Motivations, detours, and stopping short

Genesis 11:1-9. Motivations are important. There is a difference in taking on a “God-sized” task for the glory of God and taking it on “so that we may make a name for ourselves” (v 4). Nehemiah and Ezra were “nudged” by the Holy Spirit to rebuild the temple and the wall of Jerusalem, but the folks who built the tower of Babel had different, more self-serving motivations. I think one of the greatest challenges of my Christian walk is discerning the difference between Godly and selfish ambition. Ultimately, I simply have to pray and trust that while I may make my overall plans, the Lord is directing my steps as I commit every day to Him.


Genesis 11:31. We must be careful not to stop short of God’s best for us. Terah and his family were on the way to the Promised Land, but they found a comfortable place and stopped short. It is my prayer that I will not be so comfortable in my life and ministry that I stop short of where God may want to lead me.

Genesis 12: 10-20. Beware of detours. My pastor in Seoul, Dr. Dan Armistead, preached on “Abram’s detour” last year. When the famine occurred in Canaan, the story does not indicate that Abram consulted God. Instead, he made the decision on his own to move to Egypt. Sometimes in crisis we tend to act too quickly, and this was the first example of a similar pattern in Abram’s life. And acting too quickly very often results in trouble!

Genesis 13:3. Again from Dr. Dan in Seoul, when we find ourselves on a detour that God did not direct, we need to go back to the place we were before the detour. Abram returned “to the place between Bethel and Ai,” and God met him there.

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