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To walk with God, we must love him, obey him, call upon his name, confirm our relationship with him, and know that he loves us. Yes, we all fail when we try to follow God, but his love, constant concern, and abounding love for us is ever present. In Abram, we see a man who loved God, obeyed God, confirmed his love for God through his actions, and allowed God to pour his love out towards him in order to complete the purpose that the Lord had in store for him. It is the same with us. When we obey the Lord, in even the smallest detail, we find ourselves desiring more and more of his presence. It is then and only then, we can find peace knowing that he cares for us and he will prove his love for us through the many ways he confirms his relationship to us.
Some verses in the Bible just strike us when we read them. As I was reading Genesis 12, three words just hit me over the head. Referring to Abram walking with God, the words simply said,
So Abram went . . . Genesis 12:4
Abraham grew up as a child in the heavily populated city of Ur (Southern Iraq now) and moved with his father to the land of Haran. It was in Haran that the Lord asked Abram to take his family and go to the land he would show him. Abram obeyed. His move was like moving from New York City to the small “ghost town” of Pennington, Texas. It would appear to many people as a pretty risky proposition at least “business-wise.” But He obeyed and took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, his livestock, and all his servants with him.
Abram Calls Upon the Name of the LORD
When Abram journeyed from location to location, he called upon the Lord. We see him calling on God in Schechem and again near Bethel.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram in Genesis 12:7-8 and said,
To your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 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.
Abram had a habit of calling upon God. We see this again in Genesis 13:4b
And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.
We call upon God in times of peace and in times of desperation. We do that because we need him. But he also wants us to call on him. It is through our dependence on God, we gain more faith, trust, and love towards him and our fellow man.
When we call upon the Lord . . .
- We should seek him with all our heart, soul, and mind and with all our strength. Mark 12:30
- We should call upon the Lord with a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
- We should call upon the Lord for as long as we live. Psalm 116:2
- We must admit that we need Him. Acts 17:27
Abram Confirms his Relationship with the LORD
As Abram continues his journey, he goes down to Egypt to sojourn there. In Egypt, life goes on. During this time, Abram doesn’t appear to be the shining star that we like to think he was. He didn’t trust God fully and when he was about to enter Egypt, he told Sarai to lie about their relationship. He said,
Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.
Abram was caught in his deceit, but life went on. He left Egypt and went with Sarai, Lot, and all he owned into Negeb, then into Bethel to where his tent had been at the beginning. It was there that Abram called upon the name of the LORD.
Later, Abram soon realized that his possessions were so great that he and Lot needed to split up. He said to Lot in Genesis 13:8,
Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.
The two went their own ways, and God spoke to Abram and settled him by the oaks of Mamre and there he built an altar to the LORD. Abram’s life continued. He rescued Lot, was blessed by Melchizedek, defeated the King of Sodom, and confirmed his faith in God when the King of Sodom asked him to give back his people but take the goods for himself. Abram verbally confirmed his relationship with God in Genesis 14:22.
I have lifted my hand to the LORD, GOD Most High Possessor of heaven and earth.
While we might not build a physical altar to the Lord, there are ways we can confirm our relationship with the Lord.
To confirm our relationship with God, we need to . . .
- Ask the Lord to forgive our wrongdoings/sins. Romans 3:23
- Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as Lord and Savior. Ephesians 2:8-9
- Understand that our own works and efforts can’t get us into the right relationship with the Lord. Titus 3:5
- Confirm our relationship with the Lord through our daily prayers and obedience to His holy Word. Philippians 4:6
God Confirms his Relationship to Abram
In Genesis 15:1, shortly after confirming his relationship and speaking publically about his relationship with the Lord, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
Fear not Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.
The reward God was talking about was the covenant God made to Abram that his “offspring would inherit the land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:19.
Life continued and Abram aged. The Lord soon changed his name to Abraham. But, even before that, Abraham trusted and believed wholeheartedly that the Lord God Almighty was blessing him with an amazing inheritance.
God confirms his relationship with us by . . .
- Giving us His Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Allowing us to become a new creation through Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
- Assuring us of eternal life. Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 6:33
Abraham walked with God as we do – through ups and downs, trials and blessings! Just as he grew, we also grow and mature. He is always by our side, calling us to obey him because He knows the right plan for our lives. He wants to show that to us so we can live a Godly fulfilling life. And as we continue on in our Christian life, let’s follow Abram’s example of obedience, calling upon him, and confirming our relationship to him.
Yes, we will fail sometimes, but life goes on. When we do fail, He is there to pick us up. When we honor God by remaining in this cycle of obeying, calling, and confirming, we can receive God’s vision, direction, and blessings upon our life. He really does want the best for us.
God Bless You.
Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 12:28
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Psalm 17:6
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. Psalm 119:106
Dear Heavenly Father, I love you and I want to obey you with my entire heart. Help me to call upon you in every area of my life. I truly want to uphold the words in your Holy Word. I want to proclaim your truths to others. Thank you for loving me and confirming your love for me in such a caring and special way. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.