When God Tells Us to “Go”

Genesis 12:1, 4a, 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.” …So Abram went, as the LORD had told him.

As finite creatures, we favour directions. “Use 3 cups of flour to bake bread,” “Exercise for 30 minutes every day,” “Drive 200 miles to point A, fill up on gas, then drive another 200 miles to point B, stop for the day, and continue at 0600 hours.” We favour these details because they tell us where we’re going and exactly how to get there. However, God doesn’t always give us the details. Sometimes when He calls us to do something, He simply says, “Go.” 

In the call of Abram in Genesis 12, God told him to leave his country—his homeland, his people, and his family to a certain place. God didn’t give him any details. He essentially just said, “Get up and go.” I’m assuming most of my readers on this blog live in America. So, imagine God telling you to leave America, leave all your fellow Americans, and leave your family to a country you’ve never heard of (with the exception of your immediate family, because God allowed Abram to bring his nephew, wife, and other immediate family). How would that make you feel? How would that make your family feel? What would all the other Americans around you think? They’d probably say you’re crazy. It’s a tough challenge, right? In his call, however, Abram doesn’t ask any questions. It simply says, “So Abram went, as the LORD had told him.” What remarkable faith! Abram trusted God implicitly.

However, Abram was not alone, and I’m not referring to his family. God told Abram to go to the land He would show him, meaning God would be with him. How could God show him anything if He’s not with him? God calls each of us to various locations and vocations of life. He may call us to live somewhere else, whether that be something we feel within our spirit that God wants us to do or whether our vocation calls us to relocate. Even if we don’t move away from our community, just moving into a different vocation can be a challenge of faith. We might want to pursue one career, but God may call us to go into another.

When I’m ordained as a pastor in a few years, I’ll be what’s called a “second career pastor,” meaning I left my previous career to pursue the pastoral office. My original plan was to pursue a career in the Army. However, God had other plans for my life. I always felt the calling to pastoral ministry since I was 18, but while I was in the Army I felt that calling even more. I strongly felt God calling me to, “Go, study My Word, and minister to My people.” So I got honourably discharged from the Army and have been on this 8-year educational path to becoming a pastor. God has been with me the entire way even though I don’t know all the specifics. God is always with you on whatever path He has called you to follow.

Whenever God calls us to go somewhere, whether that be physical relocation or vocational reassignment, He always promises to be with us. We see this in Abram’s call. We also see it in the call of Moses. When God called Moses, he came up with all sorts of excuses not to follow his call. With every excuse, God told him how He’d use him. When Moses used his lack of eloquence as an excuse, God said, “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Exodus 4:12). In other words, “Don’t worry about your impediment, for I will be with you, using you as My mouthpiece.” Moses had all sorts of doubts, and every time God assured him He’d be with him. Yet Moses still doubted. I wonder how many of us are like Moses? I’ve certainly questioned my abilities as a future pastor many times because in my sin I’ve doubted God is with me, but He never fails to show me how He is truly with me. For example, one of my constant reassurances He is with me is my proficiency in the original biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew. If it were not His will for me to be a pastor, He would not have given me the ability to excel in the original languages He used to speak to humanity.

Likewise, Jesus commanded, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus commands us to go with no specific details—just the command itself. Notice His next words continuing in verse 20, however, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He commands us to go, but He also promises to be with us always until the end of the age! Yes, we have a Commander who commands us as His soldiers to go, but He is also our gracious God who promises to be with us always to protect us and give us the abilities we need to accomplish the tasks He gives us.

If God calls you somewhere that challenges your faith, trust that He will give you the tools and abilities necessary to do what He has called you to do. He doesn’t call us to certain places and to do certain things for no reason. If He has called us, He will enable us to do it. God does not fail to follow through on His promises. He is always faithful to give us the blessings we need to do His will.

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