Abram moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent … And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 12:8 ESV]
These three things a man of God called Abram did that can sum up his life:
- He pitched his tent where God told him to,
- he build an Altar and
- he called on the Name of the Lord.
Abram was a man of faith living in a faithless country. He consistently did three things that are the hallmarks of his journey through life. He made mistakes. But he kept coming back to these three anchors that connected him to God via a life of faith. So I asked myself this morning just what the Spirit of God would want to say to me through the example of Abram.
He pitched his tent where God told him to.
How often do we ask God where we should live? Abram did not move until he was called out by God. And then he responded in unquestioned obedience even though he did not know where God was leading him. For most Christians today, we are too much in a hurry to be in a place to wait on God to call us to His purpose. We have to be willing to pause while “doing life” and seek God’s counsel. Due to a very recent family crisis, Kathe and I had to move out of one place and quickly find a new one. This crisis was going to put a huge change into our lives from what we were accustomed to. We looked all over for alternatives all the while asking God, in faith, to lead us. Then on the last day before the deadline for making a decision we someone told us of a place close to our daughter. As we walked through where we currently live, we paused in our spirits and asked God to show us why we should not live there as it seemed to good to be true.
He build an Altar.
When we do fine a place to reside, do we in effect build an altar: do we ask for God’s divine protection on our dwelling? Do we even think that is necessary? Wherever Abram went, it was his practice to worship God at the place where he lived.
He called on the Name of the Lord.
Since the beginning of time, men have cried out from the depths of their being to God. We call out whether we know God or not. We call out in times of trial or despair. We call out in an attempt to draw near to and communicate with this One that we instinctively know as our Creator. Whatever the motive, this calling out to God is universal; it can be observed around the globe in every culture. Such a resonating cry is universal because it issues from the deepest part within man, his spirit. This practice of calling on the Lord began with the earliest generations of mankind recorded in the Bible.
We live, as did Abram, in a land full of idolatry. By calling on the Name of the Lord, Abram was renouncing all idolatry. Is there an applications here for you today?