I have lived in Northern California, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, all of my life, yet the moment the Lord spoke, “Move out of California Jasmine,” my response was “Where Lord?”. I questioned God then settled into fear instead of being obedient.
I was petrified. I do not have family, friends, or the finances to make that move a few thousand miles away from my hometown.
The first time I heard the words “leave California” was four years ago while helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. The experience of helping those who had lost their homes, clothes, and other valuables caused me to become emotional to the point where I believed I needed to relocate to Texas. I was willing to leave my life behind because of the strong “call” I felt to help the residents of Texas.
Once I arrived back home to California, all of my feelings of wanting to help left the moment I went to work and saw my family.
I understand that my own insecurities and ‘what ifs’ make it easier to use my circumstances to be disobedient to the Lord rather than to obey, but at some point in all of our lives our shortcomings never negate not walking in the faith or obedience that comes with being a follower of Christ.
My heart’s desire is to be pleasing and acceptable before the Lord, yet I know that my lack of obedience is a sign that I am not fully surrendered to Christ in all areas of my life. I struggle with being patient long enough for God to tell me the details of how He wants me to execute HIS plan.
Most of us have the faith in the easy things such as feeding the homeless, donating to the less fortunate, or volunteering our time and talents, then run away when true sacrifice is asked of us.
God has allowed me to experience some level of success, joy, and healing. I have been able to start businesses, get married, and restore relationships with estranged family members and childhood friends.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, God literally has been speaking louder and more clearly about me leaving California. In fact, during one week the Father had multiple people confirm when and where I should move!
My attachment to my disobedience reminds me of when Elijah became comfortable with being hidden during the time of famine. He was being fed by ravens and bread from heaven was falling from the sky, and the ravine provided him with water daily. God needed the Prophet Elijah to move but he would not unless his supplies were cut off. I am not Elijah, but it seems like my metaphorical brook has dried up and my manna from heaven has stopped falling because financially, emotionally, and spiritually I have become uncomfortable.
I know that it is my time to obey the voice of the Lord. I say this because while reading the Bible I was given another confirmation that God is requiring my obedience. The story of Abraham and Sarah spoke to me strongly because of their level of faith and obedience to have a child and move to a foreign land.
The faith and obedience of Abraham to leave his hometown is unmatched. The only other person whose obedience is comparable to Abraham’s is Jesus Christ who was obedient unto death on the cross. The story of Abraham leaving Haran is found in the book of Genesis (specifically chapter twelve). Let us take a quick look at a few verses.
“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. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
- Genesis 12: 1-3 ESV
When the Lord gave Abraham (then Abram) the instructions to leave he did not question God’s plan at all. Unlike Abraham, we tend to have a bad habit of asking God multiple questions instead of trusting that he knows the plans that he has for us (Jer. 29:11). Abraham is called a “friend of God”because of his immediate willingness to trust God at his word by doing what was asked of him. His faith is admirable but it is his obedience that truly establishes his legacy on earth and in heaven.
Abraham believed the word of the Lord deep in his heart to the point where he was willing to go against the expectations of those who were around him. His wife, his father, and his other family members were probably trying to understand why he would leave the comfort and stability of their community to take a journey of faith into a land that he did not know.
The fear must have been great for himself, his wife, and their household. Nevertheless, the relationship that he had with the Father must have given him the confidence to trust what had been instructed.
Do you have Abraham’s level of faith?
Can you believe in God despite the opinions of others?
Are you willing to leave the familiar to pursue the
The Lord will not ask anything of us that he has not prepared before we arrive. It does not matter the task, the request, or the lack of skills that you may or may not possess, God wants you to trust him.
I am trusting that my obedience this time to leave my hometown will bring me to the promises of Abraham. The promises that Abraham was given if he chose to obey God by leaving Haran was that: 1) he will become a great nation (a community of people), 2) his reputation will always be one of a pleasant aroma, and 3) that he will always live in abundance from generation to generation. I do not know about you but I need the promises of Abraham to be prevalent in my life for generations to come.
Therefore, we must choose whether or not we will trust the process that the Lord wants to take us through. Do we really want to stay in the same mindset, in the same work and/or social environment, and in the same relationships that no longer serve our progression as a person? I have been asking myself and God the following question, “What do I do to activate the blessings of Abraham in my life?” The answer the Holy Spirit has given me is to be obedient.
I am learning that God can teach you and show you the deep mysteries of the Kingdom when you control your emotions and follow his lead. He is pleased by our faith, but it is our obedience that will lead us into influence, freedom, and power.
Within the next six months my husband and I are leaving California, because we understand that the promises of Abraham will be activated when we have the faith and obedience that he had.
This pandemic has taught me that the Kingdom of God cannot be advanced without willing participants.
When God tells you to do something, may I encourage you to please do it. The blessing is in your obedience.
“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” James 2: 26 NLT
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