November 2 I Monday
“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’” —Genesis 12:1
If we are honest, most of us hope that our lives are comfortable and our jobs secure. God, however, does not promise that obedience will be convenient. Abram quickly learned that God’s calling does not always align with such comforts or conveniences. God asked him to leave his country, his people and even his father’s household, but Abram compromised and took his nephew, Lot, along with all their belongings.
We rarely want to leave anything behind that is familiar and convenient. We would prefer to take the easy road, the one that is predictable and certain. Most of us would favour the call that keeps us close to our families and allows us to live a relatively comfortable life.
Desiring such comforts is normal, but Jesus warns that becoming one of His disciples might cost us these comforts. He explains in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be My disciple.” Jesus is not referring to a literal hatred here. There is no English word equivalent to the Greek word used for “hate,” but what it means is “to choose one over the other.” Any allegiances we may have must be secondary to the allegiance we have to God.
Comfort, convenience, and caring for family and friends are good things, but obedience to God may sometimes require us to leave those things behind. The result of Abram’s partial obedience led to lengthy delays in the progress he otherwise would have made. On the way to the land God would show him, he stopped in Haran, a lush, prosperous city, and settled there, possibly for years. It was not until Abram’s father died that he was reawakened to God’s calling and finally moved on. Lot also proved to be heavy baggage that would later weigh Abram down.
While the gospel and salvation are free, the cost of continual obedience to Christ is not cheap. There is a reason Jesus tells His disciples to consider the cost before following Him (Luke 14:28-31). For the majority of us, God requires our service right where we are, but we need to be prepared to leave our comforts and conveniences. The wonderful thing is that as God works in us, His desires become our desires, and whatever task God calls us to takes precedence in our lives. The reward of intimacy with God will not only result in the growth of His kingdom, but will reap an eternal reward that far outweighs the cost of obedience.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I be willing to leave behind whatever it takes to follow Your calling. Grant me Your peace, strength and wisdom in every task You call me to. Thank You, Lord.