In my daily reading this morning I came across this verse.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8 ESV)
I guess the first hurdle for some “believers” is whether this is a story or whether it actually occurred. The second hurdle for some, is (assuming this actually occurred) how does one hear from God? How do you know when you’ve been called? And the third hurdle is how do you know when to act? And finally, not knowing all the details, how can you be obedient?
There is a lot in verse 8 of chapter 11 – the chapter of faith. Abraham obeyed (apparently immediately) when he was called by God to go, not knowing where he was going. Abraham acted and trusted God each step of the way. Because of his active faith in God, God was able to use him. Abraham did everything that he knew to do in the moment to be obedient to God and God was faithful to guide him. Because God was the guide, Abraham didn’t have to know all the details, he just needed to stay focused on his guide – God.
This idea of blind obedience makes my anxiety skyrocket. Fear creeps in and my need for control greatly increases. Generally in this world blind obedience leads to disaster – because you are blindly following a sinful person. In his case, Abraham had enough knowledge and experience of who God was to trust Him enough to follow Him where ever He would lead. God is the only one trustworthy enough for us to safely, blindly obey.
This verse stood out to me because of the Camino. God has called me to go and even told me where to go. (He knows me well.) What He hasn’t told me is the why. Abraham was told the why – to receive the land as his inheritance. In many ways, I can relate to Abraham’s going and not knowing where he is going. I am not familiar with the Camino, but I have the luxury today of the internet and information shared by others who have been there. I wonder if Abraham longed for this information or if He simply trusted God in all of the unknowns.
We like to lift our Biblical ancestors up as heroes, larger than life, with super powers that we don’t possess. The truth is that this is the same Abraham who lied about his wife Sarah.
And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. (Genesis 20:2 ESV)
And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ (Genesis 20:10-11 ESV)
And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’” (Genesis 20:13 ESV)
This man of faith also felt the need for control asking Sarah to deceive others for his own safety. Our human nature is the same today as it was in Genesis! Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! His word is truth. He is faithful and full of grace.
Lord God, help me to follow You with great faith in all that You call me to do. Thank You Lord for Your word and for examples like Abraham who, though they were imperfect, You found them to be faithful to You. I am so blessed Lord to have Your word and the knowledge of Your will and Your plan. Help me to be obedient to Your calling and go in faith. Amen.
God is calling you. You don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need all the details. Step out in faith and obey Him.
Be encouraged. Press on.