Our journey of faith is accomplished in stages. It is not a process of continual motion following a detailed road map. There are seasons when we have to stop and wait for a fresh word of direction from the Lord. These stages are where our faith deepens.
In Scripture, Abram is a great example of what it means to live a life of faith. What I appreciate about Abram’s journey of faith is the fact that he was not given instructions or even the destination, just a promise. The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). In other words, “Abram, right now you don’t need all the details to energize your faith. You just need to trust Me and I will get you there.”
When Abram obeyed the Lord and began his journey, the text reads “Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev” (12:9). Not all of these faith journeys lead us to new geography like Abram. Some journeys take us to a new way of thinking, a higher level of understanding, or in some cases, a new season of life.
Abram was an altar builder. In his journey toward the land God had promised him, he would construct altars along the way at each stage of the journey. When he was passing through Canaan, he set up camp by the oak of Moreh. “Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord” (12:7-8). Wherever Abram traveled, he left behind physical evidence of his passage. That evidence became a memorial of his continual trust in the Lord’s ability to faithfully lead him.
Each of us is currently living in a stage of our journey of faith. What kind of evidence will we leave behind to let future generations know we passed through this season still trusting God? Perhaps the most profound form of evidence future generations will discover will be our choices made in this stage of life to continue trusting the Lord even when we were not sure of the next step, or the final destination.
A life of faith is supposed to leave behind historic faith-altars for our families, friends, and future generations to discover. These altars will encourage them in their own journey, especially when they feel like giving up. At just the right time, they will see our altar and it will give them the confidence to keep going. Our altars will serve as a reminder that the Lord will always be faithful to get us to the place He promised if we are willing to follow His presence and trust His direction.