Summary: Trust is an endangered species.
A Faith that Honors God
The closer we get to God the more intense our longing for Him will and should be. Why? We were created to live in time, but destined for eternity. In creation we had a beginning, but the love in which God created us, was in God without a beginning. And we’re able to make the most of the day when we keep eternity in mind. David wrote, “One thing I have asked of the Lord this is what I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the das of my life.” God created us to serve Him and glorify Him forever. However, He does not conceal the fact that in His religion there is a demand as well as an offer. If He offers his life totally, then He demands submission. In this day an age we cannot allow ourselves to be nominal Christians. Nominal Christianity permits individuals to be involved enough to be respectable, but not enough to be uncomfortable. To have a faith that honors and loves God, one must be able to count the cost. It does not mean a physical departure from job and family, but it does include the inner surrender of both and a refusal to allow either family affection or worldly ambition to occupy first place in our hearts. This is what we learn about Abraham, how to honor God with our faith, and love Him totally.
Abraham like many of us did not become a member of the Hall of Faith over night. The Apostle Paul states that Abraham ceased wavering in his faith and learned to trust God by taking Him at His Word. In fact Rom. 4:19-20 records these words about the father of the faithful. “And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated is own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able to perform.” Through a series of faith challenges Abraham not grew in the faith but He grew in His understanding of God. But it took Him sometime to get there.
• You will remember that Abraham left Ur of Chaldea and entered Canaan, the Promise Land, and as soon as He arrived, there was a famine in the land. The Commodities Market Skyrocketed. In the Promise Land. Grain was so costly that he moved to Egypt, the hood in order to provide for his family.
o Unable to trust God due to experience, He lied to Pharaoh saying Sarah (Mrs. Middle-East at the time) was not his wife because she looked so good but his sister.
o God will steer your faith through wilderness not to destroy it, but to purify it. Abraham like many believers never learn to trust in God during times of famine. They resort to deception and deceit-but God still blessed. God is more interested in means than He is with ends. Jesus taught that he was more concerned with our faithfulness than our success.
• You will remember that Abraham and Lot parted ways because they both grew in strength. There they served King Chedolahomer of Elam for 12 years, but the king decided to make war.
o Some times even allies will turn on you. But never reduce God to the level and image of man.
o The wilderness is not a place where you want to be isolated, you’ll die. The wilderness forces us by faith to trust in our relationship with God. Trust is an endangered species.
o Abraham was in covenant with God, but that covenant had to be tested through suffering.
• Abraham has learned that God is called Elohim, our Creator. He’s Adonai, the Lord our God. He’s even Jehovah Shalom, the God our Peace. But soon He will discover that He’s Jehovah Jireh the God that Provides.
o He provided protection for Daniel in the lions den.
o He provided a small piece of gravel for a shepherd boy to defeat a giant.
o He provided manna in the wilderness for the children of Israel.
o He delivered Gideon from the Midianites.
And He can do the same for you if you learn how to trust Him by faith and let go of what you think you must have in order to make it and be successful.
Faith isn’t faith until its all you have.
And so in Ch. 22, we have the climax or the apex of Abraham’s experience with God. Abraham finally got to the place where he no longer staggered or wavered at the promises of God. He was tired of letting God down in his faith. Faith that honors God is like a muscle that must be exercised through the daily activities of life. But the more Abraham walked with God, the more he learned to trust God.