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Leave Everything Behind – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2021 3:00 pm

Leave Everything Behind – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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This is anagram lots. What's your place of compromise. Did you start out on a journey of authentic faith, then stop halfway in your commitment.

Are you halfway to a vibrant personal relationship with God. Halfway to the fullness of all he wants to give welcome to living in the light with and grandma Anne's weekly series of messages are from the life of Abraham with the desire that as you listen to God's word you will make God your magnificent Obsession hears and with an introduction to today's message in Genesis 12 when God commanded Abraham to leave her and all that was familiar, including his father's household. Abraham was only partially obedient to God's command. He left, but he took his father nephew and wife with them. Then they settled in Haran, and so did he. We can only guess I didn't leave everything behind, but perhaps a Brandon shared the news of his family and his family decided they wanted to go. Also, we can see about what happened next to the Abraham was hindered by his family because when his family stopped halfway. So did Abraham and he postponed experiencing the blessing and life's purpose that God had for your listening to living in the light with anagram lots as she continues her series in the life of Abraham.

I'm not sure God called Abram again and it appears that Abraham got restarted when his father died and I want to ask US to die before your get back on the road to pursuing God, but just thinking of that for a moment. I know 9/11.

I was home and my daughter called and said mom turn on the TV I did in time to see those trade towers come down in the Pentagon go up in flames and then that crater in the field in Pennsylvania and I knew on my television screen I was watching people was stepping into eternity and wondered how many of them are stepping into eternity ready to meet God face-to-face because people like me who knew him and made him known that the wake-up call and people are stepping and returning they need to know God and you like you and hold them to ourselves. Don't start out and stop halfway God's called you. You go all the way and follow him.

If you have already stopped halfway then would you decide to just once again restarts and pursue your personal relationship with God that you would grow in your knowledge of him and that you commit your life to making him known.

Jesus said in Luke chapter 14, any of you does not give up everything he has. Cannot be my disciple and he doesn't say those of you give up half of everything he says those of you don't give up everything can't be modified. You have to you must if you want to be a disciple of Jesus you leave everything behind verse four so Abram laughed and Abram was 75 years old when he restarted when he (there's somebody here you're already thinking God call me when I was younger, went halfway.

I'm sitting here realizing that call was a long time ago. I've missed it, it's too late.

Well it wasn't too late. Maybe you think you're too young and you got a life ahead of you thinking when you get married when you have a family you know when you get that good job when you get your career established or Abram started out when his father died and that call was re-triggered restarted in his life and he pursued God at the age of 75.

You're never too old and never too young.

It's never too late is Abraham left everything behind.

He left the familiar. He left the fence sitting on the fence you know we had one way and church in one way when were with our social friends. And when we when were out with our business partners and one way when worth old friend is just time to leave all that binds and just leave behind the familiar and you leave behind the fence sitting near leave behind the fears and I'm really reading into this because I see no fear of Abram's life in his life at all. In Canaan, but I'm just reading into it because of the way I think our mentality is today because in verse five it says that he took his wife, his nephew got all the possessions they set up for the land of Canaan and they arrived there verse six they traveled to the land as far as a side of the great tree of mar at Shechem and the Canaanites were then in the land so Abram comes down the Canaan and the Canaanites were all around him and archaeologist tell us that the Canaanites were among the most vile of all civilizations on the face of the earth and all of human history, the Canaanites had male and female prostitution is part of their religious worship. They had human sacrifice, they were pornographic and obscene to the extreme and they surrounded Abram and today you are surrounded by Canaanites and we see them on television in the movies and we hear them talking and we see them in the magazine and the books are displayed everywhere and we going to the mall we see the way the address and what their values are in the atmosphere that they create was surrounded by Canaanites and when you're surrounded by Canaanites are you afraid the witness you afraid to share the gospel. Abram right there in the front of the Canaanites. In verse seven he built his altar to the Lords and the Lord appeared doing right in your face and so I can just imagine gathering the stones and putting the sticks on top and getting his animal and slaughtering it in offering, the burnt sacrifice in the Canaanites, just staring in this is weird.

I'm in.

This is really strange. What are you doing well in worshiping God God which God is that the one true living God will who is see when he's the creator of the universe and he is said that we can come into right relationship with him. When we come to him by the blood of the Lamb and the Canaanites and its only way to God, the Canaanites, as they were. Oh that sounds exclusive. That sounds a little intolerant to see or don't you understand Kincaid and we all have our own God will worship the way we please and don't try to push her down on us and their Canaanites living all around us past week I've been listening to some of the talk shows and me are they pointing their fingers at some of what's and the way they talk about and I'm speaking of evangelical Christians the way they talk about is is like were Neanderthals and really in such disparaging language and if we're not careful, the Canaanites will intimidate us in the sounds because we don't want to be labeled stupid, ignorant, not progressive.

Whatever they want to say and so we want the sort of hot our light under a bushel paper which is building his altar right there in front of the Canaanites and doesn't say that any Canaanite really worshiped with them or came to know God, but you know what I think the blessing lies. Abraham was set free of any kind of fear and ability altar in front of the Canaanites and in essence to share the gospel and tell people about Jesus. Never mind if they respond you know is not our job to bring them to Christ is just our job to share Christ is a Holy Spirit job to bring them to Christ and there's a wonderful freedom that comes when we just live our lives is who we are, in fact, you've got to make effort to repress yourself, repress the light that's within you got to make effort to hide your light under a bushel, because I'll do what if you just living your life pursuing God in your growing in your knowledge of him, and you're making it known to others, and receiving a blessing that you might be a blessing. Your life is going to be in contrast to the Canaanites around you have to make much effort at all, and you're going to show up a difference and you have to make an effort to hide your light under a bushel. Don't do that.

Remember when our son Jonathan is here and when he was in high school long time ago. He went to the big public school downtown and he was changing classes not remember this audit. I have asked him if he remembered enough but I remember because was proud of him and I thought, gives life lesson but is walking down the hall and he bumped into some kid must've been quite a bump because you bought them all. You bump into lots of people in any way bumped into this one kitty and the kid turned around and just point out obscenities just cursed Jonathan out up one side and down the other using profanities and absences taking our Lord's name in vain and the Jonathan just grabbed by the collar and put them up against the locker and he said watch out buddy. That man died for me and then when he came home he was telling me what he had done and he got this big grin on his face and he said mom it just felt so good and I thought of that recently when I was invited to be one of the speakers at Mayday for marriage on the national Mall in Washington DC.

They had but 170,000 people there in blustery, windy, cold, rainy, and I was the third speaker and when I got to speak.

The rain was whipping Jonathan's about the hair stood straight on and would like a great halo and as soon as I woke the wind flip my words on mouse.

I got the microphone are just screaming about 12 minutes worth and when I got off the platform. I was thinking you know the stand on the national mall in the heart of the nation's capital in the heart of our nation and present Jesus as the only way to get right with God. The only way to have your sins forgiven. The only way to go to heaven when you die. That's a privilege and I'll tell you something that felt good and I don't know if you know what I'm talking pattern every share Christ with a hostile audience ever shared Christ to the hostile neighbor and I mean we don't want to be obnoxious and we don't want to shove it down your throat and we want to do it lovingly and win simply and graciously. But you know what it is. Share Christ to somebody who just spits back in your face but you know it's okay. Just feels good and there's a freedom that comes in just being who we are. Stir Briscoe tells a story that when he was in the Royal Marines that the Navy when they would go out and battle on the sea, that when they were in battle, and the enemy is trying to get them to surrender. They were supposed to lower their colors are lower their flag and that was international signal for surrender and he said when they were in a naval battle, he said, and the colors were up and they refused to surrender. They would just nail their colors to the mast so that their ship would go down with the flag before they would ever surrender and I think it's time that Christians today just nail the colors to the mast and we don't drop the flag for anybody anytime, anywhere. We just let people know right in their face that we worship the one true living God in the only way you can worship him in spirit and in truth, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. According the truth of his word, and the truth which is Jesus Christ. So we have to leave the theories behind us. You're afraid of sharing the gospel with the Canaanite stop afraid of worshiping right in the face of the world. Verse eight he moved on from there he went to Bethel and pitched his tent. Mary built an altar to the Lord. He called on the name of the Lord and I'm assuming the Canaanites were still around and share the gospel, not in a sentence praying in public is not you. How many times I'm in a restaurant and Velma had to say a blessing. A look around and very rarely do you see anybody just praying in public anymore. You do that maybe before you get your message you pray for Stephen on that Mall in Washington DC and they only gave me 12 minutes every second is precious and I took some of those precious seconds and just pray before I gave a little mess asking forgot how do we think we can say anything that would be meaningful to anybody except the Holy Spirit would permit us to and blessed and Abram just praying right in the face of the Canaanites ends building is altar, and it was interesting to me. In verse seven he had built his altar worshiping the Lord appeared to them first lady built is altar worshiping the Lord did not appear to and it reminded me after the resurrection.

Remember when the disciples in the upstairs room and Jesus appeared to them and that he was suddenly gone and then the disciples on the Emmaus Road. Jesus was with them and then he broke bread and suddenly disappeared and Jesus was with them on the shore of Galilee and any sum of it all is coming and going. You know what a world going on he was doing.

I think he was training his disciples to know that whether they could see him or not he was present in their midst. He was developing their faith in him and I think that's what he's doing for Abraham that whether Abraham can see them or not, whether he appears and that God is present in his life is God been training you in that way.

Has he removed a sense of his presence from you long you been going through a season of drowning. The last few years there've been times that I have felt absolutely abandoned by God and if you go on feeling she would just want to draw side dig a hole and quit but turn the Hebrews chapter 13 and Hebrews chapter 13 it says and I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. And I put my face down on the word of God not into my feeling and I think at times God withdraws our feelings.

He withdraws that conscious awareness of his presence so that he can strengthen our faith does not mean you've been abandoned does not mean you done something wrong.

It does not necessarily mean their sin and you like of those things can be a problem but could be that everything is right. He's just developing your face in his word so that you not going on feelings or visions or sites or whatever you just learning to worship and witness and walk and live knowing these present in your life whether you have a special revelation or not, whether you see them or not, will you hear from them or not is present in your life.

So Abraham left the fears and I'm not that he had fear but just looking at it from our point of view. If you want to pursue God. You have to be willing to leave Seo behind the fear of worshiping and witnessing in face of the Canaanites and doesn't mean that we don't sometimes feel afraid that I can tell you on the national mall, my heart was thumping and my knees were knocking and you know you can feel afraid, but you just don't give into it. Just don't be afraid. Love Joe Briscoe's definition of courage that she shared with his passionate pursuit. She said courage is just doing it scared and you just do it scared Abraham was doing it on if he was scared enough that he was doing it worshiping witnessing right in the face of the Canaanites and then he just kept on going and we find him going through Canaan and it goes down through the Negev. Now there's no word from the Lord. This told him to leave Canaan. He had arrived there, we know from verse four, verse five, he had gone to Canaan and arrived there and had arrived for God wanted him to be. And now he just keeps going. He reminds me of a new Christian who just get so excited that they start to run ahead of the Lord. So now he's going on to the negative nothings told him to leave no one's come to him and told him to leave. He's just continuing to go and leaving the place where God wants them to be and right at this initial time in his food of God's Abram fails in a most spectacular fashion and I'm so grateful that God is recorded for us for our encouragement because we set out to know God. We have this wonderful desire and payment and vision of following him in her pursuit and embracing the magnificent Obsession receiving his blessing to be a blessing.

All of a sudden we fall flat on her face and wonder how many of us at that point quit Abraham right at the very initial stage of pursuing God fail and he was leaving Canaan went down the Negev and failure in his life was very unintentional. Verse 10 is is now there was a famine in the land and he just decided that you know there's a famine there's not enough food here. I'm used to taking care of my family on the head of the household and I need to pursue food in another seven Egypt, I'm just going to take them to Egypt and it was just such a small decision. He was just going to Egypt for a little while there is no record that he prayed no record that he sought the Lord and failure is often in our lives. In fact I would say 99.9% of the time.

Failure is unintentional as housing I've ever talk to anybody who said that they decided they would get up in the morning and they would fail. I never talk to anybody that said today I'm just going to go out and blow my witness and today I decided to backslide his just creeps up on you is just such a little thing and it usually starts with a famine of God's word and I know in the past 10 years. While I'm busy in ministry there is a particular time when there was a famine of God's word in my life. You know you can study it to give it out. But I'm talking about reading to receive it to listen to God to let him speak to you spending time in prayer that takes time and when you're busy busy busy.

Sometimes you neglect your Bible reading and you neglect that personal communion and there was a time when I did and I made a little decision just a little decision and you know it's funny when you you make a little decision as you continue it like this. After while there's a big chasm between you and the will of God, and I found myself straight outside of God's will, just from a little decision that came from a famine in my life. If you neglect in God's word.

Watch out, and I know you can study it to give it out and if your Sunday school teach you teach a Bible class and you're in God's word and you all that and that's really wonderful you can be immersed in it. But that's not a substitute for your devotional life.

I know what I'm talking about and don't substitute your study of God's word to give out for your personal devotional to take and Abraham, just someone intentionally stepped out of God's will, just for a little while when there was a famine and he went to Egypt to handle the practical problem in his life and I think sometimes we can tell how we step out of God's will. When we make a decision and we haven't prayed about it, what decision have you made without prior decision about where you spend your vacation or were you going to go for Christmas or know what job you would take over your send your children to school or whatever the decision is even something to do in ministry and we make the decision, and while were carrying it out resting on the glasses instead of praying for and asking God to reveal his will to us. There is no record that he prayed he just stepped right out of God's will is a will and he had that food menu no.

There's a famine Canaan had to do practical things to take care of his family. But you know something if you say no. Maybe God would've if you prayed maybe God would've set a Vermont to go to Egypt but he was at the security, the God was leading and there.

Or maybe God would've set a Vermont to stay in Canaan to Dr. fit in with anyone we step out of God's will, especially when were in a hard place and the pressure comes on in the sabbaticals what we miss the blessing of seeing how God would've provided for us. We miss part of the adventure of the magnificent Obsession we miss getting to know him and how he can meet our needs when it seems to be impossible and Abram is the blessing of God would provide for him if you'd stay depended on God just goes down to Egypt for a little while failure that was unintentional became very miserable. Verses 11 and 12. We can tell he starting to worry because he is afraid to stay where he is with his family's afraid to go down to Egypt where he is going because he's afraid to going to killing for Sarah Sagan and what he's lost his days and is one of the first characteristics of somebody is outside of God's will. You're scared inside and you just lose your peace and keeps you up at night they set on easy horrible feeling mistress misery is just spiritual misery on the inside and you just know you're not where you're supposed to be and you're scared to go back to scared to go forward and just take matters into your own hands and is worried led them to wrongdoing. He told Sarah just say that you're my sister so that when they say you they will treat me well for your sake and seller actually was his half-sister.

She was the daughter of his father, but none of his mother and so that was a half-truth, but half-truth is a whole lot. And God says in Proverbs, he hates line and Abram lies ahead and got Sarah at the last foreign and his wandering had led the worry that led to wrongdoing. Have you wanted out of God's will. And then you lose your peace. You get worried and has the worry led you to do something wrong. Have you lot. Have you lied to cover up your why have you manipulated have you done something selfish, like Abram, his sin led to suffering an enormous suffering because Sarah was taken into Pharaoh's harem.

Can you imagine a worse situation for her to be in an Sarah. Her name means princess and I wonder if Sarah had been a princess or maybe just from a very well-to-do family very wealthy family and I would expect Sarah. The Princess had been pampered all of her life.

But even her friends were met and I know Abram put on a camel.

And you know she went 800 miles, but to the top of that camel had one of those little platforms of the little roof on here.

The tassels that dangled in an orbit their curtains drawn. So the sun would get on her skin when she got to attend at night or Persian carpets on the floor and satins and silk send. She was the pampered door, beautiful wife of this well-to-do chieftain and now Sarah, the Princess is taken into pagan man's harem in their strange language and strange culture and she's been put in a compromising position vulnerable to be defiled by pagan man Sarah suffered in the humiliation of knowing her husband and put her there and think of Abraham suffering when the famine was over these so selfish.

Selfishness is one of the hallmarks of somebody outside of God's will. Totally thinking about him self and when he saw her disappearing with Pharaoh's managing is the burden of the Kings. There must've been modified, horrified, what have I done to my beautiful, how will I get help. Now here's a man with this final word right at this initial stage of Abraham's pursuit of God.

Abraham failed in a most spectacular fashion because fear drove him to make a decision without asking God what obvious decision. Have you made without asking the Lord, are you neglecting God's word as well. I've never heard of anyone deliberately deciding to fail Abraham's failure wasn't intentional either.

I wonder did you begin a journey of faith then run ahead as Abraham did, until you two were rudely awakened by unintentional failure in your life. Does it make you apprehensive about beginning again. Is there a longing in you to embrace the magnificent Obsession, but your past experience warns you that you can't don't give up, no matter how far you fallen, God offers a way to reverse your failure tell God about your sin and your failure.

He is so gracious and merciful, full of compassion and lovingkindness.

He never turns away anyone who comes to him in humble repentance of the foot of the cross, tell them you're sorry.

Don't settle for less than everything God wants to give combat to the cross you've been listening to living in the light with and Graham Watts. If you'd like to share today's message go to and Graham where you'll find much to assist you in getting into the word of God and praying and sharing Christ with others join us again here next week for living in the life

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