As I began reading God’s love letter more and more, He showed me something of myself in almost every Bible character I read about. But even more importantly, God began showing me how He had worked in their lives, and I experienced a hunger for Him to work in my life too. I sensed Him calling me to take some major leaps of faith, leaps that formerly would have caused me to cower in retreat out of fear. God began wooing and pursuing me into taking His hand and following Him in faith.
While I have many Old Testament favorites, the character I’d say I’ve identified with most (aside from Moses) is Abram (later renamed Abraham). Abraham is considered the “father of the Jews” because God chose him in order to establish a separate nation (Israel) that would be His “chosen people” — chosen to demonstrate to the world the wonders of their magnificent and almighty God. In Genesis 12:2-3 God says to Abram:
“I will cause you to become the father of a great nation.
I will bless you and make you famous,
and I will make you a blessing to others.
I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”
But God required something of Abram first–an act of obedience and trust. He called Abram to move to an entirely new and completely unfamiliar land, which required an enormous leap of faith for Abram and his entire household…
At some point, God may call you out of your comfort zone as well. If He does, remember what my pastor always says. “God does not ask of us that which does not ultimately benefit us.” Regardless of what kind of change God asks of you, and no matter how difficult what He asks may seem, obedience to His voice will always result in blessing in the long run. That’s just the kind of God we serve. He wants to give us marvelous things and experiences that we perhaps never dreamed of, but first we have to let go of our own little world and begin to venture out into His.
Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.