The Bare Soul - November 4, 2007
Stranger in a Strange Land

Genesis 12:1 - The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you."

Sometimes it is not easy to do the will of the Lord. As in the aforementioned scripture, God told Abraham to uproot himself and his family and to go. Not only to go, but to keep going until God said stop. It's one thing to receive "reasonable" guidance with a goal in mind. This was not the case with Abraham's journey. He was to step out in faith and to keep stepping until God said "enough". The journey that God had in mind was over 600 miles. Would Abraham have ventured forth if he knew the arduous trek ahead of him with family, herds, flocks, and possessions? My heart tells me "yes", because Abraham was a man of faith. Knowing that he would certainly be isolated from his family, friends, and acquaintances did not equate with the thought of disobeying the holy commandment to go. He knew that he would truly be a stranger in a strange land, but accepted his lot knowing that God meant him good and not harm if he would but obey.

We all have the opportunity at times to go against the status quo and to step out in faith in seeming lack of good judgment. I have talked many times regarding the seeming foolishness by some of my decision to start running barefoot several years ago rather than to continue to rely on the "wisdom" of the shoe companies. They, of course, suggest more is better -- more cushioning and supposed stability control will create a safer running experience with lots of protection. The fallacy of this rational is skewed in my opinion. "More" can often cause false dependencies which can lull a runner into believing that he or she can run with abandon without any repercussions. However, the perceived lunacy of what I believe will never be reversed in the minds of many, because they can't think from a radical, diametrically different way that they have thought all their lives. The same holds true for so many other things that folks have held to be true for years and years and then a new discovery or innovation turns their logic upside down. One could use the example of aerodynamics (Wright Brothers), space travel, or quantum physics just to name a few.

Pioneers are often "strangers" in the new lands they explore. They often return with exciting tales that are unbelievable to those who refuse to venture forth from their own safety. Abraham was told to "go" but with a promise -- that God would make a great nation from him. I would imagine that his friends and extended family thought he was nuts when he told them the news ... "Well, God told me to pack up and go." "Where are you going, Abram?" they most assuredly inquired. Abraham might have responded thus: "Well, I'm not really sure, but God said to go and that He would make a great nation out of me and Sarai!" "Yeah, right ..." they probably thought. Sarai I'm sure already had a reputation for being barren in Haran and there they go, traipsing off into the desert to God knows where (that's right, He did know where!).

It is always easier to make armchair decisions in retrospect, once we know the results of any given situation. Abraham believed God, and it was accorded to him as righteousness the book of Genesis tells us. The results of his faith and actions were certainly much more than he or Sarah imagined as he set out on his journey. The trek began with a step, and then another, and then another. My question to you is this: What is the "Haran" in your life? What is the seeming comfort and safety that God wants you to step out of and to move toward a given uncertainty? Many of you know that God has been tugging on your respective hearts for sometime to start this new journey of faith. The bottom line is that you will never know the incredible results of your obedience, until you GO! May God give us all the courage to be strangers in a strange new land of faith. Though it may seem strange and unsure at times, the Lord Jesus Christ promises to be with us every step.

Your Humble Barefoot Servant!

Barefoot Rick

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