This morning in my Falling in Love Again with Your Lord study we were prompted to read the story of Abraham. The Scriptures took us through Abram becoming Abraham and how he time and time again heard from the Lord. Even though most of what God said seemed a total impossibility, Abraham continued to believe what the Lord told him. Romans 4:20-21 says of Abraham, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” As I read the story I was once again astonished by his unwavering faith and convicted of my own feeble faith. I’m truly amazed at the love that Abraham had for God.
A few things really blew me away. First, when the story began and God told Abram to go to a different land, Abram was 75 years old. God told him then He would make him a father. Later, when Abraham was 99 years old he was still without a son to be his heir except for one that he had conceived in his own way and timing—not the one the Lord had promised. Then Abraham didn’t have Isaac, the son God had promised, until he was 100 years old. While the fact that he was 100 years old and having a baby is amazing in and of itself, what stood out to me even more this time as I read the story was the fact that the promises began when he was 75. Twenty-five years had gone by with God promising him things but Abraham not seeing the fulfillment of these promises. Yet still he didn’t waver in his faith. All I can say is…wow.
A second thing that stood out to me more this time as I read Abraham’s story is when he went to sacrifice Isaac as the Lord had told him. What God was asking of Abraham almost seemed to completely contradict God’s initial promises to him. How confusing would that have been? God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and that he would have an heir that would be his own son. He even told him when Sarah was gong to conceive and then once that promise was fulfilled he tells Abraham to sacrifice that fulfilled promise! It doesn’t seem as if Abraham even questioned this. Yet again, no unbelief made him waver—amazing! (Hebrews 11:17-19 describes the amazing reasoning of the faith of Abraham and how he reconciled this apparent contradiction in his mind.)
I say I trust God, but really when it comes down to it, I trust Him when I want to, or when it’s easy, or when it makes sense. Nothing about what God promised or asked Abraham made sense. I even thought to myself as I was reading the story this morning that for Abraham it must have been somewhat easier for him to trust because God was telling him what would happen if he did. God was telling him, “Go to this land and you will be blessed,” or do this and essentially this good thing will happen. I thought to myself that I would be more inclined to believe God if I was told directly and knew that something good would come from it. The Lord pointed out to me the irony in those thoughts. He does in fact tell me the good that will come from my belief. It may not be now in this world like I would like it to be, but good will come—I am promised heaven, an eternal inheritance that waits for me because of Jesus! You’d think that it would be easier to believe and follow God’s ways because of that, but man my flesh is weak and my unbelief is strong. And the Lord is revealing that to me more all the time. I want to have belief like Abraham; I don’t want to waver.
Let me be really honest with you though. Even now my flesh is acting up because I want to have this faith to look good, to be a “good Christian,” instead of having this faith because God is who He says He is. My motives are totally wrong. I am so weak, but I’m seeing more and more lately that that is the place where God can show His strength in me. Second Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Our study ended the day with explaining that we have been given promises that we don’t have to waver on believing either. Promises like Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Even though my motives are wrong because they are prideful and self-righteous, wanting my glory instead of the Lord’s, by God’s grace I can believe His promise that Jesus has covered those sins and I am not condemned. My hope is in Jesus Christ alone. In my weakness He is strong. I am so weak, but He is so strong. Strong for me. May we all remember that promise as we go throughout our days, moment by moment. Lord, give us faith like Abraham, for your glory alone!
Planted for His Glory