Abraham: Doing Crazy Faith

Bavaria landscape

The LORD had said to Abram, “God from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, who you love–Isaac–and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2

As we continue to look at what faith is, we must look at Abraham. He is considered the father of faith.

When he comes on to the scene, it shows God coming to him and telling him to leave his land, father and inheritance to go somewhere God would lead him to. Abraham (at this point Abram), listened and obeyed God. He stepped out in faith to follow God’s leading.

Abraham had been raised up in the land of the Chaldeans in Ur. His father was probably and worshipper of a false god or some idol, not a follower of God. He had lived there most of his life. At the age of seventy-five years old, God appears to him and tells him to move away to an unknown area.

Elderly man

Think about this for a moment. There was no internet in those days. Abraham was not able to look up information on where to get housing. He was not able to call ahead and find a new job to transfer to. The new area was probably an area that speaks a different language.

Along with this move, he is leaving his father behind. He was no longer carrying on his father’s occupation or caring for his land. He was, in a sense, turning his back on his family, walking away from them.

Not only was this a new location to move to, but Abraham was not young anymore. He was seventy-five years old. Keep in mind this was after the flood and God had said that man’s days would be limited to about 120 years on this earth. Abraham was well over that half way point.

This was like a mid-life crisis. He had to change homes, countries, jobs, and family after being settled for many years. Yet, he stepped out in faith, trusting God’s word to him. God promised him land and families, though Abraham did not know how this would happen yet, nor the problems that would come about before it was fulfilled.

Boy stepping out

 

First point–Step out in faith.

God has a different path for each and every believer. Some things may be somewhat similar, but they are still different roads. One thing that God wants from everybody is for them to trust Him. That is what faith is.

Although radically changes are not an every day thing, they do occur within the life of a believer, or anyone else. As you walk with God, there will be times God will have you pack up and move out to something new, something you cannot see or really dream of.

Sometimes this can be a physical move from one place to another. Other times it can be a change in lifestyle, giving up something or changing your friends. It could also be a change of careers or work. Whatever the change is, it can be difficult, but it is what God wants you to do.

Usually these types of changes do not always make sense to the normal mind. It appears to be an insane change or a step towards suicide. Yet, God always makes a path towards a greater life.

Since Abraham had obeyed God, he was blessed with a nation from his family line. He was given land. Ultimately, Jesus brought salvation to the world through his lineage. All because of a step of radical faith.

When God calls you to do something, it is for a purpose. It is to make you better, make you His witness and to build His kingdom. So step out in faith to do what He is calling you to do. Trust that He knows what is best for you in this fallen world.

The other thing that Abraham had to face was when God asked him to sacrifice his son. This was the long promised desired son and only son that Abraham was called to sacrifice on an altar. It sounded like an insane thing to do. Why would God call him to sacrifice his promised son? What good could ever come from that? Isn’t God a God of life? Didn’t He command that no one is to kill anyone? Isn’t this going against what He had commanded?

God was not looking for the sacrifice at all. He really does not care about sacrifices. God is looking for obedience. To obey is better than sacrifice, yet God called for a sacrifice.

When God asked him to sacrifice his son, Abraham immediately obeyed. The bible does not say he questioned God or had to pray about it for days/weeks to make a decision to whether he heard God or not. He knew that he had heard God and so he immediately obeyed Him.

Since Abraham had obeyed without any question, God provided an alternative to sacrificing his son. He provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of his son. God knew then that Abraham would obey no matter what God asked of him.

Abraham and Isaac

 

Point two–Obey immediately in faith. 

There are times that God still asks people to do something extremely radical and crazy. Some of those things will even appear to go against what God has previously said to do or not to do. You must know that it is God who is speaking and guiding you.

In order to know it is God speaking, you must be in constant communication with Him. You must know His voice and what He has to say. You must know His character. In order to know these things, you have to stay immersed in the Bible and in prayer.

Every time you open and read some of the Bible, you are finding out something about God. You are learning who He is, how He is and what He does. As you spend time in prayer, communicating with Him, you are learning to hear His voice. Once you know His voice, you will know when He speaks or when it is something false.

As soon as God speaks something, you must step out an act upon it. This is obedience. Obeying God immediately every time. It is not questioning God or doubting self, it is trusting God–faith. It is knowing God and knowing you can trust him.

I doubt that God will call you to physically sacrifice your son, since Jesus became the sacrifice for all. However, He will call you to sacrifice other things in your life that it is not needed. He will also put a test in front of you to see if you will fully obey Him or not. This can be found in sacrificing something that is not bad, but is dear to your heart–your treasured possession.

It is at this point that faith steps in. It is trusting God and having faith in Him that what He is asking you to do is in the best interests of you, others and His kingdom for His glory and honor.

Faith will obey immediately without questioning. It will not to try and find an excuse not to do something, but will find a way to do it.

No Fear

As I close out this talk on faith, using Abraham as an example, learn from Abraham. Learn what it means to step out in faith immediately. Learn what it means to obey immediately in faith. God will not let you down, but will carry you through whatever is ahead of you in this life and the life to come.

Do not fear, but live and act in His love for you. God is there for you and will not forsake you or steer you wrong. Be full of faith as you step out and obey God in every area of your life.

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Joshua 3:14-15a Step Out In Faith

Flooded river

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. Joshua 3:14-15a

Doing something new or different can be very scary for most people. In reality, the majority of people in this world have many opportunities to do things, but do not because of fear. They fear failure. They fear the dangers involved. They fear it will not work for them. They are told it cannot work. The number of reasons they fear is nearly infinite.

There are some people who overcome that fear and step out and end up doing great things. These few find that the majority of things that people fear, do not always happen. It takes stepping out to overcome.

God had told the Israelites that He was giving them the land of Canaan for their inheritance. That land was on the other side of the Jordan river from where they had come from in Egypt. They had to cross the river, but they had a problem. At this time, the river was at flood stage.

Most people know that at flood stage on a river, one does not go into that river, especially on foot. Yet, God told the priests to step out into the river in faith. As soon as they stepped out in faith in God, the river stopped flowing and the ground dried up. They were able to cross that river.

God did not dry up the river, until the feet of the priests had stepped out into that river. It was after they stepped.

They had to believe God’s word and take that step before God would do the miracle.

There will be times God will call you to do something different. It goes against all the norms of this life. It goes against the ways of this world. The world, and even many in the church, will say it can’t be done, it is dangerous, don’t do it. Yet, you must obey God’s word and trust Him.

As you step out, God can stop the raging waters and dry up the ground before you. Remember that God is always with you and will never leave you. If He called you to step out into the raging river, there is a reason for it, and He will provide the way.

Be willing to step out today in faith to see what God has for you.

I pray today that you will hear where God is leading you; that God will remove the fear of the raging waters before you; that God will give you strength to step out in faith; and that your faith in God will be raised higher.

Genesis 12:1 Leave The Familiar

Walking Out

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Most people like to be around people and things that they are familiar with. They like to know all of the people, the places to eat, the roads, the weather, the culture, things to do, and more in the place that they are.

Moving to a new and different place means that they have to learn everything over again. It is a difficult process to learn all about a new area. This change can be found sometimes just in moving across a major city, or across the state, or across the nation.

Yet, change can be as simple as moving to a new job or moving up into a new position in a job. Or it can be getting married, or changing the school one goes to.

In the process of change there are a lot of new things to learn. It is very rarely an easy or a fast process. It takes time to learn, yet, sometimes, moving to a new area can be something better for a person. In the end it can mean better benefits, more and better friends.

Abram was called by God to leave his family and home to go somewhere he had never been. He steps out in faith, trusting God and moves to a new location following God. During this time, Abram did not have Google to look up information about the new area and learn about it. It was something completely new for him. Later, Abram becomes the father of the one who starts the nation of Israel, who touches the entire world.

As a believer, God may call you to step out  in faith into an unknown territory. It may be a physical move to some new area, but it may also be into a new ministry to reach out and touch people.

God will call you to leave your past and familiar ways and things behind in order to follow Him. In the process of leaving behind the familiar, God may have you physically move, but it will always be a spiritual move.

Leave behind the sinful ways. Step into the new location of serving and worshipping God with all of your life and abilities. See how God can use you to touch the world.