Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.”
Yesterday we covered the primary lesson we learn from the time God commanded Abraham to leave his homeland: Abraham’s response was one of faith. He believed and obeyed what he could not see—setting an example for Christians to follow.
But God’s command to “get out of your country” also teaches another vital lesson.
The society in which Abraham grew up (Ur of the Chaldeans) was a society characterized by Babylonian paganism. Ur was particularly known for worship of the moon god. In order to truly follow God, Abraham had to leave this culture and relocate to the place God would lead him. He had to go to an environment where he could better practice faith in and worship of the true God.
In this, Abraham’s life is a type of what Christians are called to do today. No, Christians are not called to geographically leave their homeland. Christians are called to come out of this world spiritually.
The Bible refers to the world around us as “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4). The world around us is characterized by rejection of God and His law and is under the influence of Satan the devil (Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9). When a person commits to following God in faith, he or she must spiritually leave this world and its ways, while physically operating within it (John 17:14-15).
Here are three important points to keep in mind as we strive to leave this world:
- Truth makes us different. Jesus Christ revealed that Christians are to be sanctified—set apart—by truth. Truth is defined as the entire revelation of God through His Word (John 17:17). Similar to the way Abraham followed the truth God revealed to him and physically left his home, Christians must follow the truth God has revealed through His Word and spiritually leave this world.
- Coming out of the world begins in the mind. The apostle Paul revealed that not being “conformed to this world” begins by “being transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). The ways of the world around us are characterized by traits we read about in 1 John 2:16 and Galatians 5:19-21. All the characteristics of the world around us that contradict the laws of God must go.
- Go out, and come in. God does not merely call us out of the world around us. Abraham went out of Ur to come into the Promised Land. Christians are called out of the world to pursue the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). But there is another step along the way. God wants His people to journey to the Kingdom of God together. That is why Jesus Christ founded the Church of God (Matthew 16:18). The Church that Jesus Christ founded is to be unified (John 17:11), preaching the gospel He preached (Matthew 28:18-20) and helping God’s people practice His way of life and be prepared for the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 4:1-16).
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “A Great Nation.”