Listen. Take a moment to think long and hard about the people and things in your life that you lean on to feel whole, secure, happy and at peace. What are some of those people and things? What would it be like to give them up?
Read Genesis 12:1. What exactly is God asking Abram to give up? (Remember that in Abram’s day, there was no police force, there were no banks, and no social services. Your extended family provided all of those things.)
God’s command comes with three promises. Read Genesis 12:2-3.
What promises does God make to Abram? What will his family be like? How will God protect Abram and his family? What will his family do for the people of the world?
Note: the last promise of verse 3 is referred to as “the Gospel (good news) in advance.” Check out Galatians 3:8. The reason is that out of Abram’s family came the man who would save the world, Jesus Christ. Through believing in Jesus, we are adopted into Abram’s family and these promises become ours as well. This is one reason Abram’s family is considered “great”, and “more numerous than the sand of the seashore” (Genesis 22:17).
Respond. If God’s promises are true, how can you step out in faith like Abram? What is God asking you to leave behind? What specifically in your life is God asking you to trust him with? Be sure to be specific and personal as you respond to these questions.
One way to exercise your “faith muscles” is the practice of fasting. Fasting is letting go of something good for a short period of time in order to deepen your dependence on God. We fast during Lent to remember Jesus who fasted 40 days in the desert and overcame Satan’s temptation. He did this all for us.
Pick one thing to give up this week: It can be dessert, chocolate, social media, cell phone, the internet, the news, talk radio, movies; anything that you would miss.
If this thing you are fasting from will free up time, use some of that reclaimed time to reconnect with family and friends, and also to connect to God through prayer.
If this thing you are fasting from will save you money, consider giving that saved money away to someone in need.
Share. What is something you have learned from this lesson that you can share with someone else? Who will you share it with? Make a plan to share it with them this week.