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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.’” —Genesis 12:1 (NLT)
Humans tend to fear the unknown because we can’t anticipate the outcome. This creates a tension we don’t seem equipped to handle. David McRaney, author of You Are Not So Smart, said, “Driven by the emotional need to solve this tension now, your brain defaults to the easiest, fastest, and least-painful option. Thus, you don’t choose the best option — you stay in your comfort zone.” Sadly, this sort of reaction seems almost hardwired into the human psyche.
I think we all can relate to this. It’s easier to do what we’ve always done; to avoid risks and play it safe. We find comfort staying in the city we grew up in, near our family. It’s in our nature to stay at a job we’re comfortable with and revisit the same restaurants and order the same dish.
There are too many variables at play when we venture into the unknown; there’s danger and potential for failure. This prevents most of us from stepping out. But what happens when the One calling us to step out is God?
Let’s look at what Abram did.
One day, God comes to him and says, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” As a descendant of Shem, one of Noah’s sons, it’s implied that Abram knew God already. I’m sure he heard stories about how God spared his righteous ancestor Noah from judgment. So, when God called him out to a new purpose, he, like Noah, answered the call. He believed God, he put his faith in Him, he stepped out of his comfort zone, and he went where God showed him.
Abram had faith because he heard from God directly. Knowing all that God had done gave him the confidence to believe that He wouldn’t call him to do something and then abandon him. He believed God would be with him, that He’d equip, guide, and provide for him every step of the way. And as He always does, the Lord proved faithful.
Now, I’m sure most of us would say we would answer God’s call as Abram did. However, uncertainty has a way of keeping most of us, even believers, in our comfort zone, frozen in fear. So how can we exhibit the same kind of faith Abram did?
I believe it starts with being faithful in everyday, ordinary things—taking smaller steps of faith as we grow in a deeper relationship with Him. It involves surrounding ourselves with faithful men and women who’ve answered God’s call. It requires immersing ourselves in His Word and prayer daily so, like Abram, we would be able to hear from Him. And the best part, not only would God be with us as He was with Abram, but He would be in us through the Holy Spirit because of the redeeming work of Jesus!
DIG: Why do we fear the unknown?
DISCOVER: How have you seen this factor into your life? How have you experienced the fear of the unknown keep you from walking in God’s calling?
DO: Is there something God has called you to step out and do? Whether it’s big or small, pray today for the Lord to embolden and empower you to answer the call!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.