Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Avoid distractions and come up to the mountain!

" And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell." ( Acts 7:2-4) (KJV)

Acts 7:2-4 gives us some information on Abraham. First it says that God appeared to Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia. This was before he dwelt in Charran (Haran in Gen 11:31), but if you study Gen 12:1-4, you'll find that God appeared to Abraham in Haran, giving us the impression that it was a first time visitation. Actually, God had visited Abraham two times---One in Mesopotamia and one in Haran.

              Mesopotamia is located in modern day Iraq, So, Abraham was really a Iraqi who was used of God to form a nation! Think of it---One man's obedience helped formed a nation. That is why obedience to God is so important. It can affect you and your seed. Abraham's obedience helped formed a nation and birthed a generation that would give us our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Now let's address God's visitation to Abraham. Why did he visit him two times?  Let's look at some factors. When Abraham had a first time visitation from God, he doubted.
                You got to realize according to Biblical history, Mesopotamia was a region where idolatry was all over the land. Another factor was family ties. Family was a man's security. Outside of that, your life was in danger and you were guaranteed a life of poverty. Abraham shared this vision with his father. That was a no-no. Friends, when God visits you, be careful with who you share it with.
                 Family ties runs deep. There is a saying--Blood is thicker than water and being with family is no exception. That is why we need to follow God and not give in to family pressure. Family is good and it is a blessing from God but when it comes to following God or family, we must choose God!
                I have seen it, especially in churches where the Pastor's family is half the church membership. Sometimes, pressures comes from loved ones and the Pastor winds up making bad judgments concerning the church. A case in point with one church, A Pastor's son was not walking right. A church member called this to the Pastor's attention. The Pastor winded up defending his son and rebuking  the church member. A true sad state of affairs.
            Now getting back to our lesson concerning Abraham, he reasoned that maybe the family needed to be with him ---just in case. Just in case, he ran into trouble with another tribe. His reasoning was that he needed provision on the other side.So, he talked to his father. There is one good thing in all this-At least his father agreed and it seemed that maybe Abraham felt relieved in taking his family to the journey. As you read Gen 11:31, there were going to Canaan, which is the land that God wanted to give him. But what happened?
                     As they took their journey, they encountered, most likely, some hardships and settled in Haran. While in Haran, they observed that the lifestyle was comfortable and were, probably, making some money. So, Terah reasoned with his son that maybe they should stay in Haran-- BIG MISTAKE! That delay cost Terah's (Abraham's father) life. He died in Haran but God was not finished with Abraham. He is a God of a second chance. He knew Abraham doubted but thank God, he never gave up dealing with him. 

                     An interesting detail to observe in this lesson is that Terah in the Hebrew means delay. God knew that even though Terah would agree that this was a divine visitation, there would be delays and obstacles. He saw how Terah would stand in his way when they got to Haran. While in Haran-- Terah, Abraham and family got comfortable. They were most, likely, at ease. Years had passed and tragedy came--Terah died!
                Friends, don't wait until something tragic happens and then seek God. Don't allow the cares and distractions of life to get you so sidetracked that you do not pay attention to God's call in your life. Fix your eyes on him. It is, also, interesting that the word "Haran" means Mountaineer. We have heard teachings on speaking and removing the mountains of life, but not all mountains needs to be removed. There is one mountain---Mount Zion-- where dwells the city of God. That is the mountain we must climb. We are citizens of heaven and we need to learn how the kingdom operates. (Heb 10:22)
                          We need to ascend above all human reasoning, circumstances, things and desires to seek his face. We must learn to love what he loves and hate what he hates. This can, only, be done as we come up to the holy mountain of God  Are you willing to climb up to greater heights with God? Are you ready to become a mountaineer with God?
                               It is interesting that only after Abraham climbed this spiritual mountain at Haran that he heard God again. What did God tell him? "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen 12:1-3)
                               In this second visitation, God gave extra details as to why Abraham needed to obey. A nation was in the balance. So in this day, ponder on the word obedience. A lot may be in the balance for you, family and nation! God bless!

Father, thank you for speaking to me. Help me to have a better focus on life. Show me what is delaying my purpose and calling in life. I am your sheep and I hear your voice. My steps are ordered from you. Thank you, Lord, for your mercies are new each day so I trust in you. Guide me and lead me is my prayer in Jesus name---Amen!


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