Genesis 12:1-3 When You Take a Trip with God in Faith

Genesis 12:1-3 When You Take a Trip with God in Faith January 4, 2007

 

Genesis 12:1-3 When You Take a Trip with God in Faith – Making the Impossible a Reality Part 3

Genesis 12:1-3 When You Take a Trip with God in Faith – Making the Impossible a Reality Part 3 is a sermon about faith.

Sometimes we plan our lives and say: Here is where I will live. Here is what I will do. But life is very rarely like that – with God. God wants you to take a trip with Him in faith – a life journey. When He does ask for you to join Him, He is going to make some impossible things become reality. But He will also will share with you many wonderful, happy experiences (even though some of these experiences will be tough for you). But you have to trust God. You have to say: “I will follow you and let you lead me.” We talked about this trusting God in faith for the past couple of weeks. Today, we are going to look at the process of faith. What does God do when we take a trip with Him in faith? Let us look at the life of Abraham to see what happens when you take a trip with God in faith. You will most likely need to flip through your Bible in this sermon. I will be referring to many Bible verses to show this process. You have your handout, but keep your Bible open in Genesis for God to show you some wonderful stuff today. Let us begin in Genesis 12:1-3:

Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV)

Our first question is to ask HOW. How is God going to get Abraham to the country? How will He make Abraham a great nation? How will God make Abraham’s name great? How will God make Abraham a blessing?

Many times we want to ask how. But that is often not how God works. God teaches us through faith. When we want to learn from God, it is through faith.

“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.
(Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV)

The good news tells how God accepts everyone who has faith, but only those who have faith. It is just as the Scriptures say, “The people God accepts because of their faith will live.”
(Romans 1:17 CEV)

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Galatians 3:11 ESV)

The person who is right with me will live by trusting in me. But if he turns back with fear, I will not be pleased with him.”
(Hebrews 10:38 NCV)

In each of these verses, the phrase: “the just shall live by faith” is quoted. The same verse that is found in Habakkuk is used by Paul and the writer of Hebrews. So when a person accepts Jesus, they have to learn to follow God in faith. We have talked about the fact that when we follow God, He makes the impossible possible. Then we have to act to make the possible a reality in our lives.

So when we look at our situation, our challenge, our difficulties, we often ask HOW. We want to know now how will God make the impossible possible. How will He bring things to pass. Yet when you look at what the Bible says, and specifically at the example of Abraham – who did live by faith – you see a process. You find that rarely did God answer the question HOW at first. As a matter of fact, God is answering other questions as we follow Him.

The reason He does not answer the HOW question is because He wants us to trust Him.

PROCESS OF FAITH

1. God will first tell you the WHAT (12:1)
The WHAT is an issue of REPUTATION.

Get out of your country

I will make you a great nation
I will bless you
And make your name great
And you shall be a blessing

God is going to do something or some things in the life of His child. What God does, will change with other people think about you. God is going to build His name through your name. That makes life special.

2. God will then tell you the WHERE (12:1, 7)
The WHERE is an issue of POSSESSION.

To a land that I will show you

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
(Genesis 12:7 NKJV)

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
(Genesis 15:4 NKJV)

Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”
(Genesis 15:7 NKJV)

Abraham is still asking how. After God shows Abram in Genesis 15 that God will give him an inheritance, Abram asks for confirmation. God gives Abram a vision.

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates– the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
(Genesis 15:18-21 NKJV)

For you information, God never denies that the land belonged to someone else. But God claimed the land for His people Israel. God never denied that the land belonged to Ham’s descendants through Canaan’s family.

the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
(Genesis 10:18-19 NKJV)

Yet Abram came through Noah’s line through Shem.
This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood.
(Genesis 11:10 NKJV)

Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
(Genesis 11:26 NKJV)

God told Abram that He would give Ham’s descendants’ inheritance to Abram as his inheritance. Why did God decide to give the land to Abram through Shem and not Ham? Because Ham – the father of Canaan – looked upon the nakedness of his father. “So what?” you may say. Ham was engaging in pornography and starting to place his faith in what he thought was right instead of God and His promises. (By the way, Ham was not cursed because he was black. Canaan was cursed because his parents – specifically his father was not living a life that God expected.) God calls Christians to a higher standard. God wants to give His best to us, but we got to quit looking somewhere else for what we think is best. We have to quit thinking that what society says is best for us is true. It ain’t true. As a matter of fact, what society says about you most of the time hurts you. You think its good, but it is not nearly as good as what God has for you. But for God to do the impossible best for you, you have to look to Him, and not something or someone else.

Therefore God wants to make the impossible possible for His children. God takes what He thinks is best and gives it to who He wants. You can’t get jealous of another person because they have what you don’t. God takes the claim of an inheritance from one and gives it to another one of His children.

Because God does that, God continually calls Christians to pay attention to Him. God wants us to seek Him and what God wants for our lives. When we do, when we trust Him in faith, then God does more than we can possibly imagine.

God sets the vision for His children. He tells them, you will possess something great. God makes a promise about the where, about the ENTIRE where. God sets the boundaries of his vision for Abram.

3. God tells you the WHEN
The WHEN is an issue of PREPARATION

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
(Genesis 17:1 NKJV)

When God gets ready to do the HOW, He expects you to get yourself ready. That is why the WHEN comes before the HOW. God expects you to have a level of spiritual maturity to handle what God is going to give you. God wants to give you a blessing, a possession, but you have to be mature to handle it. One of the reasons why some of us don’t have it is because we are not spiritually prepared for it. It is like when a son wants to drive a nice new car, but the son is 8 years old. He can’t handle the car until he can handle the bicycle. He can watch and learn, but he certainly can’t drive. Of course, he could drive, but not safely. He can’t even see over the hood to safely drive the car. So he has to grow some more physically and emotionally to handle the task. The same is true with what God gives His children. But God says: “walk before Me and be blameless.” He says Mature yourself. Get yourself ready. I am going to do something and I need you ready for it.

What is that something? God gives more detail about the blessing.

Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, (WHAT)and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
(Genesis 17:19 NKJV)

But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”
(Genesis 17:21 NKJV)

God says that Sarah will get pregnant. But never says HOW Sarah will get pregnant. This is still the WHAT and WHERE of the faith journey. But God does say WHEN – next year.

Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time (WHEN) I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (WHAT)”
(Genesis 18:14 NKJV)

Abraham sees that the way God is going to help Abraham fulfill the promise is through the son Isaac. God has shown Abraham the way that God will give what He promised.

4. Then God tells you the HOW
The HOW is an issue of EXPECTATION

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him–whom Sarah bore to him–Isaac.
(Genesis 21:1-3 NKJV)

The way God was going to make Abraham a great nation was through the birth of a son. Not the son that was born because Abraham got impatient (Ishmael). Abraham went and tried to do the HOW before God showed him the HOW. God said HOW. But He never showed HOW.

What seemed like a biological impossibility became possible for Abraham. Abraham had to trust God even when it did not make normal sense. 99-year old women do not have children. This just does not happen. But God made it possible.

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken.
(Genesis 21:1 NKJV)

The Bible never says HOW Sarah was able to conceive. We might just think it was God changing Sarah so that she could have children. The Bible never tells you completely how. But God said how. He said He would visit Sarah and that Sarah would have a son.

We live in a rational, scientific world, where all things are expected to be calculated, explained, and solved. We like to approach problems with solutions – solutions that have a logical, rational, explanation. God can live in this rational world. But He is not defined by our rational world. When God says that Sarah will have a son, it may not take a logical, rational form or conclusion. God can make Sarah pregnant, and it may be unexplainable. This is important to know. It is important because when God says something will happen (WHAT), and He shows us the place and time (WHERE and WHEN), then He already has a plan for the HOW. We don’t have to worry about the HOW. Especially when it comes to things that seem so impossible, so big, so – more than what we can do alone – so God-sized. When it comes to things like that, all we can do is live by faith.

You are going to have to let God visit you for Him to share with you how He is going to accomplish something in your life.

5. You learn to see the WHY
The WHY is an issue of PERCEPTION

But at each step of the way, God will continue to reveal Himself to you as you take your journey. The only reason why God did it was to bless Abraham. This is the only WHY we hear throughout the entire journey.

God wants to bless Abram

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
(Genesis 12:2 NKJV)

Abram’s Response:

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
(Genesis 12:7 NKJV)

God wants to bless Abram

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
(Genesis 15:5 NKJV)

Abram’s Response:

And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
(Genesis 15:6 NKJV)

God wants to bless Abram

And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
(Genesis 17:2 NKJV)

Abram’s Response:

Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
(Genesis 17:3 NKJV)

God wants to bless Abraham

And God said to him (Abimelech) in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
(Genesis 20:6 NKJV)

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
(Genesis 21:1-2 NKJV)

Abraham’s Response:

Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
(Genesis 21:4 NKJV)

God wants to bless you. But in order for God to bless you, you are going to have to follow Him. You are going to have to trust Him. You have to say: God knows better than me in this situation, now I need to listen to Him. When He shows you what to do, then you need to obey. You need to respond to God’s leadership and blessings. When you trust God in faith, your life will never be the same. Your journey will never end. God will do more in your life when you stay with Him. Start your journey today. Don’t walk this life alone. Ask God to take you on a trip and then follow what He wants to show you.

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

Other Posts:

Deuteronomy 7:6-14 Growing in Faith to Pray – Making the Impossible a Reality Part 1

2 Chronicles 7:12-22 Trusting God in Obedience – Making the Impossible a Reality Part 2

Genesis 15:1-16 Getting to Know God on Your Trip of Faith – Making the Impossible a Reality Part 4

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