Progressive Commitment

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day

The Christian Life is a life of action and it gets brighter and brighter every day. Its progressive, always growing but it takes action and obedience. We WALK by faith, not by sight. If you are living yesterday’s life today you are in danger of backsliding.

How do we tend to live in yesterday’s life?

Abraham is the “Father of all them that believe” (see Romans 4:11–12), and we are expected to walk in the steps of his faith. Following are five main steps of Abraham’s walk with God.

The further you walk with God, the fewer your options are, until your only option is God. That is spiritual progress. It always means giving up something in this world. The moment you stop giving up, is when you stop spiritual progress.

What are examples of things you gave up in this world?

I. Step 1: Leaving Ur

A. Gen. 11:31–32— Terah took his son Abram (Abraham), his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran (halfway there), they settled there. 32 Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.

(this happened before, see Acts 7and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’ Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.)

Gen. 12:1-4The 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. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

The Lord told Abram to leave three things: 1. His country   2. His father’s house   3. His kindred (relatives)

B. Heb. 11:8—In this first step of faith he only left one: his country. Therefore, he progressed only halfway to the land of his promised inheritance.

Have you ever partially obeyed God?

Do you think geographical location puts limits on Gods blessing?

II. Step 2: Leaving Harran

A. Gen. 12:4–5; Acts 7:4—Through his father’s death, Abram was able to make the second release, from his father’s house.

B. But he still had his kindred, Lot, with him.

Many of us want to get to the promised land, but we want to take father with us and can only make it halfway and get stuck. What is father to you? It can be many different things from the past. Traditions, Associations, Relationships, Religion, Financial. The most common thing is our relationships or old friends. Don’t take father along if you want to get to the promised land.

Have you ever lost a relationship that freed you to walk in Gods promises?

III. Step 3: Separating From Lot

A. Gen. 13:5–7—The Lord permitted circumstances to arise which necessitated the next release: Abram let Lot go.

B. In Hebrew “Lot” means “a veil.” As long as Lot was with him, Abram could not see his inheritance even though he was in it.

C. After Lot departed, God told Abram that he could now look at his inheritance and walk up and down in it.

Why are toxic relationships so hard to turn away from?

IV. Step 4: Letting Ishmael Go

A. Gen. 21:9–14—Ishmael should never have been a part of Abraham’s household. He was the product of Abraham’s own effort, and had to be released in order for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham through Isaac, the heir brought forth by God.

B. This gives us a pattern for dealing with our mistakes. We must acknowledge frankly that we have made a mistake, and we must accept God’s solution, even though it may be radical and painful.

C. If Abraham had not released Ishmael, he could not have progressed any further in his walk with God. This is one common reason why Christians are not able to go all the way with God.

What do you think tends to hinder your commitment to God?

V. Step 5: Offering Up Isaac

A. Gen. 22:1–3, 10–18; Heb. 6:13–18—Isaac was the “miracle child” given by God.

B. But God’s highest will for both Abraham and Isaac could not be fulfilled until Abraham had released Isaac back to God.

C. After that, God released His fullest blessing on Abraham, and committed Himself to multiply Isaac. God can only multiply that which we give back to Him.

Has there ever been a point in your life where you had to return something to God?

VI. New Testament Commentary

A. Jas. 2:20–23 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.This final act of release brought Abraham’s faith to fulfillment, and earned him the title, “the friend of God.” The same principle applies to all of us.

B. 2 Tim. 1:12 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.—The secret of Paul’s victorious faith, in totally adverse circumstances, was the same as that of Abraham: commitment.