Introduction: God’s desire was that Abraham, as a believer in a lost world, would spread blessing to lost men (cp. 12:3). His sojourn into Egypt was NOT a blessing to the lost – it was a curse. How did Abraham kill the spread of God’s blessing? What could he do about a lost testimony?
Sliding Downward Into Failure in five easy steps!
Step One: Discontentment. The discontentment with the “place” God put Abram in sent him packing to a “better” place. It also led him into the heart of a series of perils (12:9-10). Principle: Where God places us is the best place to be. When we kick against His revealed will, we may feel we are getting more of our own way, but we are heading for long-term disaster.
Step Two: Fear. The problems brought on by Abram’s choice to walk away from God’s revealed place for him led him into problems. In the midst of the peril, fear set in. He found himself frustrated and vulnerable (12:11-12). Principle: Without the assurance that we are in the center of God’s place for us, we are vulnerable to sweeping fear and frustration!
Step Three: Deception. The fear and vulnerability led to Abram trying his best to “cover himself”. He did not turn to God for aid, he solved the problems in the realm of the flesh. In the end, he found it easier to lie, and the poison of deception thwarted his testimony to both his wife and the world. His misplaced trust is a notable tip-off to the problem (i.e. “of thee” in12:13). Principle: The “father of lies” will do his work in us when we have left our “place” and are walking in a way that opens us to deception. We will be deceived into believing WE can solve our problems, and then DECEIVE others as the lies spread. We cannot be an uncompromising testimony to truths we don’t believe enough to consistently live!
Step Four: Hypocrisy. The encounter Abram had with the world was met amid deception and a total departure from his walk with God. He killed his testimony by reaching out in deception rather than in a genuine walk of integrity (12:14-16). Principle: We cannot give out what we don’t possess. We cannot urge others to trust a God we do not!
Step Five: The Rotten Fruit encounter with Abram left Pharaoh in worse shape than he was before this “man of God” came to him! In the end, instead of bringing the blessing that should come when a believer enters the scene, Abram brought pain! Pharaoh loathed the God of Abraham (12:17-20)! Principle: A believer walking in defiance will bring pain and heartache to the people he should bring blessing to!