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Now, We Go! - By Pastor Thomas Engel




Looking at the call of Abram in Genesis 12: 1-12, we see small word combinations that set the stage for Abram’s journey to a new land where he will become a father of many nations. First, the Lord calls Abram to “Go from your country,” but with the command to go to another country is followed with promises from God. The next word combinations are: “I will show you,” “I will make you,” and “I will will bless you.”

Abram is to leave all that is familiar to him to go to a place that he knows nothing about. As Abram is packing and leaving for the trip, he knows he has no itinerary for the trip. All that Abram knows is that the Lord is saying to “Go.” By trust and faith in God, Abram is able to boldly do as the Lord asks him to do.

God has built a relationship with Abram. At this time of God’s call for Abram to leave his country of his father, Abram is seventy-five years old. For many years, God and Abram walked and talked together. We can see how God had a purpose for Abram and how God was preparing him for this big task to establish God’s people in their own land.

Although Abram is going to an unknown place and has no exact idea what he is going to be doing, we can say that he is not taking a leap into the dark. Usually, when we are talking about “a leap into the dark,” we are talking about taking a risk. In one sense, Abram was taking a risk in that he did not know much about what God was doing with him. But, in another way, Abram went to fulfill God’s mission with confidence as he trusted God and had faith that the Lord will provide for him every step of the way.

What do you think about your life at this time? Are you taking a leap into the dark? The fact is that the future is unknown to all of us. Even with all of plans and intentions to go in a certain direction, we do not know where our next step will take us. For many parts of our lives, we have uncertainty-flat tires, broken washing machines, tornadoes, illness, and the list goes on and on.

We talk a lot about comfort zones and how we need to get out of our comfort zones. At first, when I hear someone say that we need to get out of our comfort zones, I want to ask, “What is wrong with wanting to stay in a comfortable place?” After a long hard day, it feels good to sink into my recliner and watch the reruns of some of my favorite shows. But as comfortable as I am in my easy chair, at some point, I have to leave it to do other things. If I stay sitting, I will become a coach potato, and people are not meant too potatoes. We are meant to have purpose and meaning that goes deeper each day as we engage with the world around us.

The caution with comfort zones is that we build them with much of only our self-interests in mind. If we are soft on ourselves, and if we are content with the status quo, we might stay stuck in a small pool of narrow- minded thinking. By staying inside of ourselves, we are limiting all that we can be thinking and doing.

Some people do limit themselves, but others will talk about how the human spirit is big and awesome. Let us for a moment give credit to ourselves for some accomplishments. We have landed on the moon and have done some probing within our planetary system, but the universe is as Buzz Lightyear says, “To infinity...and beyond.” Looking at what we have done in the space program is remarkable, but in comparison to how big the universe is, we have just scratched the surface.

With all the latest advances in technology and having more gizmos and gadgets invented every day, we are still far from ending hunger, poverty, and bringing peace to all of the four corners of the earth. If we can give credit to humans and what we have done throughout history, we can say we accomplished a lot. But we have also made wars and caused much harm to each other.

In fear of the world, we have stayed too small, or in our egos, we have tried to go too big to control the world. Humans just cannot seem to get it right.

The way to a better world seems counter intuitive. Humans depend on logic, reasonableness, and hard work. These things are all good, and we will come back to them. But before we do, we must put all that we know aside. Or even better, what we need to do is to empty ourselves of all worldly things.

When we see how messed up the world is with conflict and turmoil, we want to try to make the world better, but we try to do it with things of the world. But the world cannot overcome the world. Humans do not have what it takes to win a victory over sin, Satan, and eternal death.

Satan wants to create enough chaos in the world, so we do not know if we are coming or going. As sinful humans, we will not always respond with love and care but at times with jealousy and vindictiveness. And although the hard truth is that death is the outcome for every person, we are not to fear this last monster but see hope of eternal life after death.

Looking at the world now, we see sinful behavior and the fear of many things that make for an anxious society. Although the world will always be the world, it does not mean that we do not have peace, love, and hope. Yes, we do live in this world and are to go into it every day, but it does not mean we engage with it using worldly things.

An imperative that we missed earlier that applies right now for us is when God says, “I will curse those who want to curse you.” In other words, we need to let God to fight our fights with His holy divine power. We let God fight our battles against all evil by filling ourselves with all that God has for us.

When we go into the world, we pour out ourselves of everything human, and then let God fill us with everything that is divine. How we pour out ourselves of sin is by our confession of sin, renouncing the devil and all of his works, and believe that by the grace of God we have forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.

Living now filled with faith that God has done everything for us, we can go into the world with confidence, boldness, and a sure hope that all will be well as God wants it to be for the world. We can go back to human things like logic and reason, but we see them as gifts from God to do His will.

God has always told his people to go. Noah was to build an ark. Moses was to free the Nation of Israel. David was to slay a giant. Fisherman were to become disciples. St Paul was to travel to all parts of a dangerous world to spread the Gospel. All did go and did accomplish what they were called to do by the grace and power of God.

Now, we go to do what God wants us to do by this same grace and power in Jesus Christ. If God is asking us to do a big task like moving a mountain, we can ask, “Just how far do you want it moved?” If God asks us to do a task that seems impossible like walking on water, we can ask, “Do you want me to walk or run?”

Living now filled with faith that God has done everything for us, we can go into the world with confidence, boldness, and sure hope that all will be well as God wants it to be for the world. We can go back to human things like logic and reason, but we see them as gifts from God to do His will.and the gift of eternal life.hope of eternal life after death. comfortable as I am in my easy chair, at some point, I have to leave it to do other things. If I stay sitting, I will become a couch potato, and people are not meant to potatoes. We are meant to have purpose and meaning that goes deeper each day as we engage with the world around us.

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