Now the Lord had said unto Abram…So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him… Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:1-4 KJV)
What would cause a married, seventy-five year old man who is living with his family to suddenly leave his country, his family and his father’s house and go on a journey to another country that he does not know anything about? Let us think about this for a moment. Abram was living a very comfortable life. He was married to a beautiful woman called Sarai. He was surrounded by all of his family. If he and Sarai ran out of salt all he needed to do was go next door, knock on his family’s tent door and borrow salt. Even though he lived at a time when seventy-five was still a young age, he was old. He should have been looking to slow down; not go on a dangerous journey to literally ‘God knows where’. Yet Abram departed…
There were many justifiable reasons for Abram to stay in his comfort zone. But Abram was motivated by something that he probably never heard before in his entire life:
THE VOICE OF GOD
Abram grew up in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram’s family worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2). Abram did not come from a family who worshipped the Living God. In other modern context, Abram did not come from a Christian family. Despite Abram’s unrighteous background, he responded positively to the voice of God. He heard God’s voice. He heard the word of God and he decided to obey the word of God. Abram was in a comfortable place but he wanted more. He found it in the Living God. One day Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two fishermen, Peter and Andrew, hard at work. Jesus said something that caught their attention:
Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people! (Matthew 12:19 NLT)
Peter and Andrew stopped working immediately and followed Jesus. They had justifiable reasons to refuse Jesus’ request. They had their own fishing business. Furthermore, they were sinful and unrighteous men and Jesus was holy and righteous. Peter admitted that he was “a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). In those circumstances, why would they leave everything behind to follow Jesus?
THEY WERE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
Saul persecuted the Church (the body of believers in Christ) day and night. He “agreed completely” with the execution of Stephen, a faithful member of the Church (Acts 8:1 NLT). Saul’s sole purpose in life was “to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison” (Acts 8:3 NLT). With every breath Saul threatened the Church and he received authority from his superiors to travel to Damascus to arrest every Christian he found. However, something happened on the road to Damascus that changed Saul’s sole purpose in life. Saul heard the voice of Jesus. What inspired Saul to stop persecuting the Church and to start working for Jesus?
HE WAS MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
An obstacle we often come face to face with in our journey as a Christian is our past. Sometimes, our past failures, sins, disappointments and other negative experiences become great mountains that stand between us and reaching the goal of being like Christ. However, we are not without hope. Abraham, the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul all had a past that was stained with sin but they overcame. How did they do that you ask?
THEY WERE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. God changed Peter from a Fisherman to a Faithful rock of the Church. God changed Saul from a Persecutor of the Church to a great Promoter of the good news of Jesus Christ. These men were motivated by the voice of God. God says:
…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
No matter how stained our past is, we can overcome our past and walk victoriously as the new person that God has called us to be.
BE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD TODAY AND LEAVE YOUR PAST BEHIND!