4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
The Lord told Abram to "leave" his people and his country and set out to the land He will show him. In order to trust God, we are often told to leave something behind or God may remove it. This is referred to pruning in the Bible.
John 15:2 - Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
It wasn't until I started gardening that I understood pruning. A neighbor used to take care of my gerbre daisies. I thought I could just plant them and then they would grow without any work. The daisies needed pruning. The way she described it to me has ingrained forever in my mind in regards to God pruning us as His children and church. As a part of it dies or makes it's cycle of life with the flower, then it needs to be pruned. Pruning means to cut away from the flower, plant, or tree. The roots push nutrients and water up to each part of the plant. The plant works extra hard to push nutrients and water (life) up to the dying parts. The living parts suffer, because the plant is using most of it's sources on the dying part, trying to revive it. Therefore, the plant ceases to produce fruit or flowers. If the parts that are dying are cut away from the plant, then the nutrients and water are able to free flow full force to the living parts, producing much fruit or flowers. In order to grow, we must obey God and leave behind whatever He asks from us.
God tells Abram that He will make his name great and make him into a great nation. Later in Scripture, we find that this means that Abram will have as many descendants as the stars. If God tells you an outcome that has yet to come about, then this is a prophetic word. Again, the only way to get to the outcome is through trusting God and obeying His Word. Yes, we get off track and God helps us back into His will. He is full of grace and love! We will see later in Scripture where Abram veers from God's will a bit and how God redeems him.
Have you ever felt like everything just goes wrong, one thing after another? Are you ready to see God bless your life, your family and/or career? Everyone of us will have many hiccups along this road called life, but we can have a blessed life. We see this in God's promise to Abram. If you want a blessed life from the Lord, then obey His Word and walk in Christ. But remember the first point. If you are obeying God and walking in Christ and things seem to be breaking one thing after the other, then refer back to the point on pruning. God may be taking you through a phase to take away the parts that are not bearing fruit.
When I was a brand new Christian in at Life Bible College there was a man that came to our church. He had a prophetic gift and he laid hands on me and prayed over me. God gave him a prophetic word for me. I remember feeling a little disappointed when I received it, because I wanted it "now". Haha! Isn't that the way of our world? He said God is going to use you in big ways, but it won't be for 10 more years. Ten years to a young 21 year old girl felt like a life time away and being a new Christian, I felt disappointed and unchosen. I went about my Christian walk trusting God at times, and disobeying at times. The Lord would bless and prune me over the next 10 years, always pulling me back in line with His will. But quite honestly it was mostly pruning and very little blessing. I'm not saying I didn't have much to be thankful for, I had LOTS to be thankful for. But over the course of the next 10 years there would be a consistent "leaving" things behind and pruning of my character. Of course I forgot all about this word for years. And then, we became neighbors with Kenneth and Amber who happened to be a youth pastor. We became friends and God called Kenneth to start a church. They asked Matt and I to come alongside them. A flashback of that word comes to mind!! Wow, 10 years later. Our church as been going for 3 1/2 years now! God is good!
Next week: We will study Genesis 12:6-9. We will see the importance of worship as Abram starts his journey.