“And (Abraham) went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)
I have always been fascinated with this statement. And it is really the essence of the faith to which God calls each of us.
In case you don’t know the story, I’ll give you a short synopsis. In Genesis 12, we find a man named Abram (at the time) who found favor with God… so God initiates a conversation with him: “Go from your country… to the land I will show you. And I will make you a great nation and I will bless you…” (Gen. 12:2)
Abram obeys God’s voice, packs up his family and all his belongings and just starts walking south. All he knows (at this point) is that God told him to move… but he has no clue as to where his journey will end (can you just imagine the conversations he was having with his wife at this time?!). Quite literally, Abram “went out, not knowing where he was going.”
After about 400 miles, and days upon days, of traveling (by foot!) Abram comes to the land of Canaan where God finally appears to Abram and declares: “You’ve arrived!” (12:7) So Abram spent all that time, traveled all that way, faced all that doubt and second-guessing(?) – to, at last, arrive where God wanted him to be. All the while, walking every step by his faith in God.
This is what impressed the writer of the letter to the Hebrews – and what caused him to point to Abram as a shining example of true faith. We discover: Faith is not knowing where we are going – but trusting in the One Who is taking us there.
It is an understatement to say that this is a major problem for each of us. We all tend to want our lives “cut-and-dried,” we want all our “ducks in a row” before we ever step outside of our comfort zones. We would like it very much if God would give us the whole story before we ever get involved in the story at all.
But, apparently, God doesn’t choose to work that way.
He gives us just enough to get us started, then He looks for us to trust Him in what He has revealed – before He is there to give us more.
The essence of true faith is not found in God giving us what we want… but in us giving God what He values most – our trust in His faithfulness.
When we really think about it… none of us knows what the future holds. We cannot control our future – any more than we can erase our past.
But God knows our future. He is already there. He knows what we will face – and He knows how He plans to show Himself faithful to us in those future days.
But it all begins with a simple trust. In the God Who loves us, Who is committed to us, Who watches over us, and Who treasures us – and Who has a plan to tell the story of His wonderful care through our life’s experiences.
The key is our focus. To place our complete trust in the One Who is already in our future – and Who promises to take us where He wants us to be.
Remember: faith is “being convinced of what we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1) because we KNOW we can trust the One who is taking us there.
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