Summary: Journey of Faith, part 2 “Called to Live a Life of Faith “
Journey of Faith, part 2
“Called to Live a Life of Faith “
Outside of Christ, Abraham may be the most significant character in the bible. In terms of space, the first eleven chapters of Genesis are devoted to human history. The next fourteen chapters are given to the life of Abraham. He is called our Father in the faith, a friend of God, and the first clear example of justification by faith. Historically the conflict between Jews and Arabs today points back to Abraham. He is the father of both the Jewish and Arab nation.
Main idea – The call of Abraham and his life of faith is a model for us today.
1. Faith is Relying on God’s Promises (12:1-3)
The call of Abraham is a call to a life of faith. God calls him to give up everything that represents safety, security, comfort, even his inheritance – his country, his people, and his fathers house to go to an unknown land with only what he could take with him. In a nutshell, God is calling him to a nomadic life giving up what would normally provide personal and financial security. He had nothing to rely on except the promise of God. Faith is living with the reality that God is the one who takes responsibility for our wellbeing, our financial future, our safety, and our happiness. Abraham could leave Haran because he was convinced God had something better for him. It is easy for every one of us to become so comfortable with this world that we are no longer a stranger and alien. Promises are not maybes. Trusting God is not like gambling or making a bet hoping you will in. God’s promises are reliable and certain.
What does God promise Abraham?
I will make you a great nation - From Abraham will come the nation of Israel.
I will bless you - That is God’s favor will rest on Abraham and his life.
I will make your name great - God will give him a good reputation and identity. Abraham’s power and prestige will come directly from trusting God nothing else.
You will be a blessing - The purpose of God blessing us is so that we can bless others.
In you all the families of the earth will be blessed - The Messiah would come through Abraham’s line. Mission has always been central to the heart of God.
2. Faith Experiences Obstacles (vs. 4-6)
Abraham demonstrated phenomenal faith and God blessed him for it. But that does not mean that everything went smoothly; quite the contrary. Abraham did not know where he was going (Heb 11:8); God did not disclose that to him when he left Haran. God rarely gives us all the details of the journey he calls each of us on. That is why faith is required. Do I trust that he will always look out for me and take care of me even if I do not know what lies around the bend in the road?
In 11:30, the text goes out of its way to say that Sarah is barren. The writer wants us to question how can God fulfill his promise with a barren wife. Faith is not just believing in God it is believing God. It is actively trusting God in daily life that his promises are trustworthy.
3. Faith Keeps us Moving Forward (vs. 7-9)
We will see that God speaks to Abraham along his journey at different times reaffirming his promise to him. He tells Abraham that he will give his children this land. God speaks and Abraham responds. But notice he does not stop and settle down; he keeps moving forward. In your journey of faith, God will make his presence known to reassure you and encourage you that you are on the right path. It may come as the still small voice of God or it may come through an individual but you will know it is God speaking and it will breathe life into your spirit. I want you to notice something that the text wants us to see. Moses built an altar and he pitched his tent; the altar was permanent but the tent was temporary. He did this because his confidence was in God and not in the land. He built an altar commemorating his encounter with God and he pitched his tent because he was on a journey and was not going to stop short on his journey.
4. Faith Will be Tested (v. 10-20)
As soon as Abram arrives in Canaan he experiences his most severe test to date—a famine. Imagine what must have gone through Abram’s mind: “I came all the way out here for this! I thought Canaan was to be a land of blessings!” Imagine what his wife must have said, “you and your crazy ideas. I told you we should not have come out here!” Does this sound familiar? How many times have you said, “God, I deserve better than this. I’ve tried to serve you and live for you and this is what I get for my efforts?” Because of the famine, Abraham and his entourage head to Egypt. As he is about to enter Egypt fear begins to grip his heart as he begins to think about his beautiful wife in the hands of the Egyptians. He does not think twice about wanting to protect her; he only thinks of himself. In unbelief, Abraham feels the need to protect himself so he manipulated his wife to lie for him. Remember God has already promised to make his name great, to bless him, and to bless all the families of the earth through him. For all this to happen Abraham must live and have a son. But in a weak moment, he turns from trusting God to fearing for his own safety. When we take our eyes off the Lord threatening circumstances will get the best of us. Fear, insecurity, unbelief, will rise up on our hearts and will lead us to make bad decisions every time. It always does. By lying and taking matters into his own hands, he threatened the very promise of God.