There he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
For fifteen years, Abraham was living in Haran instead of traveling all the way to the promised land. Did you know during that time there is not one instance recorded where he ever prayed, where he ever worshiped God, where he ever sought God’s direction? For fifteen years, Abraham was estranged from God. Why was that? It is not hard to understand–he had disobeyed God. And whenever you are living in disobedience to God, you do not want to draw near to God; you want to stay as far away from God as possible.
So when Abraham finally obeyed God and arrived in Canaan, the Bible tells us the very first thing he did was to build an altar where he would meet with God regularly (Genesis 12:8). In fact, I think that was the secret for Abraham’s spiritual life from that point on. The only way he could maintain his otherworld focus, in spite of all the money that he had, in spite of the cesspool of a culture in which he lived in Canaan, was by building that altar and meeting God consistently.
Do you have an altar like that? Is there a place in your home, in your business, where you meet with God regularly? That is the only way to keep your focus on the next world instead of this world.
Maybe for you it has been months, perhaps even years, since you have opened a Bible, since you have knelt down before God in prayer. And you feel like you are just idling in life. You think, “Up to this point my life has been a disappointment. I have not achieved the goals I had for myself, or even that other people had for me.” Deep down, I think you know the reason why. There was a time in the past when God asked you to do something. He asked you to obey Him–maybe by letting go of something in your life, maybe by stepping out in faith to something He was calling you to do. But instead of obeying God, you pulled back from God. And for these months, these years, you have been living in Haran instead of Canaan. You have been living in disobedience, like Abraham was.
May I offer you a word of encouragement? If the story of Abraham tells us anything, it tells us it is never too late. It does not matter how old you are–it is never too late to meet God at the altar, to hear His voice, to obey Him completely. And when you do that, you will be known as a friend of God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “One Pilgrim’s Progress” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org