Stepping Out

It was four years ago this summer that our family responded to a call to pastor this church. It was not an easy decision for us. In fact, we had recently (less than a year prior) purchased a new home in Springfield, Illinois with the intention of remaining there. You might recall that I dismissed your first contact; I threw away the carefully chosen materials sent to me by the search team. Yet in time, God revealed that He was calling me to Muncie. Moving to a new state required our kids to leave their friends, their church family, the only community that they could remember; they would have to make new friends in a strange place. I was not eager for our family to make this sacrifice.

Four years later, I am more convinced than ever that it was God’s plan for us to relocate to Muncie. I could not plan nor foresee what God was going to do with us in Muncie. While He is far from finished, He has allowed us to join this congregation as it moves into its future. I am pleased with the progress we have made; I look forward to leading this congregation in the years ahead.

Our text this week is about a man who was also called to leave his home. His leaving was far more extensive than mine.

(Genesis 12:1 NIV) The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

Abram’s leaving required him to leave everything that defined him. He gave up his home, his inheritance and his extended family to follow God. It must have been tremendously challenging. Yet Abram did exactly what God instructed. God’s bidding came with a promise; God promised to increase Abram’s name and make a great nation from his descendants. There was one problem; Abram’s wife was barren. How was God going to work this out? Was he luring Abram down a dead end road? To make matters worse, when Abram arrived in the promised land, it was inhabited by pagan people with fortified cities. How would his descendants (if there were any) inherit this land? No doubt, Abram was walking into the unknown.

As we study this text on Sunday, we are also challenged to exhibit the same trust in God’s leading. God often calls us without giving us all the information. God frequently requires strong dependence on Him. He seldom makes these transitions easy. As we examine the calling of Abram, we will consider ways in which God may be requiring us to step out in faith.