Abraham is a prime example of someone whom God asked to leave everything and go wherever. In Genesis 12:1, we read, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1b).
God asks Abraham to leave behind all he has ever known – his idol worship, his family, his inheritance, his safety, and his culture. We may not see this as a big deal because we live in a transient society. A lot of us leave home and strike out on our own. But as Von Rad says, “To leave home and to break ancestral bonds was to expect of ancient men almost the impossible.”
On top of asking Abraham to leave everything behind, God also asks him to follow Him wherever He leads. It is one thing to leave behind what you have knowing something better awaits. Think about all those immigrating to the United States. Many of them leave behind everything they have ever known for what they believe to be a better life in the States.
Put yourself in Abraham's shoes for a moment. Imagine God asking you to leave your home for a place you know nothing about. You don’t know what kind of life you will lead there, if it will be safe, or if you will have an opportunity to provide for your family. Thinking about it like that, we see just how tough of a decision Abraham had to make.
Abraham, however, isn't the only one God asks to leave everything and go wherever. He also asks us – Jesus' disciples – to do the same.
A couple of years ago my friend John (not his real name) and his wife left family, friends, and all that is familiar to them to move halfway across the world to live in Africa as missionaries. While they were willing to answer God's call, they didn't have a complete picture of what was in store for them. They didn’t know they would move several times, suffer several illnesses, or be robbed and extorted for money on multiple occasions, nor did they know the extent of the heartache they would experience. Even though they were in the dark about these things, they went anyways. As far as I know, they don’t regret answering God’s call, and they aren’t planning to come home.
While God certainly asks missionaries to pick up their life, leave everything, and go wherever, His call on His disciple's lives doesn't end there. In other words, God doesn't just ask missionaries to leave everything and go wherever, He asks us all to give up everything and go wherever He leads.
Sure, God may not ask most of us to move halfway around the world, but He does ask us to give up our life – our will, our desires, our wants, our safety, our family, all that is comfortable to us – and go wherever He leads.
Are you ready to leave everything and go wherever God leads?