Why did God ask Abraham to get out-away from his father’s house (household)? His father would’ve given him a job, protection, a context, a system to live within-why would God ask him to leave that? I mean, this is Abraham, the father of our faith. Why would his journey begin with breaking away from his earthly father? A great meditation. Was it because his father worshiped other “gods”? Was it to separate his soul from spirit? Was it to cause him to become only dependent on the True Most High God, and not an earthly father? Go on pilgrimage, away from all you know, and God will show you a land you have not seen, and make you the most spiritually reproductive person on earth. And you may not even “get” this land in your lifetime, but your children’s children will. Here is My Promise. Now, will you go on that journey?
Abraham knew in his heart, who God was/is. And in wisdom believed and so knew that this would happen. He wanted to be in that particular story God was telling. He said yes to who God is. Not to what he might get out of it, in his lifetime. And, God honored that. And called Abraham the father of faith.
Abraham also knew God personally! So his own actions flowed out of that personal relationship with God. So we can read his life as someone who was close friends with God. This is the type of journey someone takes when they are close friends with God Himself. They leave all the comforts of the known, and travel towards a promise God has spoken, or revealed even partially. That’s the abrahamic trajectory. That’s the symbol of the true spiritual journey.
So we leave this land of familiarity, and travel somewhere where He is not entirely making clear (a partially veiled place), and He has promised to guard, guide, protect, bear fruit through your life, as you go. So go. We take our faith from Abraham in this going. And we head out! You have already said yes–now we must, go again! That’s the nature of the challenge of spiritual growth, each season! This is the type of journey we are on. Leave again what you have known and set sail, until He comes! This is the Abraham challenge. The charge. The calling.
As if God is re-emphasizing to us through Abraham—continue towards that mark towards which you were called, and I will BE your comfort, your guidance star, your hope, your very life. So go! Again I say go further into Him, until you have arrived. That is the race–to become the Mark itself, to enter in, commune with and know God. As you step out in faith, and keep trusting him, despite lack of clarity, He will meet you, guide you grow you into His Own Life.
The whole process, including the visions, is about coming further into Him! It is, in this sense, all about discipleship–going further into The Head, The Author and Finisher of, what?-our faith! It is not delusional to believe in what He has revealed to you, and head towards it. Visions mature with footsteps, with incarnation. But we are not deluded in following what we understand of the visions God gives us. We may be immature in their interpretation, or even God’s purpose in giving them to us; but we are right–to the degree of our understanding–to follow after them. There is something here in the story of Abraham about this. The whole story is about growing Abraham’s faith–it was not just about giving him, in his physical lifetime, the literal things promised! This has to do with our present-minded orientation!
When Jesus said, if you have faith, and tell this mountain to be moved, it will. He was speaking also from an eternal perspective. That mountain, as every single mountain and all that mountain’s symbolize, will indeed be moved-as it has already been written-“I will make a new heavens and a new earth.” Jesus’ point was about our faith and our understanding from an eternal perspective. It did not mean that we would all go around moving physical mountains constantly–though that is possible. (For instance, there are covenants, The Father made at the time of Noah, not to flood the entire earth again–if we all moved twenty physical mountains at once, it would probably flood the earth; God cannot break His Own covenant with the earth, so Jesus is not telling us to do whatever you want–move anything, for we are not God; we are His servants) He meant something spoken from a larger context. He was addressing their faith, which comes from knowledge of who the Father is!
And this teaching, is to be coupled with His teaching that we are only to do what we see the Father doing in heaven. Jesus, of course, could already see every single mountain being moved–as He Himself was with the Father as He formed each physical mountain, and was also with the Father in the future when every mountain would be renovated into some new form–a new earth. And Jesus also knew that mountains symbolically meant, kingdoms of earth as well, and that all kingdoms would be renovated in relation to His Own Kingdom! But my point here, is Jesus’ discourse, was about the “way” of faith. And this faith comes from, and is primarily about, coming to know more of (and therefore, love) The Father of all. When we know the Father as Abraham did, we are no longer blind, and we are enabled to head towards all God is! The journey is into Him. And He is the Alpha and Omega of everything.
What we are privileged to learn while on earth, is this way of faith. Abraham’s life symbolized this way. And, in this, he is the father of our faith. He fathered a way, that we also must learn to walk in. Amen. And this way, involves having to leave the ways that the world fathers, in every area of our lives. The way it fathers financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. We have to move into another entire way. And this way, is characterized, at the beginning by pilgrimage, or breaking from the previous ways which governed us. To leave our father’s land and move on towards a seemingly at times vague vision of a promise God has begun to show us. And to know that we may not even get to experience all God has promised us–YET. For Abraham’s story did not end at his death! And neither does ours.
We must place the promises of God in this eternal perspective, even to understand what it means to trust Him. So, we may feel this as God “teasing” us into some make-believe journey (and many stop at that stage; once, they feel the promises won’t come true in the way they wanted, they quit with Him entirely). But I would say it is rather a make-us-come-to-believe journey. And that is the spiritual life–to come to know and love The Lord our God. And this does not mean that we cannot incarnate these promises in this short life; but it does mean, that if not one of them incarnates in the exact way that we thought they would, we don’t have the right or large enough perspective, to stop trusting in Him. The journey again is into Him. So all the world is a stage in this way, a stage where we learn to faith our way into who God is. And it may look like an elaborate trick to get us to figure it out. But that’s not God’s Heart. He is working with us as we are, in this state, and stage of our being. And He has offered us models of those who did it in His Way. Abraham is one such model for each of us–of the true spiritual path with and into who God is.
(My next short meditation will be about the “country” God asked Abraham to leave, and asks us to leave. There are different “types” of countries we are asked to leave, depending on our identity and calling. Each exemplifies the way of faith, but stands unique. The question here is, what does it mean to go into another country for us individually? I think for different people it means different things. I want to present, what I would call, the missionary’s “other country” (outer); the contemplative’s “other country”(inner) and the person of prayer or intercessor’s “other country” (upper). I think all are in the way of faith, but each has a unique emphasis. The missionary’s “other” is outwards towards society, the contemplative travels into that other country inwardly in being, and the the person of prayer, is more upwardly in the heavenly realms. All are “spiritual”, and all ways of faith–but knowing what your “other” country is helps–so you know where to head to meet God in your next. More on this soon).
It’s fun spiritually downloading and considering this stuff for me–hope it blesses you also! May it be a “quickening” agent. I was looking at this word this morning from Ephesians 2–it is akin to resurrection–may you be quickened with Christ. Yes, God quicken us in Your Knowledge and Being!