Where He Leads Me I Will Follow
272 years after the great flood, in around 2100 BC, a man named Abram was born. His father’s name was Terah, and they lived in a country called Mesopotamia, in the district of Chaldea, in the city of Ur. And it says in Genesis 11, verse 31; “And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot, his grandson, the son of Haran..” (Haran had died, and that’s no doubt why Terah took Lot with him on this journey. The bible never says anything about Haran’s wife, the mother of Lot) So Terah took with him Abram and Lot, “..and Sarai his daughter-in-law, Abram’s wife, and he went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldeans, to enter into the land of Canaan. And they came to Haran, and dwelt there.”
It’s been suggested that Terah actually “founded” the city of Haran, while he was on this journey, and that he named it after his son Haran, who had died. That actually makes very good sense, even though the bible doesn’t specifically tell us that. And we’re not told why Terah decided to stop in this place and dwell there either. And we’re not told how long they all lived there. But we are told in verse 32; “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.” It makes me wonder if Terah’s health had become a problem, and maybe that’s why they stopped their journey and stayed at that location.
Whatever the case may be, there was Abram and his wife Sarai, and Lot, probably about 600 miles from home, and about another 400 miles from their destination in the land of Canaan. Terah had no doubt been the leader of the family, but now he was gone. What were they going to do now? Would you have gone on to Canaan, or would you have gone back home? We’re not even told WHY Terah (Abram’s father) had decided to go to Canaan in the first place. Maybe he had heard of fertile ground there. Maybe he was looking for a better life for him and his family. That’s why most people move around, because they’re looking for something better. It might have been the same back then.
But again, whatever the case may be, now God steps into the picture.
Genesis 12:1 thru 3 says; “Now the Lord said to Abram; Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to a land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, and so you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I wonder how many of us would be willing to leave our families, in order to follow God? Especially when you don’t really know where that journey is going to take you. There’s a lot of people who have had to make that choice, and it’s difficult. Do I follow God, no matter what? Or do I follow my family, even if my family DOESN’T follow God?
I don’t have to tell you what the right decision is. At least I hope I don’t have to tell you. But here’s what I am going to tell you. God has designed His church, to be a very close family. Romans 12:5 says; “So we who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually, members of one another.”
In our physical family we’re members of one another aren’t we? The husband and wife have become “one flesh” as God says. And the children are literally a part of the mother and father. And so you are members of one another. And that’s exactly how God has designed His spiritual family, “members one of another.”
Neither male nor female, you are all one in Christ Jesus”, Galatians 3:28.
In Mathew 12, verses 47 thru 50, someone said to Jesus; “Your mother and brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to you.” And Jesus answered and said; “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? And stretching out His hand toward His disciples He said; Behold, My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
We were having a Sunday morning bible class here, and we were talking about this same subject. And one of our members back then, was a woman who was from here, but had moved away, and was back for an extended visit with her family. And one her family members was sick, and was actually dying. And as we talked about our physical family, and our spiritual family, she started crying. And she said; None of the other members of my family are Christians, and I’ve tried to teach them, but they won’t believe. And then she said; You guys here, you are my real family.
She so much wanted her physical family, to be a part of her spiritual family. And that family member who was sick, died shortly afterwards, never having believed. Isn’t that sad? But that’s the way it is so often.
Jesus asked the question one time, in Mathew 12:48; “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” And he answered the question Himself in verse 50, with these words; “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
Did you ever have this happen to you? You typically go to worship service every Sunday, but then some family, or some friends come to visit one weekend, and they don’t want to attend services, and you’ve got to decide who to follow that day? Which family do you follow? Whichever we choose, God will understand, right? He will; God will understand, exactly where WE stand.
So let’s get back to God and Abram. when God spoke to Abram, Abram wasn’t necessarily in the habit of serving God. For example, God told the people of Israel, in Joshua 24, verse 2; “From ancient times, your fathers lived beyond the river.. Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.”
In verse 14, it says; “Now therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth, and put away the gods which your father’s served beyond the river, and in Egypt.. And serve the Lord.”
Isn’t that what God was saying to Abram, after his father had passed away? Put away the gods which your father served, back there where you came from, and serve the Lord! Don’t go back to your old way of life. Serve ME, because I’ve got something better in store for you.
Abram’s father had no doubt been the leader of the family, but now that leader was gone. Should Abram go back home, to the place he knew, back to a people who served other gods? Or should he keep going, following a new leader, to a place he’d never been before? Should he trust God that much?
Those are the same questions that we’re faced with today. Jesus Christ wants to be our leader. Should we follow Him? Should we trust Him? We probably all want something better in our life don’t we? Well God claims to have something better for us, IF we follow Him. But we have to trust. “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5.
Isaiah wrote, in Isaiah 12, verse 2; “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” The Lord became Abram’s salvation, even though Abram really didn’t know God before that time. But Abram trusted! And what do you do if you trust? If you trust, you obey. Did Abram trust perfectly? No, but he was willing to take that first step, and go, where God was leading.
Genesis 12, verse 4 thru 7 says; “So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy five years old when he departed Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, the souls they had accumulated in Haran, and they went forth for the land of Canaan, thus they came to the land of Canaan.”
“And Abram passed through the land, as far as the site of Shechem, to the Oaks of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared to Abram and said; To your descendants I will give this land. So he built an alter there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there, to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east, and there he built an alter to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.”
There’s quite a bit in those verses, but the very first thing that we see, is Abram putting his trust in the Lord, and obeying the Lord. “So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him..” When you make the decision to trust, you then humble yourself, and you obey. Remember what the scripture says about Christ, when He became flesh? Philippians 2:8 says; “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, by becoming obedient.. To the point of death! Even death on a cross!”
Abram didn’t know what was in store for him when he decided to go on to the land of Canaan. Hebrews 11:8 says; “By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance, and he went out, not knowing where he was going.” By faith, Abraham obeyed. Do you know what faith means? It means trust. We could substitute the word “trust” for the word “faith” in Romans 10:17; “Trust comes by hearing the word of God.”
And we could substitute the word “trust” for “believe”, in John 20:31; “But these things have been written, that you may trust, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that trusting, you may have life in His name.”
How about Hebrews 11:8; “By trust, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going.”
When we learn to trust God, we won’t have any problem, doing exactly what He says to do. And when we trust God, there’s no doubt about arriving at the destination.
God led Abram; “They went FORTH for the land of Canaan, and thus they CAME to the land of Canaan.” When we read in the bible,what God tells us to do, and when we do it, is there any doubt about the outcome? God says it, we trust it, therefore we do it, and it comes to pass. That’s all there is to it.
Where is it going to lead you, if you follow every command of God? Will it lead you to lots of money? Or will it lead you to everything you’ve always wanted? I doubt if it will. So where will God’s word lead you? I know of a couple verses that would lead you right here to the worship assembly on the first day of the week. And I know of other verses that will lead you right here for bible study. That is, IF you trust what God’s word says.
Maybe the word will lead you to someone else’s house, to do something for them, instead of just doing things for ourselves. “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Galatians 6, verse 10 says; “So then as we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men..” This past week, it was verses like that, that led one of our members to go out on the highway and change a tire for some broke down travelers, who didn’t have any money. He didn’t know them from Adam, but they needed help, and so he went. From day to day, we just don’t know where God is going to lead us. But it’s a matter of trusting that wherever His word is leading us, that’s the best place for us to be. Whether it’s here at this building, or if it’s out on the highway somewhere. It’s all a matter of trust.
If you trust God, then I know of some places that His word WON’T lead you. It won’t lead you to a gambling casino. And it won’t lead you to a liquor store, or a beer party. And it won’t lead you anywhere that even has the slightest appearance of evil. (1 Thess 5:22)
How much do you trust God? Are you willing to go where God leads you? And are you willing to stay away from where He doesn’t lead you? James 2:23 says; “Abraham believed God..” (in other words, he TRUSTED God) “..and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.”