When was the last time your faith in God was tested? 

Did you discover that in those times God’s voice become more clear, direct with simple directions? 

Did you watch God work in ways that amazed you as you took those first steps toward His leading?

We had lived the first forty plus years of our lives in Midwest City, a suburb of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  We knew the city and our surroundings well.  We had raised three children to high school and college age. We taught school, teaching the kids of friends we went to school with in our younger days.  We served the church our parents brought us to as infants.  We were Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and did anything else to serve God by serving others.  Then Randy was called to pastor this church, the only church we knew and gave our lives to as God led us to be and do.  He left teaching to “temporarily” take the lead as minister with the others who served God’s church and community with the love of God, telling of the saving grace of Jesus. 

Then God said leave.  Leave what and who you know well.  Leave the confidence in knowing your work and doing it to the best of your abilities.  Leave teaching and pastoring that gives you joy and rewarding purpose.  Leave because I have something else for you to be and do. 

And we did. 

So, Randy and I relate well to the first sentence in this passage; “God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.”   We understand the emotions, the planning and organization it takes to leave, trying to explain to others what God said to you, hearing their strong responses while expressing their opinions thinking you are crazy to leave what you know for what you do not know, along with the tearful goodbyes to those you love the most.  Leaving is hard, but staying in disobedience to God is harder.  When God says, “Leave”—leave!  This is faith. 

Genesis 12, The Message

Abram and Sarai

12 God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.

2-3 I’ll make you a great nation
    and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;
    you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you;
    those who curse you I’ll curse.
All the families of the Earth
    will be blessed through you.”

4-6 So Abram left just as God said, and Lot left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, along with all the possessions and people they had gotten in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan and arrived safe and sound.

Abram passed through the country as far as Shechem and the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites occupied the land.

God appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your children.” Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him.

He moved on from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent between Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there and prayed to God.

Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south, to the Negev.

10-13 Then a famine came to the land. Abram went down to Egypt to live; it was a hard famine. As he drew near to Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Look. We both know that you’re a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you they’re going to say, ‘Aha! That’s his wife!’ and kill me. But they’ll let you live. Do me a favor: tell them you’re my sister. Because of you, they’ll welcome me and let me live.”

14-15 When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians took one look and saw that his wife was stunningly beautiful. Pharaoh’s princes raved over her to Pharaoh. She was taken to live with Pharaoh.

16-17 Because of her, Abram got along very well: he accumulated sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, men and women servants, and camels. But God hit Pharaoh hard because of Abram’s wife Sarai; everybody in the palace got seriously sick.

18-19 Pharaoh called for Abram, “What’s this that you’ve done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she’s your wife? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister’ so that I’d take her as my wife? Here’s your wife back—take her and get out!”

20 Pharaoh ordered his men to get Abram out of the country. They sent him and his wife and everything he owned on their way.


Thirty years later, we do not regret leaving our country, family and home for a land of ministry, mission and challenges that would teach and transform us.  We are still being transformed daily by the renewing of our minds as we give our lives to God daily as an offering. (Romans 12) We belong to God.  We will go where He sends.  It’s a lifestyle we are growing into as children of God. He has always taken care of the details.  God’s care and protection is the benefit of following His lead.

Along with God’s direction, take note of God’s “blessings” to Abram;

“I’ll make you a great nation
    and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;
    you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you;
    those who curse you I’ll curse.
All the families of the Earth
    will be blessed through you.”

God said, I will bless you to be a blessing! 

When we obey God, and know we are doing what God says to be and do, we feel blessed to be blessings to others.  If not, reexamine your motives.  That’s how God works in us to transform us to be more and more in sync, in the unforced rhythm of His grace, with Him.  What a blessed life to be with God as He walks with us!

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!” Romans 8:15-17, The Message

Each day we can readily say to God, “What’s next, Papa?” and be ready for the answer even when not knowing the details.  This is faith.  This is walking in faith with God who knows what is best with our realizing this truth about God.  When we “leave” God’s will and direction, we make mistakes and must learn from them. Abram fell prey to lying when fear crept in and his faith faltered on his journey.  It happens to ALL of us!  Remember, the “I will curse those who curse you”?  Our sins affect everyone around us.  When Abram lied about Sarai being his sister, the whole palace of Pharoah fell ill until Abram made things right with truth.

Let’s recap our response. When God says, leave—Go.  When God says do this, do it; exactly the way God says to do it.  There are no regrets when we are with God, not against Him.  We will be blessed to be blessings!  This is the first lesson in faithful obedience to God that Abram learns.  Be committed.  God will protect.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” –Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30, the Message)


I have learned that what you say is always best for me and those around me.  Keep me focused, abiding in you, so I don’t miss a single word of your instruction to me.  Show me your ways and I will walk in them with You by your power flowing through me.  Thank you for your blessings to me that bless others.  Thank you for forgiveness when we falter in faith.  Thank you for Your Holy Presence in our lives.  Thank you for the “best fit” for our each of our lives.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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