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Summary: This message poses the question, "Do you have faith enough to follow the Lord, even when He does not explain where you

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Faith Enough to Follow

Text: Gen. 12:4

Intro: Learning to live in an attitude of faith toward God is the foundation stone of the Christian life (Heb. 11:6a). However, faith is not merely a word in our religious vocabulary. Faith is the only way the child of God can experience intimate communion and fellowship with God (2 Cor. 5:7). In fact, God is the very object of the Christian’s faith. Any claim of faith that rest upon mere feelings, formulas, or emotional frenzy is fraudulent at best. Faith as the Bible teaches it, relies wholly upon the character of God’s person and the certainty of His promises (Rom. 4:16-22).

Biblical faith is not a lesson learned by a few crash courses on the topic. Rather, it is a lesson learned via the rocky roads of one’s life, the emotional ups and downs of one’s daily journey, and the appointments and disappointments of one’s earthly experience. Faith in God is a lesson the Christian is obliged to learn; and yet, obviously, never learns in its entirety.

The patriarch Abraham grew up in the markedly pagan society of Ur of the Chaldees, a place in Mesopotamia, “…situated near to the Persian Gulf.”(1) The Bible tells us that God appeared to Abraham sometime “…shortly after the destruction of Babel and dispersion of the nations.”(2) It is also interesting to note that, “This is the first recorded ‘appearing’ of God after the banishment of our parents from Eden.”(3) However, the point I wish to make clear here is that Abraham, or Abram, as he was referred to then, was himself, a pagan. There was nothing about his background or birth that made him special to God. He was an idolater, plain and simple. Yet, God, by his divine grace and pleasure, chose to reveal Himself to Abraham. From the moment God revealed Himself to Abraham, he began the journey of revelation and faith with God, for, “…Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6). God’s dealings with the lost sinner are always according to grace, not merit.

In this message, I will attempt to reveal some of the significant attributes of a life motivated and made meaningful by a biblical faith in God. Only a life of faith pleases God. That should be motivation enough.

Theme: As we look at Abraham’s life, we notice…

I. THE CONCESSION of ABRAHAM’S FAITH(4)

A. He Obeyed, not Knowing the Particulars.

Gen. 12:1 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.”

NOTE: [1] Can you imagine doing what Abraham did? How would you have responded to God’s command to simply pickup and move away from your family and friends, and from all that you’d known and held dear your whole life? Not only that, but how would you feel about not knowing where you were going. God simply told Abram that He would show him the land. God did not tell him the name of the land to which he was to travel or give him a map to follow. One writer notes:

The story of Abram’s believing begins, of course, with God. The initiative was all His. Unregenerate man is so wedded to his idols that the initiative must begin with God…The Word of God must come in power to break the hold of unregenerate belief.(5)

[2] Abraham simply chose to take God at His word. You see; real faith is that within the believer’s heart that confidently lays hold of God, and chooses to obey and trust Him, even when He cannot be seen, felt, or understood. True faith does not require an explanation in order to trust God’s character and promises. Again, Chambers notes the following:

Experience [obvious proof that God can be trusted] is never the ground of our trust; it is only the gateway to the One in whom we trust. The work of faith is not an explanation but a determination to obey God and to make a concession [yielding] of our faith in His character. As soon as we do what God says, we discern what He means.(6)

[3] Far too many Christians talk of wanting to follow God, but actually mean that they want to follow God on their own terms. They want to call the shots and construct the scenery of their lives, rather than simply submitting to God, no strings attached. This whole idea is antithetical to the life of faith.

B. He Obeyed, Needing only God’s Promises.

Gen. 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

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