U-Turns Allowed

Do you feel like circumstances have gotten in the way of God’s calling on your life?

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In Genesis chapter 12 we find the call of Abraham. God tells Abram (not yet re-named) to leave his country and go to “a land I will show you.” While a vague direction, it was the promise that followed that clinched it:

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3, NKJV)

We read that Abram was obedient and sets out with his household and ends up in the land of Canaan. Verse seven reads, “Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “to your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an alter to the LORD who appeared to him.”

This is all prefix to my point because you see immediately following this (after an unmentioned amount of actual time), there was a famine in the land. Because of this, Abram moved everyone out of Canaan and down into Egypt.

I believe that we hear from God more often than we often admit or maybe even realize. We step out in faith and for a while things seem to be going well. We may not have seen the completion of whatever promise prompted us to step out in the first place, but it’s been pretty smooth sailing. Then some unforeseen circumstance happens and it draws us away from the promised land. It draws us away from the place where the LORD appeared to us to confirm His direction in our lives.

And honestly, it’s easy to see these circumstances as nothing. Abram moved his family to Egypt so that he could provide for them during a famine. He is taking care of them, right? But don’t you think that God knew that the famine was coming when He first called Abram? The Bible tells us that nothing happens without His knowledge. But what would have happened had the Pharaoh not sent them away? Likely, Egypt was a nicer place to live at the time. Obviously it had more resources as that is where everyone went when famines hit. Perhaps Abram would have grown accustomed to the more cushioned lifestyle and may not have been as eager to return to the land that was actually promised to him and his descendants. But circumstances could not keep Abram from receiving the promise God had given him.

After being sent away from Egypt, Abram returned to Canaan and returned to the place where he had first built and alter. In that place, he returned and worshiped the LORD. This is what caught my attention. I wasn’t focused on the fact that Abram left (no matter what the circumstances were). I focused in on the point that he returned.

Circumstances are going to try to interfere with God’s calling on your life. They are going to try to drain you dry and maybe you think that you are making the wisest decision for yourself and your family by leaving. But when it becomes apparent that you have shifted away from your promised land, the important thing is to return. Return to the place that God appeared to you and worship Him. Nothing is too big as to disrupt God’s plan for you so don’t let the devil trick you into thinking that you’ve messed it up because you left in the first place. God is waiting for you to return so that He can again appear to you, just as He did with Abram so long ago.

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