"So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan." -Genesis 12: 4-5
Most recently, I said to a friend, “Please, will you trust me?” I knew from his voice he was hesitating and even said, “I trust you, but maybe we should do it another way.” He wasn’t so keen on doing it my way, but God was speaking to me, too. Imagine! I was hearing, “Ignore what he’s saying. Don’t back down. Push this project through.” Thank God, he trusted me. The project was accepted, and it came back to bless him big time. Our friendship just deepened. Trust was built even more.
A few days ago, something happened. I was about to react in the “Teresa Hurricane” way, but I didn’t. You know why? Because in this friendship, I learned to trust my friend, too. He had told me, “Teresa please be careful. I believe this is going to happen to you, and when it does, please don’t react. Please just ignore it.” When it happened, I was about to react in a manner that would have been well deserved. However, I didn’t. When I was asked why I allowed that nonsense to occur. I said, “Because of Ethan, that's why. I can’t stand the thought of disappointing him.” You see, trust was built. Something else too! Faith! This is why I love Abraham so much. He had this kind of trust and faith in God. Guess what? God had trust and faith in what Abraham would do too. This is how it works. It was a two-way street.
I just love studying this man’s life. What a great man Abraham was. I must ask the question, “Why was God his friend?” Why would God say, “Is there anything I will hide from my friend Abraham?” Let me answer that for you. He never questioned God. He simply trusted, believed, and obeyed everything God told him to do. EVERYTHING! That was the secret to his blessings. This is how real friendships are. Like my story with my friend Ethan. We trust each other, and in doing so, we were blessed.
Abram did not question God. It says, "So Abram went, as the Lord had told him!" Let me explain to you why this move of Abram was such a great walk of faith. Ur was a wonderful place. It was the center of very rich Sumerian culture and was a blooming economic hub for all sorts of activities. Ur lies along the Euphrates River; it was a rich architectural land. It had everything anyone could dream of having for that time, comfortable and beautiful homes, rich also in art and music. No one in their right mind would leave such a place to go into the desert. Imagine having to cross a desert. It was filled with sandstorms, no water, hot, humid, dangerous from animals, and people. Talk about faith! I dare say, "When the real call of God comes on a person's life, everything must go. All the comforts, the common sense, notions, the whispers, and opinions of the people must go.” What a huge mistake Abram would have made if he succumbed to fear, listened to opinions, and not done what God told him to do.
God brought him to Canaan. Canaan was a central location as well: Canaan the hub of Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was made up of all the land from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea and from Syria to Egypt. This is where God brought him. Wow! God never brings you to bad places. Never!
A few months ago, I was studying the Promised Land. This promised land was a beautiful place, where God brought his people out of Egypt. Unfortunately, the people that lived there at the time were doing abominable things in the eyes of God. God became angry and drove them all out and gave the land to Abraham's descendants just as He promised. However, with a warning, God told them, "If you do the same practices as they did, I will drive you out, too, and cause the earth to open up and swallow you.”
This journey of Abraham started out with a promise to him. Please understand the blessings are found only when you obey God. It’s all about trust, faith, and obedience. The choice is ours today. Do we obey or disobey?
What God did is noticeably clear. He took it away from those who lived lives of disobedience and gave it to those who chose to obey Him. May I humbly add that when God calls you, it does not mean He is calling anyone else outside your spouse and children. Someone else went with Abraham. His nephew Lot went with him. God did not say to Abram to take his nephew. Later we find that Lot was not acting in a godly manner and caused him more grief than blessings. Be careful who you take with you on your personal journey. Do not think that the call is for everyone around you when God is speaking directly to you. Not everyone is meant to go to the mountain top. There are plateaus as you climb mountains. Some can only come up to a certain height. They can't go to Mount Moriah.
Please don't make the mistake of asking the advice from others around you. We must come to a place of total surrender to God. We must follow exactly what God is telling us to do. I do not mean that you don't ask the advice of godly people in your life. God is looking to see if you will follow Him and obey Him no matter what.
Sometimes, we cannot take people who are closest to us with us. The walk of faith is a personal one. I have noticed, in God’s Word, He calls individuals, not parties of people together. Trust God even when things feel strange and absolutely make no sense. The steps of a righteous person are lead of God.
Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President of Thread of Hope, Inc.