Wednesday, 21 February 2018 10:13

It's Not Too Late

Written by  Sam Whatley
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Every journey, every venture, every project has three stages: beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning there is the promise of adventure and the quest of the unknown. At the end there is a sense of accomplishment. But in the middle, that is where the whole experience can just seem like a lot of work. Things are not so new anymore and the end seems far away. That’s when we are all tempted to stop halfway through and settle for less than we had hoped for. But if we do that, we miss God’s best for us.


When you accept God into your life, that is what you get, God in your life. The Lord begins leading you to have a part in spreading His Kingdom. That’s what happened to a man named Abram, who lived in Ur of Chaldea (southern Iraq) nearly four thousand years ago. The Lord instructed him to pack up and leave everything he knew. “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1, NIV).


Abram started out trying to obey God’s leading, but things slipped out of his control. For one thing, his father’s household came with him. In fact, his father, Terah, took over the move. “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran” (Gen. 11:31-32, NIV).


We don’t know why they stopped in Haran (Syria). Maybe they were just tired. They had traveled hundreds of miles. Canaan (modern Israel) was another 400 miles. But Terah was the patriarch. He called the shots. That was in keeping with the culture of the day, but it was not what God had instructed Abram to do. Consequently, Abram’s blessing of seeing the land that God would show him was delayed.


I wonder how many of us have put off obeying God’s will for our lives because we decided to let a parent, spouse, or child take charge. How many of us were called to be faithful to attend God’s house of worship, to tithe, or even to become a leader, pastor, or missionary, but we let someone else talk us out of it? How many of us were called to move, change churches, or take on new careers, but we were afraid to follow the will of God? I feel certain that Abram loved and respected his father. He wanted to do what was expected of a dutiful son in his culture. But God had plans that were bigger than anything Abram could imagine. His obedience was key to every event that follows in the Bible.


 God did not leave Abram in Haran. He loved him too much for that. After Terah died, God called him a second time. And this time the Creator came down in person. He changed his follower’s name from Abram to Abraham and made a blood covenant that became the foundation of the relationship between God and His people.


He calls us a second time too. Many of us have stopped halfway in our journey with the Lord. We have not finished what He has set in our hearts to do for Him. We may feel that it is too late for us now. But He loves us too much to leave us there. The second half of the journey can be greater than the first. We may be older now. We may have fewer resources. But if we give everything to Him, He will honor our willingness to serve.


When Abram left Haran he was seventy-five years old and had no children. But his descendants today have become as the stars in the sky, just as God promised. God will fulfill His promises to you too, if you are willing to finish what He started in your heart.


It’s not too late. We can yet say with Paul, “I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV).


**Sam Whatley’s latest book, Ponder Anew, is now available at the Frazer Bookstore located inside Frazer Memorial UMC.

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