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How to Be a World-Changer

We’re discovering that we can reach back to the experience and achievement of Abraham for precedent in our own lives. This is no small thing. But before we seek to tap the Kingdom dynamics of venturing in faith, let’s briefly explore Abraham’s backstory … we will probably recognize similar themes in our own personal story (see takeaways at the end).

Leave Ur for a New Place

The Creator reached down into time and geography and called Abraham in a special way.

What was his background and where did he come from? Abraham was born and spent the first part of his life in Ur, a city located in southern Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River. It’s about halfway between the Persian Gulf and Baghdad (present-day Iraq).

Ur was an important city in the ancient world with a vast library. Archeologists have uncovered what was a flourishing civilization. We know the city was prosperous due to extensive trade.

The Babylonians in Ur worshiped many gods, the moon-god Sin being the supreme god. It was from this history and culture that God called Abraham to an odyssey of faith. The One True God was engaging history in a new and purposeful way.

The Creator’s design was a land, a new nation, and a Messianic line which would shift history towards a bright future.

A World-Changer, a History-Maker

In the Old Testament scriptures, we see Abraham for the first time at the end of Genesis 11. His name was actually Abram meaning “exalted Father.” Later his name would be changed by God to Abraham, “Father of a multitude of nations.”

Abraham’s father, Terah, migrated from Ur to Haran. He took with him Abram, Abram’s wife Sarai, and Lot, the grandson of Haran, Terah’s son who had died. Abraham traveled with his father NW along the Euphrates River, journeying within what’s known as the Fertile Crescent instead of traveling across the barren desert directly to Canaan.

The intention was to go to Canaan, but they settled in a city named Haran in northern Mesopotamia. As in Ur, the moon-god Sin was worshiped in Haran. After the death of Terah, God called Abraham to leave his father’s house and to go forth to a land God would reveal.

Now the Lord had said to Abraham: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12.1-3 NKJV).

World-Changers Move Forward Into the Unknown

As you read about the life journey of Abraham in the book of Genesis, you will be amazed at the odyssey of faith God called him to. He didn’t have the all the fine details of the plan. In fact, he didn’t have the plan at first. More would be revealed to him as he trusted God implicitly.

By faith 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 … for he was looking for a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11.8, 10 NASB)

Built into the call were promises from God:

A land would be revealed to him … a great nation would be established through him … God would bless him and make his name great … all the families/peoples of the earth would be blessed through him … those who blessed him would be blessed, those who cursed him would be cursed.

Takeaways

  •  Take courage and stretch for the precedent and standard of faith we see in Abraham.
  • It seems we always have to leave something to process with God. We definitely leave “places” and “things” to pursue the odyssey. It’s not necessarily geography, though it could be. It could be a season of life you are being asked to released. It could be relationships or career transition. It could be almost anything as God leads you.
  • Know this. Though we may not feel it at first, anything we release to move forward with God is more than returned to our lives. I believe this is really the only way we find our “true” lives.
  • Deep down you want to make a “dent” in the universe. We all do. We’re to count for something significant – to make history. Journeying with God is the way.
  • Things are going to feel like we’re moving into the unknown … at least for a while. It’s not unknown to the Creator. And amazingly, as we continue to move forward, many of the things that were unknown to us, become known. Here’s what the Apostle Paul said: What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God (1 Cor. 2.9-10 ESV).

Abraham is a benchmark for us. He is an archetype – an original pattern of faith. We look to Abraham to see what it means to know God and to journey with Him.

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