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Genesis 12:1-20

Situation

God promised Abram that many nations would come from his descendants. Abram believed God and obediently moved to an unknown land.

Observation

Although old, Abram left his comfortable life in Ur with only the Lord’s word as a guide. Abram had a choice. He could either cling to his riches, religiosity, and respectability—or he could respond. Abram chose the latter
The life changes that he experienced were undoubtedly difficult, but he persevered through the difficult times.

Inspiration

A man once found a cocoon of an Emperor moth and kept it with the purpose of watching the beautiful creature emerge. Finally, the day came and it began to struggle through the small opening at one end of the cocoon. The struggle continued for hours, but the moth could never force its body beyond a certain point.

Finally believing that something was wrong and that the opening should have been larger, the man took a pair of scissors and carefully clipped the restraining threads. The moth emerged easily, and crawled out onto the windowsill. Its body was large and swollen, its wings small and shrivelled. He supposed that in a few hours the wings would develop into the beautiful objects that he had expected. But it did not happen. The moth that should have been a thing of great beauty free to float and fly, spent its short life dragging around the swollen body and shrivelled wings.

The constricting threads and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening had been God’s method of forcing fluids from the body into the wings. The “merciful” snip of the threads was the most cruel thing possible.

Often God lets us struggle rather than stepping in like a big brother to do our fighting for us. No doubt he could make it all so easy and every moment of life so pleasant. But as we struggle, becoming exhausted almost beyond endurance, changes occur in us which could not happen otherwise: the “fluids” expand our wings, and in time we can fly. Cut the struggle short at some crucial point and we are crippled forever . . . or until God gives another opportunity for struggle that will do what the first aborted struggle should have been allowed to do. (From Temptation: Help for Struggling Christians by Charles Durham)

Application

Are you experiencing a painful restriction on your lifestyle right now: a broken relationship, a betrayal of trust, a budget squeeze, some debilitating illness, jail time or some other discipline from the Lord? Can you see the plan God may have for you, turning evil into good—as he did for Abraham? Face your struggle courageously and patiently; God may be using it to prepare you for his promised land.

Exploration

Obedient Faith—Genesis 22:2–3; Deuteronomy 26:16; Joshua 1:8; 11:15; 1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:31; Acts 5:29.


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