“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 NKJV
Abraham. Pioneer and forefather of our faith. I’ve been studying his life and journey more closely and I’ve been learning so many new things. Reading over passages I’d read before, but seeing them through a different light and having my eyes opened to new truths.
Perhaps it’s because I’m still in the process of settling into this new land myself. A place I’d never been before, yet a place God promised, and brought us to. A place where my faith has been stretched and exercised in new ways, and where I’ve experienced His faithfulness at new levels. A place where my eyes and ears have had to learn how to hear and see differently. And a place that has required a different “cost” from me, if you will. A cost that requires me to lay aside what is familiar so that I can give myself to new levels of training and honing and learning so that I will become sharper and more in tune. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay to enter in to what He has for me, and what will eventually become the possession, the spiritual inheritance, of those yet to come. And here’s the big idea I want to leave you with today:
Just because something is promised to you doesn’t mean it it won’t come with a cost. In fact, it may come with a price greater than anything you’ve ever had to “pay” before.
Consider Abraham. God promised him the land of Canaan, to him and his descendants. He picked him up, moved him away from all he knew, and brought him to a land he had never set foot in. And even though he arrived in the land safely, even though it was promised to him, the very first piece of property he technically “owned” he paid a great price for. An exorbitant amount. In fact, no where else in the Bible is it recorded that someone paid that high of a price for a piece of property. Not even King David, later, when he would buy the land on which the temple would be built paid that high of a price.
Abraham paid four hundred shekels of silver for Machpelah (Genesis 23). It was the property wherein lie the cave where he would bury his wife Sarah. The cave that would later also be the resting place for Abraham himself, for his son Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. In other words, though the land was promised to Abraham, he still had to pay a price so that many others would eventually find their resting place.
Because that’s what pioneers do.
By definition, a pioneer is someone who opens a brand new door of opportunity so that many others can walk through it. They’re the first to do something that either has never been done before, or they’re the first to break away from the mold they were fashioned in to do start a new cycle, a new pattern of life. But it comes with a cost.
Have you ever been the first to do something? Maybe you were the first in your family to go to college and/or earn a degree. Or maybe you were the first in your circle of friends to truly forsake all and follow Christ. Maybe you were the first amongst all your other colleagues to take that leap, and start your own business. Or maybe you were the first, at your age, to own a home. To be debt free. To have a successful marriage when you came from a family line that marked by a history of divorce.
If so, then congratulations friend, you’re a pioneer. But I bet if I were to ask you, you’d undoubtedly say that there was a great cost associated with you stepping out and doing what you did. It may not have been a monetary cost, but there was no doubt a price you had to pay.
Pioneers see something that is not there yet, and they burn with a passion to see what they perceive internally – actualized externally. They go first. But going first often means going it alone. This is why the journey for them often seems lonely. Their surroundings constantly have a sense of unfamiliarity. At times they may find themselves looking and looking for something specific. A holy dissatisfaction driving them, if you will, to keep looking for what they know can be, only to be met with the disappointment of finding that what they’re looking for, doesn’t exist….yet.
Pioneers speak differently, hear differently, see differently and desire differently. They won’t settle for less. They won’t cut the corners that others are willing to cut. Many have difficulty living in the “now moments” because their minds and energy are given to what is “not yet”. And they seem to be driven by a force that is somewhat unexplainable, as if they are tapping into an unknown, unseen source of energy.
I say all this to say that if you’ve ever experienced any of these types of feelings, or tensions, or you’ve become all too familiar with some of the sentiments I’ve described, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. But pause for a moment and consider why you may be experiencing them. You may not have even thought about it in this sense, but it could very well be if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for….consider that God may have placed the capacity for that thing within you and YOU are the one meant to pioneer it….
Just because you received a promise doesn’t mean it won’t come with a cost. And it could be that you being faithful to your unique mission may require you to personally take up the cause for which you burn. It may require you paying whatever price necessary so that you can fashion and open that door so that others may one day walk through it.
If anything I’ve shared here resounds deep within you, then friend, I pray you never find any resemblance of what you’re looking for. Instead, I pray your holy frustration and dissatisfaction drive you, in faith, to pay the price and be the willing one who says, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.”