Sojourning Through Life
a walk with Abraham
Life is full of all kinds of trials and struggles. So many times we face the hardships of life and wonder why; but we know that as a father allows his children to grow through circumstances of life, so does our heavenly Father. He allows for circumstances of life to help develop, shape, and mold us into the image of His Son. That is what sojourning through life is all about.
The word sojourn is used for the first time in scripture in Genesis 12:10, "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land." The word sojourn simply means to dwell beside, among, or by. It means to dwell in a place as a stranger. Genesis 12:1-9 is the beginning account of a great man of faith known as Abraham. God calls him out from his own family and land in verses 1-3, but God gives Abraham a promise that He will make of him a great nation. He will bless him and cause his name to be great among the other nations. Yet in verse 10 the Bible says, "... there was a famine in the land: ..." When faced with a situation in life that he did not understand, Abraham left the place which God had promised him to find his answers in Egypt. Egypt, in Scripture, represents the world.
Often times this is exactly what we do when faced with circumstances of life that we do not understand. Times get hard and we look to our circumstances of life to dictate what we do and how we think. When we become overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, we lose sight of the promises of God. In Genesis 12:7, Abraham built an altar to remember the promises that God had made to him. These promises were to make of him a great nation and give him the land in which he dwelt; but Abraham forgot all of that when circumstances of life did not make sense to him. Instead, he tried to solve his problems on his own and find his answers in the world.
When sojourning through life, we will always be faced with tests of our faith. Abraham was faced with such a test. He could continue to trust in God to meet his family's needs in the midst of the famine, or he could trust in his own understanding and meet his needs on his own. In Genesis 12:11-20, we see Abraham's failure in following his own understanding. He becomes consumed with his own needs rather than trusting God. In Genesis 13:1-4, the Bible says that Abraham went "... unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, ..." and he went back to the altar that he had made that reminded him of the promises of God. Abraham realized that when he allowed the circumstances of life to cause him to lean upon his own understanding, he lost sight of God and His promises. The lesson that Abraham learned was to stay close to God even when the circumstances of life do not make sense. Remember His promises and do not lean upon your own understanding. Allow your hope and trust to be in Him and do not allow the circumstances of life to derail you from the presence and promises of God.
Written by Andy Horner