The Christian walk is all about faith, right? A constant trust upon a God you cannot see but you know is there. So many times I feel as if I am blindly walking ahead. I don’t know every step and every answer. And sometimes that is scary and shakes my faith a little.
Hebrews 11. The chapter that is commonly called “The Faith Hall of Fame”. I always gain such encouragement when I read it.
Abraham’s story always sticks out to me. Even more so in this particular season.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19 NIV)
God called Abraham to go……but God didn’t tell Abraham where he was going. Check out Genesis 12:1-3 if you don’t believe me.
God gave Abraham a promise. God called him and set him apart. Abraham was to be the father of a great nation, yet his wife was barren and had been unable to bear children.
The thing I love about Abraham? He listened. He trusted the Lord.
I’m not saying Abraham was perfect. He did attempt to take things in his own hands at one point and brought Ishmael to the world. But God remained true to His promise:
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him;
I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” (Genesis 17:17-21 NIV)
And it was what He said.
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7 NIV)
God told Abraham to go to an unknown place and Abraham went. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation, and God gave Sarah a son. She was old. Abraham was old. In worldly terms, it was impossible.
And then came this moment:
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:1-12 NIV)
Abraham had such faith in God that he was willing to do whatever God asked of him.
Abraham didn’t just say that he had faith in God, he showed it and lived it out.
Am I willing to act in my faith? I feel like I am in that moment of being sent out to an unknown place. God may not be asking me to pack up all of my belongings and head out in a caravan, but my next step in life is definitely unknown to myself. I’m walking forward, not knowing where God is taking me next.
But I want the faith of Abraham. The faith that says “I trust you with whatever you ask of me”.
Are you willing to go to that unknown land with God? It’s a big step of faith.
Faith that requires action.