Genesis 12:1-2 - The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.
You all don’t even know the things Fletcher sometimes tries to take to church with him. Just yesterday, he had a box full of random things that he called his “preaching stuff.” He told me he was going to preach on “the stand” (the pulpit), so he needed his “preaching stuff.” I told him to leave it at the house, and he had trouble with my suggestion. I just pictured trying to get him to the church while he’s trying to hold on to all of his stuff. And then I imagined him taking it into the nursery and causing problems with all of his stuff. And then I had a sneaking suspicion that it would be a challenge to get him back to the house with all of his stuff. Basically, all of that stuff was going to be a hassle and a hindrance. I just felt like the best way to avoid all of those problems would be for him to leave his stuff behind.
In one of the sessions at the Wesleyan Gathering that Pastor David and I attended, one of the speakers spoke about needing to leave some things in order to truly be a blessing. She pointed out that that is what God said to Abram in Genesis 12. God promised to use Abram greatly and make him a blessing. But he told him he had to leave some stuff. His country, his relatives, his father’s family. He had to no longer hold those things dear. He had to go in obedience. And going in obedience meant leaving.
Maybe there are some things this year you feel God leading you to leave. Maybe it’s a sin you’re hiding and hoping no one finds out about. Confess it and leave it! (Confessing it and finding accountability will help you leave that sin more effectively.) Maybe there are habits that aren’t necessarily sinful, but you feel God is leading you to leave them. Leave them. Maybe it is worry about what people think. Maybe it is something on your schedule you have realized is not the best use of your time. Maybe it’s excuses. Maybe it’s a lack of discipline. Maybe it’s an attitude. Maybe it’s an assumption or idea you keep in your mind about someone. Maybe it’s multiple things. I’m pretty sure God is leading most of us to leave something this year in order to make us the people he wants us to be. He changed Abram into Abraham, but it required some leaving.
Hebrews 11:8-10 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
We can be sure of this – if God calls us to leave something, where He is leading us is far greater than what we leave behind.