Are you thinking of moving…looking for adventure or the Promised Land? Sub-zero temperatures, mounds of snow, frozen water…and all the hassles that abound in winter prompts many to dream of moving away. Retirement and illusions of oceanfront relaxation inspire some moves. Career opportunities fuel our mobile society too. For others, sunny skies of opportunity are not their driving wind; their clouds are of another sort: Past failures, current strains and sheer hopelessness power dreams of moving.
The simple explanation is in the old adage, ‘The grass is always greener on the either side of the fence.’ Sometimes it is; often it is just a different season on the other side. How do you make the decision to pull up stakes and re-root? How do you know when the desire is right?
Abraham is a great Biblical role model who helps us explore the substance of a move. Originally a resident of Ur in Chaldea (modern-day Iraq and reputed ancient site of idolatrous worship), Abram’s father, Terah began the migration. It was in Abram’s later years (over 70) that Abram heard God calling him to what we now call ‘The
Promised Land.’ So, how does that help us decide on moving? Abram’s story reminds me God works in the circumstances of our lives. Today is not isolated from yesterday…nor is tomorrow disconnected from today. All of life is a faith journey; our physical residence is one aspect. A move offers great potential for God to work on new facets of our lives.
As you contemplate a move, ask God to reveal to you the journey He has been mapping for you over the years. God put it in Terah’s heart to move from Ur…and later put it in Abram’s heart to step out in faith to an unknown physical destination. How has God been shaping your life? How will moving impact your current responsibilities? What expectations do you have for the next five or ten years? In Abram’s case, he stayed in Ur until his father passed. Scripture indicates his brother remained in the area of Haran while his nephew came with him.
God is orchestrating the lives of others as well as ours. His presence will remain with those on a different journey—just as it will go forth with you if you move. Moving to a new location opens the door for God to work because it takes us from our comfort zones. It requires us to release some control and walk in faith. Sometimes, though, the obligations are clear and roots not ready to be unearthed. The timing of God is perfect; seek his face and you will find peace in your decision whether it is to go or to stay.
For Abram, the move clearly commanded by God, his journey began. Unpacking all that journey offers to we who are ‘pilgrims’ in this foreign land is a life process. His stopping points are instructional. First, he passed through Canaan and moved right onto Shechem. Shechem means a place of burdens; we often pass through Canaan (a place of humble-ness) and bear burdens God never intended. Abram and Sarai wandered into Egypt, a place of ‘do-it-yourself’ living. We all go there too. They suffered the separation from Lot when he chose the land that ‘looked’ most lovely…and finally, we read ‘they dwelled in Canaan.’
There is a Promised Land. A move doesn’t take us there but it helps us arrive there! The Promised Land is living by faith…it is moving into the plans God has for you and trusting Him to fulfill His purposes through you. The story of our journey to my husband’s promised land can be read here.
So, is there a move—physical or spiritual—in your future? What do you see God doing in your life? Will it take you to a new region or just new spiritual depths?