith like in the beginning? What was our faith like at the beginning of our spiritual walk? He had bad days; they are recorded in the bible. He made a bad decision, and fear was at the very core of the decisions in this passage. How many bad decisions have I made from fear? Looking back or even looking forward, how many bad days could I count. As a believer, I am to put my faith in God. It seems that some days that is easier than others.
What about me?
So, what does this story of Abram’s life show me? God’s sovereignty, grace, and mercy. God had a plan for Abram; through his family line, he would share the gospel with the world. Next, even on our worst days, God’s grace is enough for us so that He can use us to bring His message of hope to the world. Through God’s mercy, He saves us repeatedly so that we will have the opportunity to share His message of hope. A few chapters later, we see Abram as Abraham with faithful decision-making on full display.
I challenge you to examine your spiritual walk with Christ. Are you making all your decision based on fear? How are you trusting God to fulfill your needs? Are you progressing in your decision-making from fear-based to faith-based? I know there are areas of my life where I struggle with making decisions based on my faith in God. But what I am learning is that when I fail in those areas, Jesus is right there with me—helping me up, helping to keep going, and allowing me to share His message of hope.
Relationship or Perfection
My life is not about attaining perfection. It’s about a pursuit of a relationship with my Savior, God, and King. There is freedom in that. I have the freedom to fail in life because Jesus is there with grace and mercy. I have the freedom to succeed in life because Jesus is there to receive honor and glory. We must change our perspective on wins and losses, failing and succeeding. I must keep going, striving for that finish line where Jesus is waiting and wanting to say, “Well done!”. Are you in the race? Some people that claim to be Christ follows are stuck on the sidelines. They are stuck in fear, afraid to fail and not meet the “standard” of God. News flash, we are never going to meet the standard. That is why God came to us in the flesh. So that we could have a relationship with Him that was cut off when sin entered the world.
Abram failed. More than once. Just in this chapter. Take a step. Move and decide based on faith in a good, holy, and perfect God. Who wants the best for you. Who wants you to be free from sin. To be free to pursue a relationship with Him. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to serve someone else because of fear. You would not be reading this devotional if it wasn’t for taking that next step of faith. What’s your next step?
Father, as a believer, we have the freedom to fail. We also are free to succeed. Either way, you love us just the same. You want us to check our hearts and lean into a relationship with you. I believe you like us to be more relational than legal because, in our relationship, we will learn to want to follow your word. Give us that desire; open that area of our hearts that hinders us from knowing you. Expose it to the light so it can be moved, and we take that next step closer to you. Amen