Summary: Learn from Abraham - faith is obeying God even when we do not fully understand everything.
It is important for us to have faith in God. Not only are we saved by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, we can remain strong in life because of faith in God. Faith is the first thing that Peter said we need in 2 Peter 1 (theme). To grow strong and bear fruit for Christ, we must first of all, trust Him.
The Bible says in Heb 11:6 "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Notice, it is not our good works that pleases God. By our own, we cannot be good. The Lord knows apart from Him we cannot bear much fruit. Dear friends, life is without meaning and purpose unless you come to put your faith in God, who made you.
God wants us to put our trust in Him. You may be a great person, but without faith, it’s impossible to please God. You may do all sorts of great things in your life, but without faith it’s impossible to please God. God is not interested in what man can accomplish. He wants us to develop a relationship of faith with Him.
Today, we want to learn from Abraham. He has been viewed throughout the centuries as a model of faith - not just by Christians but by two other religions. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all look to Abraham as a model of faith. In fact, Genesis 15:6 tells us, "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith." James said, "he was called God’s friend." (James 2:23).
In Heb 11, no one person gets more attention than Abraham. In fact, Heb 11 mentions 3 episodes in Abraham’s life that point to him as a man of faith. We will look at the first one today.
So let us meet Abraham in Heb 11:8-10. God gave Him a promise. He was called to leave his home, and "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. 9 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. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."
FAITH IS OBEYING EVEN WHEN I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT
This is the first lesson we can learnt. We may have doubts, we may question God, we may want to find out why… but ultimately, we must obey God even before we understand everything.
Abraham was then living in his home in Ur, in the area we called Iraq today. He was 75 years old. And then God comes along and tell him to move. God told him in Gen 12:1, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you." And promised him He will make him into a great nation.
Abraham may have asked, "God, where am I going?"
God just says, "I will show you…"
No place was given. No time was given. God seemed to say, "Leave that to Me!"
How then will Abraham know if he has reached the land? He knew it only when he has reached that land! Gen 12:7 revealed to us God appeared to Abraham and tell him so when he was standing IN that land.
It’s like you asking me… "How will I know when I’m there?" And I say, "I’ll tell you when you are there." You just have to trust me.
God was asking Abraham to make a major move with very little information to go on.
It’s the same today, bros/sis. Would you do it? Would you obey what God says, even when you do not understand or know everything? Abraham obeyed when he did not understand it, and he really became the father of a great nation, as God promised him. Many people were blessed because he obeyed even when it didn’t make sense to him.
Bro/sis, many of us are in a similar situation. We do not know what God’s plan is for us. You may be facing a problem, a difficulty. Or you may be struggling through some hurt and pain. You wish you know everything. We want immediate answers. And God just say, "Trust me!"; "You’re moving along well."; "I’ll tell you when you reach it."
Sometimes, we lack the courage to go on… to move out the way Abraham did. The Bible says Abraham "took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired… and they set out…" (Gen 12:5). It’s a big move. And without much information, Abraham took the first step of faith and walked out.