Faith Over Fear

Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram took things into his own hands instead of asking God for direction. He decided to go to Egypt and live for a little while.
His decision put him and his wife in danger. Because Sarai was such a beautiful woman, Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him. Abram made another decision without consulting God – he lied.
At this point, Abram’s fear was stronger than his faith. His fear of starvation was greater than his faith that God would provide, and his fear of being killed by the Egyptians was greater than his faith that God would protect him. Abram convinced Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that he would be treated well and his life would be spared.
Apparently Sarai’s safety wasn’t a part of Abram’s plan. Although Abram was treated well with gifts of livestock and servants, Sarai was taken by the Pharoah as his wife. Sometimes when we stray from the path that God has set for us or when our faith is weak, we are not directly affected. We may even benefit from our poor choices. But those same choices could be hurting those close to us.
Fortunately, God did not allow Abram’s poor choices to keep Him from the plans He had for Abram. God handled the Pharoah, and Abram was able to leave with Sarai and everything he had gained while in Egypt.
If Abram had stayed in Canaan, where God had led him, his faith would have grown stronger as God provided for him. Instead he allowed fear to take control, leading him away from God, and even leading to sin.
How often do you allow fear to steer you off course?
You start out on the right path, with the best intentions in your heart, and then things get hard and you are afraid of what may happen, so you start looking for an easier path to take – without asking God what direction you should be heading…
But God doesn’t give up on us when we make mistakes. God shows grace in our weakness and He still has plans in store for us, even after we’ve made choices that lead us away from Him.
If you are trying to follow God’s plan for your life, you have to stop allowing fear to trigger a change of plans. Use your fears to trigger your faith instead.

Dear Lord,
Please help me to remember to seek your direction when I’m faced with a problem or when I have a big decision to make. I want to always stay on the path that You have set for me, but sometimes I lose sight of what is important, and I worry too much. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in the struggle and I try to find my own way out. Please help me to remember that even when I’ve made mistakes and end up feeling so far from You, that You will still open Your arms and pull me back to where You want me to be. Thank You for showing Your grace and not giving up on me in my weakness.
Amen


Today’s scripture

Genesis 12:10-20 NIV
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

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A Journey of Faith

When Abram arrived, God appeared to him and told him that he would give this land to his offspring one day. On top of everything that he had already promised Abram, now he was adding a promise of land. It didn’t matter that the Canaanites were already in the land – Abram knew that God was on his side. He was filled with hope and he had faith in God and the promises that he had made.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He built an altar to the Lord, then continued to travel, building altars to the Lord and calling on His name.
Abram was learning to walk faithfully with God, even though he hadn’t seen any of the promises fulfilled yet. In fact, he had left behind the comfort of his home, his family, and his friends to wander through unfamiliar territory and sleep in a tent.
When God calls us, we are not usually being called into a comfortable situation. We are being called into a journey. The journey is different for each of us, although each person’s journey will include strengthening of faith and surrender to God’s plan. And while you may be eager for God to pour out His blessings upon you, be careful that in your expectations, you are not confusing God’s blessings with the comforts of the world. Don’t begin your journey expecting to immediately attain all that God has planned for you. Let go of the urgency and the need for everything to happen right now, and hold on instead to the peace in knowing that everything will happen in God’s timing.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the plans that You have in store for me. I know that I haven’t always been ready or willing to answer your call. But I am waiting and listening for You now. I know that the road ahead may not always be easy, but I know that I will always have You to turn to when I am in need. Please continue to prepare me for the journey that lies ahead of me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen


Today’s Scripture:

Genesis 12:6-9 NIV
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring
I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lordand called on the name of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your fatherʼs household to the land I will show you.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God told Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household – probably pretty much everything in Abram’s comfort zone.
God wants us to leave our comfort zone so we can learn to find our contentment and security through Him. Your faith is not in your comfort zone!

If you are ready to answer God’s call, you need to ask yourself these questions:

– What is my comfort zone, and what about it comforts me?
– How can leaving my comfort zone bring me closer to God?
– What can I do to break out of my comfort zone?
– When am I going to start?

The answer to the last one is NOW! Start with prayer!

Dear God, I must confess that I have been holding back. I believe in Your word, and I love You and all that You’ve done for me. I go to church every week and sing Your praise at the top of my lungs. I do my best to honor You by serving others. I’ve been reading my bible and praying every day, and I’m learning so much as I grow closer to You. I thought that all of this meant that my faith was growing stronger, but but now I understand that I haven’t really let go of the things that make me feel safe and comfortable. There are some things that I have held onto because I’m scared to let go. I need Your strength to help me walk away and leave fear behind. I don’t want to be afraid of the unknown anymore!
Amen

Trust and Obey

“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:22‬‬

“And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭7:5‬‬

‭‭Noah placed his faith in God, even though God’s plan may not have made sense to him. He didn’t question God or make any excuses, despite the enormous task that lay ahead of him. ‬‬

‭‭God has a plan for us. And when he calls you, he will equip you. Don’t allow fear to keep you from answering His call. ‬‬

‭‭Later on in the Bible we read about God’s plan for Moses, who has a completely different reaction to God’s calling. When Moses was afraid that he wasn’t the right man for the job…‬‬

“The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.””
– ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭4:11-12‬‬

‭‭When God tells you to go, you GO!‬‬
‭‭He is the one who determines who is qualified and unqualified. It is our responsibility to trust and obey, despite feeling inadequate or uncertain. As Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us,‬‬

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬‬

‭‭When I am uncertain that I have the abilities that I need to fulfill God’s plan for me, I will pray:‬‬

‭‭Dear Lord,‬‬
‭‭I hear you calling me, and I don’t want to let you down. Please give me the courage to step into action and follow your plan. Help me to set aside my anxieties, so they won’t hold me back. I put my trust in you, and I know that you will be by my side and give me the ability to complete the task that you have called me to do. Thank you for believing in me and preparing me for what lies ahead. ‬‬
‭‭Amen‬‬