Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place
Pulpit Series Volume 17 Issue 19 05/20/2007
Genesis 12:1, 4, 5 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get out of your country and from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you:
Our call is like Abram’s call - a call to Total Separation!
God called Abraham to leave—his country, his relatives, his father… So Abram departed, as the LORD had said; and Lot his brother's son went with him… However, it wasn’t a complete separation!
If we want our faith to please God then we need to be totally separated! This is a two fold separation. We are to be separated from the world and separated unto the Lord.
Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed.
Even though Christ was in the world He was not of this world and neither are we to be. Our citizenship is in heaven and we are only ambassadors here representing Christ. A question we must ask ourselves is are we living and acting as an ambassador of Christ or are we just enduring this separation.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon
Now Abram heeded the word of God but not completely.
Many Christians today start off like Abram… they start out with great enthusiasm to follow the Lord, perhaps as a result of a crisis but then later grind to a standstill in their walk.
The key is perseverance, enduring to the end.
God’s call to Abram to leave his country and go to an unknown country is comparable to leaving the world behind looking toward heaven.
God’s call to leave his relatives was comparable to leaving the old nature (the old man) or our flesh nature behind.
Abram went through a lot of self inflicted misery, trials and pain because he really wasn’t separated… but now in Genesis 13 we see a separated relationship developing.
Genesis 13:2,5 And Abram [was] very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold… Lot also had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Genesis 13:8 And Abram said to Lot, Let there not be strife between me and you, or between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are family….
As we look at the lives of these two men we see that
Abram’s life symbolizes a spirit controlled person.
Lot’s life represents a carnal (worldly) person.
Our walk with the Lord requires, rather it demands total separation.
Lot was not separated. It is not noted that God spoke to him. I Corinthians 3:1-3 Brethren, I could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat because you are not able to deal with it, nor are you yet able. For you are still carnal: because there is among you envying and strife and divisions, you walk as men…
Abram built altars to God and pitched his tent.
Lot built his tent and pitched his altars.
Lot lived by sight, Abram lived by faith!
Abram seemed interested in pleasing God, but there is no indication whatsoever of Lot even being interested in God.
Lot got himself into major trouble, just as any believer gets into trouble when he/she does not take time to fellowship with God on a daily basis.
When Lot left Egypt he took something else with him which did him far more harm and damage than his possessions… a worldly spirit.
The conflict between Abram and Lot illustrates the struggle that takes place between the spirit and the flesh.
Lot was self-centered and greedy, Abram was generous and kind. Genesis 13:8-9 And Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife between me and you separate yourself from me: if you wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Do you have enough faith to let God have his way to leave things to him without worrying about the outcome?.
Do you stick with faith even if it doesn’t go your way?
Abram was called to Canaan not Lot, yet he gave Lot the choice. He could have insisted on his rights. God had given the land to Abram not Lot. Abram was older, the first choice should have been his - but he had an unshakable faith in His God. He knew full well that no matter the results God’s will would be done!
Abram chose peace by giving Lot first choice.
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as it is up to you, live peaceably with all men.
James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to take, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
As Christians we are not to insist on our rights, even as Christ did not insist on His.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Lot chose the things seen, things with no eternal value. Genesis 13:10-11 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…...as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Genesis 13:12-18 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. The LORD said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward and southward and eastward and westward: For all the land which you can see I give to you and your seed forever. I will make your seed as the dust of the earth….. Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it; for I will give it to you. Then Abram removed his tent and came and dwelt in Hebron, and built there an altar to the LORD.
In Genesis 19 we read of Lot’s demise. (his wife, daughters)
Joshua 7:21 describes Achan - he saw, he coveted, he took.
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
I pray that you will be moved by the Word of God, not by self interest. I pray you lean on the promises of God and not on your own understanding.
Remember you are charged by God to come out from among the world.
II Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
filthiness of the flesh = sins of the mind, our thinking /attitude
If you are going to be what God really wants you to be, you must be careful to confess your sins.
Please take note that it was not until there was complete separation on Abraham’s part that he was fully in the will of God.
Abram: Spirit led, walked by faith, Generous and spiritual, Looked for a city whose builder was God, became father of all believers, made heir of Canaan’s land, pleased God.
Lot: Flesh led, walked by sight, self-centered and worldly, looked for a man made city, had no testimony with his family, lost his wife, his daughters committed incest with him, became father of desert tribes, lost everything when Sodom was destroyed.