Devotion 1 of 9 in the series on Abraham: Genesis 12:1-9

What Is God Calling You to Do?

Rocky path through field leading to foggy mountains

As you read this passage, focus on verses 1 and 4.

Genesis 12:1-9 (ESV)

1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Schechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Digging into God’s Word

When I was growing up, my family moved a lot. Although I found the moves unsettling, some sense of security came from knowing where we were going. My dad had found a new job, my parents had looked for a new house for us, and we knew exactly which house in which city we were moving to.

Not Abram or his household! Imagine Abram floating the idea to Sarai: “Honey, God has told me to move, but He hasn’t told me where we are supposed to go. So we’re just going to pack everything up and see where He leads us.” That wouldn’t go over too well in today’s families! Yet Abram’s family was not unlike some of ours. His father had moved from Ur to Haran. The people of Ur had large homes with multiple rooms, students went to school, and the city bustled with commerce.

Notice in verse 5 that Abram had accumulated many possessions and had built a large household. Moving would be no small feat. Furthermore, Abram was 75 years old.

Abram heeded God’s call, packed up everything, and set out on a journey to a land God would show him.

Digging Deeper

Reflect on these questions. If you have time, journal your answers.

  1. Whether God is calling you to stay right where you are or make a move of some sort, how does Abram’s response to God’s call speak to you?
  2. What were God’s actions in this passage, and how does that help you today?
  3. Is God, in fact, calling you to leave something you know very well: a habit, a group of friends, a situation, or an attitude? What from this account gives you strength to make this change?
  4. Are you in a season of life in which God is calling you to stay, perhaps in something hard? What is God showing you during this time? How might God bless you in the staying?

For more thoughts on Abram, read the blog post, “Where Will You Meet With God?

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  1. Cathy says:

    Very good thoughts and I like the journaling questions. Now my it always clear when God is calling is to make a move?

    • admin says:

      That’s a great question. I’ve often wondered how Abram knew to just go, right then and there. What had he and God talked about before we first read this account in Genesis 12? For me, the clear answer finally comes after spending a great deal of time with God, talking with Him about what to do. Only rarely does it seem we know right away how God is leading us. When that happens, it is pretty special.

  2. Eric Mott says:

    This passage hits home. Saturday morning I was with two friends and the subject of vocational work came up. I have been at my current job a little over eleven years. I don’t hate it, but it is not a passion, just a means to pay bills. So what is the fear I have of leaving? Many can relate. It’s a solid paycheck with benies. And there is always the question in my mind “God…you really want me to change at my age?” So Abraham was 75, huh? 🙂
    Thanks for the scripture, good way to start the day.

    • admin says:

      That part about Abraham being 75 catches me every time. Many of us struggle with fear of failure or even fear of success. It is heartening to read that throughout Abraham’s life, God was with him and even helped guide him out of bad decisions.

  3. Nancy Graf says:

    Thanks Chris. This was great. I love this story and it certainly has fit our lives in many ways. May God bless tour new venture.

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