God Seldom Reveals the Big Picture to Us—Just the Next Step
God first comes to Abraham when he is still known as Abram. God tells him to leave all he knows and to go—somewhere—to a place God will later show him. The final destination is apparently on a need-to-know basis and Abram doesn’t need to know.
If it were me, I’d want some details. Where are you sending me, God? Why? What is your end game? How long will I be gone? What should I pack? What preparations should I make? Am I coming back?
Then I’d do some research, check with others, and spend a lot of time thinking about it. And I’d pray, too. God would likely need to tell me a couple times before I obeyed. I like to see the big picture, but God doesn’t seem to work that way—at least with me.
Though God promises to make Abram into a great nation, this is not conditional on Abram’s obedience. In this case God’s promise is unconditional.
Again, if it were me, I’d be tempted to ask God to make me into a great nation right where I was, without the ambiguous travel command into the unknown.
Yet Abram goes. This is his first recorded act of faith. It isn’t until he reaches Canaan that God reveals more. He promises to give that land to Abram’s descendants. That is God’s big picture, or at least a wider view of it. Abram has to move out in faith and go to where God leads him. Only then does God give him more information.Abram obeys God and goes even though he doesn’t knowing where he's headed. Click To Tweet
I guess that’s why it’s called faith.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.