The Magnificent Obsession – Chapter One

The Magnificent Obsession – Chapter One

Leave Everything Behind

“If you and I ever truly know God, it will not be an accident.  It will happen when, like Abraham, we abandon every other goal, every other priority, and embrace the God-filled life until He becomes our magnificent obsession.”

The Magnificent Obsession, p. 22 

We are creatures of comfort, are we not?  I live in an area of Dallas, Texas called The Park Cities.  It is often referred to as “The Bubble”- and with good reason.  Most who live within these 2 square miles have been here all their lives- some second and third generation “bubbleites” who have no desire to venture outside the bubble or at least too far away from it for very long.  The thought of uprooting and building a life in another zip code sends chills up the spine of many in this area.  For life in the bubble is good.  It’s prosperous.  It’s pretty.  It’s comfortable.  It’s familiar.  It’s… “Ur of the Chaldeans.”

I imagine Abram had a bubble-like life in Ur before he was tapped by the hand of God.  I doubt that leaving Ur had ever even crossed his mind.  Why would it?  I mean, he had it going really good.

And then God spoke the first unthinkable command to Abram with the most mind-blowing promise: Leave it all behind, son; everything you’ve known your whole life, everything your identity is tied to, your family, your peeps, your home and all your comforts and go… “to the land I will show you.”  Paraphrased: “You don’t know where you’re going, son, but I do.  So just trust me.  It’s gonna be better than what you’re leaving behind.  It’s huge!  Beyond your wildest dreams”

In a small way, I did that when I moved to Dallas at the age of 46 and 2-1/2 years newly married.  It wasn’t like I didn’t know where I was going, but it wasn’t home, and it sure wasn’t what I was use to.  I did have the good sense enough to at least pray, “Lord, help me to hold it all loosely.”  And though I went willingly, it wasn’t easy.  I remember having a slight nervous breakdown about 3 weeks after we arrived because I couldn’t find my way around town, I couldn’t find a hair dresser, and I hated all the grocery stores.  I know- life is tough (grin).

But God spoke to John and to me and said, “Leave everything.”  And that’s where my own magnificent obsession began.  Leaving my hometown of Orlando, my aging parents, family, childhood friends, creature comforts and my identity as a Floridian was absolutely the very best thing that could happened to John and to me as a couple… and to each of us individually.  And He has not disappointed.  Not one bit.

I’m not at all putting myself on a par with Abram.  No way!  But, when God calls us… any of us, first we’ve got to hear the call, then we’ve got to respond and be ready to head ’em up and move ’em out.

Could you do that?


  • Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1 – 13:4

Obviously Abram had a deep desire to know God better and that required great faith.  God’s first test for Abram required obedience and sacrifice.  It was a choice that Abram would have to make repeatedly.  Anne asks some great questions in this chapter and I’d like you to use some of these for your group discussion time – and to comment on the blog:

  1. Pg. 23 What is the familiar territory in your life?
  2. Where have you become too comfortable in your own “comfort zones” and in what ways could they possibly be holding you back from knowing God better?
  3. What is does the “magnificent obsession” mean to you?
  4. Pg. 29 What has caused you to think this isn’t the right time in you life for you to embrace the magnificent obsession?  What are your fears? Excuses? Concerns? Hesitations?
  5. What has caused you to think that this is the right time to let go and embrace the magnificent obsession?
  6. Based on the Scripture reading you in last week’s introduction, and from what you’ve read for Chapter One’s assignment, what do you think Abram was doing when God spoke to him in Genesis 12:1?

For personal prayer reflection:

  • “Lord, what do I need to give up to truly know you better?”

OK, girlies – let’s get going!  I’m praying that this first chapter will excite, challenge and inspire you in making the magnificent obsession your own personal experience with the Lord.

God bless you as you spend time with Him in His glorious Word!

xo – P