Comfort or faith to advance God’s kingdom

Published 6:21 am Friday, October 19, 2018


Religion columnist

We meet Terah, the father of Abraham, in Genesis 11:25-32. Abraham became the “Father of Many Nations,” and became one of the great men of faith of all human history. We read an interesting verse in Genesis 11:31, “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 Harran, they settled there.” Why didn’t Terah go to Canaan? We don’t know for sure, but it is interesting to note that he was heading to the place that God would later call Abraham to settle and make a history changing covenant with him.

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I think God originally called Terah to be the “Father of Many Nations,” but he got comfortable in Harran, and decided not to do the work of the Lord. So, God’s plans were not stopped by Terah’s disobedience, only slightly delayed. God turned to Abraham to do the hard work of being the “Father of Many Nations.” Terah is recorded in the Bible for being Abraham’s father, and that is about it. Abraham is remembered throughout the Old and New Testaments for being a man of faith, “Father of Many Nations,” and a blessing to all people.

First, let us see that God can do whatever God chooses, but God usually chooses to work within the bounds of human cooperation. Since Terah wouldn’t cooperate with God then God worked through Abraham who chose to cooperate. We can see a formula throughout the Bible that God uses: Revelation + Cooperation = Advancement of the Kingdom of God. God reveals to Abraham his plan to send Abraham to Canaan and enter into a covenant with him, Abraham cooperates with God’s revealed plan, and the Kingdom of God is advanced as the descendants of Abraham become the chosen people.

Now comes the challenge for us. Are we willing to ask God to advance his Kingdom through our lives? Are we willing to learn to listen for God’s voice, so we can hear God’s call? Are we willing to leave the safety of Harran (our homes, our routines, our comfort zones)? Do we want to live our lives to serve the Lord, or experience the benefits of faith without the challenges? Please note, Terah did not seem to pay a big price for disobeying God. He lived out a comfortable life in Harran as far as we can tell. We do not have to give our lives to the Lord to experience God’s love and blessings. Of course, what we remember about Terah (almost nothing), could likely be what God is able to do with our lives.

Before you decide to try to walk in such a way that God can use you to advance his kingdom please note that Abraham’s life was very difficult. There were many times he feared for the lives of himself and his family. God tested his faith and obedience all the time to refine him into the man of faith God needed to become the “Father of Many Nations.”

The choice is ours. Like Terah, you can choose the comfortable life of Harran. You can read about that life in Genesis 11:25-32 (seven verses). If we are interested in signing up for a more faith-filled, out of control life full of meaning and purpose as designed by God we can read about Abraham’s experience in Genesis 12-25 (thirteen chapters), plus the other 138 times Abraham is written about in the Bible. Of course, there is no guarantee that we will become famous in this life for letting God use us to advance his Kingdom, but the blessings we receive in this life and the next for eternity will far outweigh a few decades of comfort we accumulate in this short existence.

The choice is ours. Has God whispered his call to you to help him advance his Kingdom? How did you respond? Have you responded yet? What keeps you from saying, “Yes”? If you said, “Yes,” do you have any regrets? Almost all those who say, “Yes,” have no regrets, and come away from the experience with a life that has been a God-sized thrill ride.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit