Sell up, pack up, follow me.

Packing up
  • Post category:Personal stories
  • Reading time:4 mins read

What would you do if God asked you to get rid of a bunch of your belongings, pack up what remains, and move to a country miles away from home?

Well, He asked us, and we said, ‘yes’. Now we are in the process of selling up, and packing up, and preparing to move.
‘Going forward, please can we commit to keeping less stuff,’ Sheree said to me the other day, as I placed another box in the charity shop pile.
It’s amazing how many things you can accumulate over the years, especially when you have varied interests, and a tiny tendency towards hording. But when you realize the moving truck is likely to be a bakkie and trailer, it means the gym bench has to go, the hiking bag is taking a trek, and the souvenirs from school need to be sacked.

Abraham and the Eternal city

A few people have said our story resembles that of Abraham, the great patriarch of the people of God. In the book of Hebrews, the author sums up some of Abraham’s faith story in this way.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land… For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭8‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Similarly for us, it was a question of obedience, where we felt God was asking us to go. It has also been an opportunity to take up our inheritance, where God is giving us a ministry, and where we get to work for Him, storing up treasures in heaven. Like Abraham, we recognize that we are strangers and exiles on this earth, and we are looking forward to the city prepared for us by God, the eternal city.

Leaving and Receiving

A few people have also encouraged us by pointing us to the words of Jesus,

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭28‬-‭30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s heart-wrenching leaving family and friends – loved ones who we love being close to – yet God promises that if we do this, for Him and to share His gospel, we will be given even more. How does that work? To be honest, I don’t know exactly, but I think we are about to find out. And, what I can say is, I have seen over many years of following Jesus, that being committed to God and His family has meant receiving many incredible people and blessings into my life. Jesus also promises that by following Him, unfettered by family and ‘fields’, and despite it being difficult, we will follow the path to eternity with Him.

Following in Faith?

So, what if God asks you to pack up, sell up, and follow Him? Will you do it? Some of us have done it previously. Some of us have done it multiple times. Some of us may still be asked to do it. Can I encourage you to consider those who have gone before us, men such as Abraham, shining as examples of faith. And choose to follow suite, choose to follow Jesus, wherever He may lead you, and no matter the cost. And let us believe together, that as we follow in faith, we will find what Jesus promised… Life – and most especially, Eternal Life.

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