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Alter

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1

From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 12:8

Being a Christian means we don’t always get our terms with God, though we know that the loving Father will not give us a serpent when we ask for a fish (Luke 11:11). But like Abraham, God did ask him to trust Him and let go of his human tendancy to control and to know everything. In Genesis, God simply told Abrahma to “get yourself out of there.” To where? “I’ll show you later.” Later, He promised Abraham a son. When? And how? “I’ll show you later.” There is no “I’ll follow if I know this, this and this,” or, “I’ll follow if this make sense.” Hence, the authority of God and His words, and the granted faith and obedience on our part to follow.

On the plane coming back to OC last night, thinking about the above scriptures in light of Pastor Tim Keller’s sermon, I thought about my settling in California this time. It hasn’t been a smooth transition. It’s especially hard when I know at the back of my mind that I might be uprooted again in a couple of months or half a year.

In Genesis, we see Abraham moving from places to places, going back and forth in different land. When God appeared to Him, he built an alter. When He didn’t, he built an alter to “call upon the name of the Lord.” Perhaps it is this kind of faith which God requires of us when we follow Him - to wait for His direction and keep seeking. Here in OC, I need to build an alter to call upon His name and patiently, faithfully wait.

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