Philippians 1:6 . . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
All of us may get to places in our lives that we feel "stuck." There may be something we feel we can't get past. Let's look briefly at the life of Abraham's father, Terah, in Genesis 11. Verse 31, 32 tell us, Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran. Terah's plan had been to go to Canaan. But when he got to Haran, he stopped there and did not make it to his destination. Let's look at the previous verses and we just might get a clue of what stopped him. I don't think the names here are coincidental. Verse 28 tells us, While his father Terah was alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans in the land of his birth. Notice that the place Terah stopped had the same name as the son who died. Perhaps he couldn't get past his son's death. He stopped right there and didn't finish his journey.
Now, I know, there are a lot of ways we can look at this. And I can't say for sure exactly the full extent of God's plan for Terah. But we do see that Abram didn't stay in Haran. God called him to continue the journey his father had begun. And as Abram responded and resumed the journey, God made a covenant with him and thus began the story of the people of faith. Abram chose to believe God and act on his belief, to actually literally put feet to his faith.
What about you? Have you begun a journey and now find yourself stopped in the middle? Now I know there are different realities that may be true. Let's look at some of them. First of all, is this really where God called you or did you misunderstand His plan? Second, maybe you're like a runner in a relay race. Perhaps you are to go one leg of the journey and then pass on the baton to the next person. As in Terah's case, perhaps the baton was being passed to the next generation. And then the last possibility is that you've just let the circumstances of life drown out God's voice and you've just stopped and surrendered in defeat. Today's verse assures us that God has not stopped working in us. And Philippians 2:12, 13 continues to speak: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. And Paul continues to speak to us in chapter 3 as he likens our journey in life to a race we are running and says to us, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (vs. 14).
A dear minister friend, Chris Jordan, once illuminated this concept of running a race as he noted that many look at this race as a simple race over a distance but that in reality, this race is a hurdle race, with many obstacles before us that we must stretch over. The obstacle may seem like a mountain. But the Lord tells us what to do with mountains. Caleb, in the promised land, set out to conquer his mountain. Jesus told us that we can speak to our mountain in faith and it will be cast into the sea. And then there are those mountains that we can just climb or journey around them. Here again, what is God's strategy for us?
You are a hurdler. Don't just settle in the land of death as did Terah. Don't stop. Hear God's strategy and walk it out. Your journey is not over until it's over. Keep walking. Maybe you've stopped for a moment. Don't let that moment become a lifetime. Pursue God's plan and purpose. It requires time with Him to know the next step. He is with you!