By: Mark Smith
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar is at the very least an adventure filled with questions. I am sure that anyone who has felt a supernatural call to leave their comforting residence is faced with many, many questions. “What will it be like? Where will I live? What’s the weather like?” These are a few that come to mind. I am sure that Abraham had some of these similar questions when God called him to leave everything he knew and go live in unfamiliar territory. When faced with questions about where we are going, it is crucial for a Christian to remember the God who directed their steps first. Our God does not ask us to move forward without reminding us to look back. When his fingerprints have left smudge marks on our past, we cannot see our past experiences without first looking at where His glorious hands have been. Some things we see as obvious works by God, and others we don’t. There are many things he does without letting us in on the details. But whether we see it or not, we know without a doubt that He was there, moving, speaking, inspiring, and breathing life into us, despite our changing emotions.
My son, Gabriel, asks a thousand questions every day. When Amy and I were planning our move to Seattle, Gabe was very quick to ask why we were leaving. He was looking at how we would respond to this new move. To him, the move itself was irrelevant. It was our experience of the process that mattered most. If we were stressed, frequently doubted God, argued, and let our emotions fog the future, he would see God’s direction as a negative thing; that faith in God’s guidance is what brings stress, not joy. We were careful to see that his reaction was a response to our faith in God’s direction. We were leaving a legacy of faith; a legacy that either pointed toward God’s future grace or away from it. So the question arose, how can we leave a legacy of faith?
Genesis and Hebrews give us insight as to how Abraham had faith to obey God, despite any questions or concerns he had. “For he was looking forward to the city” (Heb. 11:10), by remembering, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2). Looking back on God’s past grace in our lives gives us faith to look forward to the future grace He will give us in our new adventures. This faith, the faith that looks back on God’s grace makes our new adventures secure, joyful, and exciting to have hope in.
When our family affirmed God’s call to move back to Seattle, we definitely had questions about what this next season would like. Although we had lived there before, our lives had changed in Guam. We felt like different people. We wondered how God was going to use us in Seattle. Questions about where we would live, people we would reconnect with, etc. entered our minds frequently. Thanks to God’s past grace, we were able to look forward to His future grace and provision. C.H. Spurgeon comes to mind when I think about the faith we should have in God’s future plans for us, “Has not God done it and proved himself a Sovereign? And must we not see in this that God in some way or other has fixed our destiny, from the very fact that the opening bud of life is entirely in his hands? It does seem rational that since God appointed the commencement of our existence, there should be some evidence of his control in the future parts of it.”
God is continuing to pour His grace on us in the future plans he leads us down. We can respond by remembering His past grace in our lives, telling our kids about it, and leaving a legacy of faith in our families. Look back, see His fingerprints, see the smudge marks on our lives as answers to the questions we have about the future. Our response will turn from anxiousness to joyfulness, from concern to celebration, from a lacking faith to a legacy of faith.