Now the Lord said to Abram, “GO from your country, and your kindred, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”
You know I have read this passage many times and so many times I marveled at the magnitude of God’s request. He asks Abram to follow him to a land that He will show Him. In fact, the writer of Hebrews remembers this moment when He talks about the essence of biblical faith. He states that it was by FAITH that Abraham obeyed and went out not knowing where he was going.
It makes me pause and ask myself about my faith. I run through all the “what if scenarios” I can come up with. But something changed today as I came to the passage. In fact, this is the great wonder and joy of studying God’s word. It never gets old or stale. Its fresh bread everyday that we can feast on and be satisfied. He can take a passage that you and I have read a thousand times and the Holy Spirit of God can reveal something that has been there all along but today He wants you to see it new! Today was one of those days.
In Genesis 12 Abram was asked by God to GO. Now I have always marveled at His willingness to GO with no idea of where. I love adventure and love when I get the chance to experience something new but here is what I noticed today that for whatever reason has eluded me for years.
I knew God was specific in asking Abram to GO TO a place He would eventually show Him but God was also specific in asking Abram to GO FROM in order to follow Him. God asked Abraham specifically to GO FROM his friends, his family and all the comforts that he had learned to count on. This was just as big a step if not bigger than going to a land that He would one day show Him.
I realized today why for so long I have sensed a void in my relationship with God. It hasn’t been that He hasn’t REVEALED the UNKNOWN to me but rather my unwillingness to RECOGNIZE what I do know. A friend recently shared with me a great truth he had learned from someone concerning times of transition.
There are 4 stages that you must go through when starting something new:
Unconsciously incompetence – which is you’re unaware that you think you know but you don’t really know.
Consciously incompetent – which is to now move to understanding that you know that you don’t know .
Consciously Competent – which is the stage in which you know but you have to think through every aspect of it
Unconsciously competent – which is the final stage in which you don’t even think about it because you know it.
An example of this would be my 3 year old son Judah who always wants to get behind the wheel of the car. He thinks he wants to drive but he is totally unaware of any aspect of what it takes to drive a vehicle. Things like ignition, gas, brakes, drive, reverse mean nothing to him. All he knows is this is dads car and he wants to drive. He is unconsciously incompetent.
One day as he gets older he will slowly pick up things and get older and he might even take the keys behind dads back and start the car in an attempt to drive. But just like his dad did when he took his brothers keys when he was 10 he quickly realized he doesn’t know squat about driving.
Then there will be the day that his dad makes the decision to let his mother teach him to drive and she will share all the in’s and outs of driving and begin to let him drive with her in the car. As they do this for 3 months or so Judah will transition into a great place of knowing how to drive but he will have to think about every aspect of it from parking to stopping. All of this will lead to one day after several years of driving numerous miles and cars he will jump behind the wheel and not even have to think about it. He will just do it. This is where you and I want to be.
Today as I read this account of Abraham I couldn’t help but think of those different stages as it related to what God revealed to me in this passage. Rather than beat myself up for not doing this or doing that – I don’t get mad at Judah when he gets behind the wheel asking daddy to drive. I just laugh and tell him to go and he thinks he is driving but all the time I know he has no clue. Today I just recognized that I didn’t know certain things and that was okay.
You see, I am in a relationship with my Father and He is revealing to me what He wants me to see and know when He wants. I obeyed when He asked me to go. Even when I didn’t know it would be Atlantic City, NJ. But as I went, He has been showing me more about what I was GOING FROM than what I was going to. Reminding me of the cost of being obedient. Knowing that the void I felt in my life wasn’t God’s issue but mine. It came from my addiction. My addiction to my comfort and my unwillingness to change or transition. It would have rather stayed in that stage of not knowing anything than now knowing that was my issue. You see, I haven’t reached that final stage of simply be UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT when it comes to counting the cost but I do know that I must.
And just like one day Judah will know how to drive but think about everything, I too need to do that when it comes to following God. I need to focus not just on the WHERE TO but the WHAT FROM so that I can follow Him wherever He leads. Holy Spirit – keep revealing to me what I don’t know and grant me the wisdom, faith, and courage to act when I do see and know. This is my prayer today.