Friends of God, The Altars of Abraham: The Altar of Separation Genesis 13:5-15
We are friends of God through our relationship with Jesus HOWEVER Jesus qualifies our friendship by connecting to our faithfulness John 15:14-15…REVIVAL is needed when our friendship with God is not right!
Abraham’s altars show us the path that he took, which garnered him the name FRIEND of God! These four altars mark the unforgettable peaks of Abraham’s spiritual experiences in the pathway of faith.
THE ALTAR OF SEPARATION
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” 2 Corinthians 6:14
There are things you have to remove from your life or you remove yourself from those things to face your God. The call to separation is a biblical command that many have blurred over the years. AW Pink said, “We are fully persuaded that it is a disregard of this commandment, for command it is, which is largely responsible for the low state which now obtains so generally among Christians, both individually and corporately. No wonder the spiritual pulse of many churches beats so feebly.”
– Biblical separation refers to separating ourselves from the sinful things of this world.
– Biblical separation is not fellowshipping or having those connection with immoral and ungodly people.
– Biblical separation is avoiding anything that will make you appear to be involved in or approve any immoral or ungodly activity.
– Biblical separation is being in the world but not of the world.
We need to heed the words of scripture to BE SEPARATE! Abraham struggled with this full separation…His separation took place in stages
1. God told Abram to leave Ur of the Chaldeees
2. Abram went with his father and relatives to Haran and lived there
3. God told him to leave all. Abram left with Lot.
4. Finally Abraham and Lot separated.
If we are to be the friends of God, biblical separation must be a continual practice in your life. It isn’t easy, yet it brings about wonderful blessings.
The Scripture unfolds with Abram coming back from Egypt, practicing separation from the World but soon, circumstances make it clear that he has yet to fully separate from all that God called him too! He still had Lot hanging around. Remember God’s Call for him in the beginning, Genesis 12:1…from thy KINDRED…Lot was his nephew. You will never know the full extent of God’s promise OVER your life, God’s presence IN your life, and God’s power THROUGH your life until you make a full and complete separation!
A life of deeper separation leads to a life of deeper friendship with God!
I. THE PROBLEM (vs. 5-7)
A. The Cause of the Problem—things—when things control us instead of the other way around, we need to separate
B. The Course of the Problem—remained unresolved and got out of control
II. THE PROPOSAL (vs. 8-9)
Note: Abram displays a loving, gracious spirit when he deals with Lot. He gives a two-fold reason as to why they should live in peace. By the way, his reasons for them are still valid for the church today!
A. A Plea for Separation
1. we be brethren-we NEED to act like it!
2. the heathen are watching us-lost will use any excuse
B. A Price for Separation-Abram allowed lot to choose first. Sometimes we have to give up our own rights…are you going to be a RIGHT FIGHTER? Or a PROBLEM SOLVER.
C. A Promise for Peace v. 9, Genesis 12:7-Abram knew that God was in control and had already promised to give him the WHOLE land!
III. THE PLAN (vs. 10-13)
Note: Before us, we have two plans for how the separating went. It’s the same choice you have before you today! Will you choose like Lot or choose like Abraham.
A. The Short-sighted Choice of Lot-Lot did not truly separate himself, he just hitched his wagon to people who lived like he did!
1. he looked toward Sodom
2. he leaned toward Sodom
3. he lived in Sodom
4. he lorded in Sodom
5. he lost in Sodom
B. The Spiritual Choice of Abraham
1. God’s Word Confirmed—promised LAND, LEGACY, and LEGACY
2. God’s Worker Commanded vs. 17—RISE, REVIEW, RECEIVE
3. God’s Will Committed vs. 18
— Thus Abram moved to Mamre (vigour) in Hebron (fellowship). He was now separated from Egypt, free from strife, and enjoying complete security; hence “he built there an altar unto the Lord” to enjoy the peace and presence of God.
What is God telling you to separate from today?
Separation is a choice…2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
We must choose to embrace God’s promise of blessing through separation. We must choose to cleanse ourselves.
If we hope to be the friends of God, we must also choose to separate ourselves from the things that will keep us from doing His commands.