“Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.”– Genesis 11:31 (ESV)
The following content is a compilation of outlines, direct quotes, and message notes from Brother Titus’s speaking:
We all need elevation, but in our elevation, there are two elements. Firstly, your view is enlarged; your person is elevated. Secondly, your self-life is also elevated. We are very complicated and can be filled with a lot of impurity; therefore we all need God to work on us to take away the garbage in us. When you are elevated, you begin to have something high, but your self-life is very involved. This complication needs a lot of the Lord’s work. If you do not see your self-life, you really can’t serve the Lord. The problem with servants of Christ rarely is not knowing Christ, but it is not properly recognizing their self-life. We need to realize that our self-life is an enemy of God. Our self-life should scare us. We need to learn to go through a process where our self-life is exposed.
In Haran (a hub of trade at the time) there is religious elevation, yet without much of the reality of God. Haran’s two rivers, Hiddekel (Tigris) and Euphrates, mean rapid, swift, powerful, and fruitful and sweet. Isn’t this our experience? Whenever a Christian gets saved, don’t they begin to have big dreams for the Lord? Don’t we have the feeling that we should be powerful in our work, and that we should bear fruit? Wouldn’t we be happy then?
When I was in high school, there were once 3 of us who prayed for our campus. We prayed desperately and powerfully. In the next 4 months, we preached the gospel to everyone. Even in between our classes, we would run to the junior high school and preach the gospel to a whole class. In that time, about 100 got saved, 60 were baptized. We had many romantic, zealous experiences in that time. But this can become Haran.
When people first love the Lord, they can easily produce a religious height. Outwardly, Abram had a very good elevation, but in substance, he missed the appearing of God as his reality. God had to appear to him again. He had to go to Haran for his elevation and training, but God had to call him again to go on from there. There was something very successful, but somehow this was not exactly what God wanted.
This is a warning to those who want to follow the Lord. If you stop in Haran, you never get to where God really wants you to be. Even if you have outward manifestation and are outwardly appreciated, this is not the reality of fulfilling God’s call, of having God Himself. Many Jesus lovers stop in Haran. Be careful. Never boast in any of your successes. The only one you can boast in is Christ Himself. Your success can be the termination of your going on.
It is easy for us to lose the vision of God’s calling. Don’t think that only mundane things can blur our vision. Even spiritual things can blur our vision. We need to continuously come before the Lord to beseech Him: “Appear to me again and again, and speak to me again and again!” It is scary when we have success. I am so afraid of being caught up in the work of the Lord, and to not operate according to vision. When God appeared to Abram again, more than His blessing (e.g. outward success) was involved; God Himself was involved.
May the Lord have mercy to appear and speak to us again and again until we only have God Himself as our everything.