“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.’…So Abram went” – Abram (Genesis 12:1-2,4)
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.” – David (Psalm 39:12)
Everyone loves to get an invitation! To know that someone is planning an event and they thought of you and they want YOU to come. “You are invited!” is what it says on the front of the card and we mark it on the calendar and put the invite on the fridge. Yep, there is something special about being on the guest list for the party!
The story of Abraham in Genesis is about being invited. In his story the Bible reveals another foundational characteristic of our loving Father (remember: it’s not about Abraham, it’s about God). Our God is a God who invites us to the party! He wants us to come to His house, hang out with Him, and be a part of what He is doing. From cover to cover and story to story God invites people into His presence and into His work. This is important to us and exciting because it let’s us know that we are also on the guest list! That’s right…”You are invited!”
There are several things that this tells us about the Father and how He feels about us. First, God is the “Initiator”. He reached out to Abraham. Over and over we have seen that God is the one who seeks us out. He is the one that approaches Abraham. God made a personal visit to give him the invitation…”hand delivered”, so to speak. You need to know today that the God who created you has invited you to His party. Maybe you weren’t sure if you were on the list. You are.
Secondly, God is the Host of this party! This is God’s world and it is His house. Many lose sight of this because we think of Heaven as being God’s domain and the world as ours. Wrong! Both are God’s! It is His work and He invites us to come along for the ride. As David said in the Scripture above, we are “Sojourners”, “guests” in His world.
Thirdly, this reveals how much God values us. If He didn’t like you He wouldn’t invite you to His party. He loves you! He wants you to be with Him on this journey. No one forced Him to ask you. In fact, it’s not because He needs you, but simply because He wants you to be there.
Abraham’s story also shows us some things we can expect on this journey once we accept this invitation. It will require you to move “with” Him. God is on the move and you cannot stay where you are in life and follow God. For Abraham it required a physical move. For all of us it draws us out of our comfort zone and into the Kingdom work! Our creative God is seldom satisfied with the status quo!
This “going with God” also requires faith. This is trusting God enough to follow Him courageously in obedience. It is knowing that your Guide on this journey will always have your best interest in mind and will always be with you. It was not always easy for Abraham and this brought fear and doubt, but God challenged him to take Him at His word;
“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, ‘Fear not Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’… And He brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ And he (Abram) believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:1,5-6
Through the story of Abraham the Bible reveals to us a Creator who loves us and desires fellowship with us. He invites us to this party called the “abundant life”. It will be thrilling and challenging but He will be with you every step of the way! Throughout the rest of the Bible this Truth continues to be proclaimed…
“You are invited”