Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired at Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.– Genesis 12:5
After Abram’s father Terah died in Haran, God appeared to him again with the same calling: “Go unto the land I will show you.” Watchman Nee said, “It is easy for us to lose the vision of God’s calling. Even if we are consciously trying to be a proper Christian, it is still possible for us to lose our vision. We can lose our vision even while we are working diligently day after day. Do not think that only mundane things can blur our vision; even spiritual things can blur our vision…If we do not live continuously in God’s appearing, it will be easy for us to lose the vision of our calling. The calling that the church has received is the same as the calling that Abraham received…How easy it is for us to forget what God wants us to do! We need to come again and again to the Lord and beseech Him: ‘Appear to me again and again, and speak to me again and again!’ We need to have a continuous seeing, an eternal seeing; we need to see God’s goal and what God is doing.”
The following content is a compilation of outlines and message notes from Brother Titus’s speaking:
Soon after the second calling, Abraham began his real journey to the place God would show him. He brought all his possessions and they went as a big group, so they moved slower. This time, they went down south. It was a hard, difficult, months-long journey, and God never told him exactly where to go, only “to the land that I will show you,” so they could not find a place to settle. However, we should see that just as Abraham journeyed on earth to find the land, we also journey in the spiritual realm to gain Christ. Abraham’s journey can be like the stage of an advancing Christian, and we also need to aspire to be advancing like this.
However, in our journeying, we lack a supply of life. We are young and inexperienced and cannot trust our lives to the Lord. We pray to the Lord and consecrate our lives, but we need His blood to cover us because we lie to the Lord all the time. We say we want to love the Lord, but we are often unfaithful. When we are young, we say we “trust our lives to the Lord,” but we turn our back on Him once we go to college, get a job, or get a promotion. Five years later, you might be married or have kids. Will you still be faithful to the Lord then? There are many people who love the world, love money, who say that they are still for Christ and are willing to support the church with their riches, but is that what the Lord wants? The Lord Himself wants to supply us.
Abraham was moving forward by faith, but there was an inadequate supply and he could not say that he could trust everything to the Lord. But at the same time, he couldn’t go back. Have you ever been short of food in your Christian journey and wondered if you should go back? When we’re young, we think following the Lord is easy, but when we really confront the world, we realize that it’s not that easy. However, when we have the thought of going back, we realize we can’t. When you really follow Christ, you realize that following this way is impossible with man, and it is only possible with God. The faith that Abraham was experiencing at this moment was a “struggling faith”–“I know God will take care of me, I’m following the Lord, BUT…” Growth is when the “BUT” becomes smaller and smaller.
After being so high (Haran), Abram was humbled. Now, he began to follow the Lord in weakness, in limitations, and in faith. This became the major characteristic in his life, and it was in this state that he reached Shechem, which means “shoulder” or “strength.”
Reaching Shechem, Abraham felt his strength was rejuvenated. Here, he could enjoy God’s provision and realized that he is short of nothing. It’s not because of the herds and riches that he has, it’s because he has God that he is short of nothing. After a hard journey through many months of toil, the Lord sustained Abraham and showed him Shechem, a good piece of land. Many people feel that serving the Lord is such a big price, but if you don’t serve the Lord, what will you get anyways? Who really loves the Lord? Yet the Lord is always able to keep you and preserve you for this journey.
In our experience, the journey from Haran to Shechem is hard but sweet. We may realize that following the Lord is not that simple, and that in our own striving we can’t please Him. But in our weakness and limitation, the Lord can become our true strength and supply. We may feel like we cannot go on, yet somehow we can. We may think we can’t overcome a certain situation, yet somehow we make it through. These experiences of true weakness is when the Lord proves how sufficient He is and that He is our Shechem.