This week, we begin a new series, “On the Edge”. God’s people are an unusual lot. While we have the great prize of the Spirit of God and the fruit of that Spirit to satisfy our lives on a daily basis, we are always living on the edge of something awesome! God never runs out of revelation. God never runs out of love. God never runs out of discovery and victory for our lives. There is always more coming! This congregation and the people in it are “on the edge”. We have great things going on now, but great things are coming. There are many of you who are about to take a “next step” in God’s will for your lives. For the next several weeks, we will look at the life of one man in the Bible who serves as a great example to believers who live by faith in a great, awesome, adventurous God! We will study his life to understand how you live successfully “on the edge”.
Isaiah 51 serves as a guide for this series. We are instructed to look at the life of Abraham as an example of how to live a life of faith. The story of Israel – the destiny of Israel began with this man. He will be the man whose life we study as we learn how to successfully live on the edge in faith. We begin today with this lesson: Don’t settle for less!
Many know Abraham’s story but don’t know the story of his father. It’s relevant to our study, so let’s begin there in Genesis 11. In these passages, we begin Abraham’s story. As you may know, Abraham’s given name was Abram. He was one of three brothers – his brothers were Nahor and Haran. Haran had a son who some of you are familiar with, who we will cross paths with again later – Lot. A tragedy occurred in the family during their time in their native land. Haran, Abram’s brother, died. Tragedies cause several things in a family:
Realignment: a hole is opened in relationships and roles and those left behind must realign and reconnect.
Reassessment: Do the goals of the family still make sense or do they need to be changed in light of what has happened?
Reestablishment: the people involved must reestablish God as center of their lives, so that tragedy or challenge doesn’t alter their destiny.
Abram’s family had to go through this process. It is hard and requires a lot of focus on and passion for God. The product of this process caused the events of verses 31 and 32: “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go the land of Canaan.” We don’t know why or how Terah decided on this course, but it was the very same destination that Abram would eventually receive from God! Is this coincidence or providence?
On the way to the place to their family destiny, many challenges incurred. Let’s think for a minute. They were struggling with the death of Haran. They were facing a gigantic journey that would take months. The obstacles along the way were numerous: where would they get water? How would they be received by the peoples of another land? What if they lost everything along the way or what if another family member died along the perilous journey? What if….what if….what if?
To accomplish this goal was going to be arduous and difficult. How bad did they want it? The Bible tells us that Terah and his group did not make it to Canaan. They “settled” along the way. Maybe the journey was too hard - the weight of the past too great (Terah did name the place they settled after his lost son) – the fear too strong. They settled short of their destination. Terah died in Haran having never reached his goal. Don’t settle for less than what God has for you!
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