The Old Man Must Go
NOW the reason for Abram’s wasted years and for God’s halting him at Haran is given to us clearly in Genesis 12. Abram had believed God and he had left behind, Ur of the Chaldees. So far everything is good. He is out of the city of the flame, and he is away from the land of destruction. But Abram had not fully obeyed God’s word and therefore he must now learn an important lesson in the adventure of faith. He was out of Ur, however Ur was not yet out of him. Remember what the Lord had said to him:
Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1.
Notice carefully, “The Lord had said to Abram, get out of your country.” But from the verses in Genesis 11, we learned that Abram had actually failed to do this. Instead, Abram took with him his father, Terah, and his nephew, Lot. God had distinctly told Abram to leave his kindred and friends; two things are represented in this; the world and the flesh. The country represents the world about him; his father and Lot were types of the flesh. When God chooses us, even today we must be prepared to leave both those things behind; the world and the flesh.
While Abram left his country, he nevertheless took the “flesh” along. For this reason God interrupts His child, to teach him the lesson of separation. Salvation is by faith and faith alone, but if there is to be progress and growth, blessing and victory, there must be separation from the world and from the flesh. That is the next step after conversion. After God had said, “Let there be light,” on the first day of creation, He performed an act of separation on the second day—separation of the waters above the earth and upon the earth (Genesis 1:3-8). The greatest need of the church and of Christians today is to learn the lesson of separation from the world and from the flesh. Thousands of Christians are at a dead standstill (like Abram was in Haran), groping in doubt and fear and uncertainty, having made no progress because of the fleshly habits and sins still holding on in their lives.