The heroes of faith speak to us at different times in our lives, most notably when we are going through something that may be similar to what they experienced. One of the challenges I’m facing has me thinking a lot about Abraham:
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” Romans 4:17-18 (MSG)
Peterson’s translation of the Bible can in some texts hit you right in the nogget. Abraham was not called by God because he was great, God made him great even though he was a nobody. It was not his stellar performances that won him acclaim, it was faith in God’s ability to perform everything he needed with stellar excellence – even if he had to make it out of nothing!
Here is where the rubber meets the road. Are our expectations of God based on things we can see, or what He says He can do, even if we can’t see it? Are we obedient like Abraham and set out to act on God’s Word without evidence, or do we need one sign after another to even pack our suitcase?
Abraham did not come to faith as a father; God said he would be a father. Even when God gave him a rightful heir in Issac, he still had not passed the litmus test. It was not until he offered up their heir back to God, that he was able to wear the mantle of “father of many nations”. We often make the statement,”God said it and that settles it”. Yet, we find in Abraham that even though God said it, and even though he believed it, he still had to walk it out, by faith! A faith that was revealed in his obedience.
Have you heard God speak to you to take something by faith and receive it? If you are having trouble obeying the steps of faith, don’t be discouraged – it took Abraham ninety-nine years to fully receive the promise – it just may take us a few years too. The key – never, ever, ever, give up!