Summary: God’s purpose in your life is bigger than you. But to find that out, you have to follow God in faith.
Getting to Know God On Your Trip of Faith
Making the Impossible a Reality – Part 4
Everyone here is on a trip of faith. Some are thinking about placing their faith for eternal life in Jesus Christ. Others have made the decision to follow Jesus. These two groups of people still make the same journey. Their journey is for eternity.
Yet, there is a big difference. Some will walk along a faith road and think they will go to heaven and meet God. But it is not the right road. It is the wrong road. Jesus called it the wide road. He said many people would go down this road. Even people who say they believe in God will go down this road. This is the wrong way, and you will get lost walking it.
But God knows this and so He is nearby. He keeps pointing the way to everyone. To those who don’t believe in His son Jesus, He points to Jesus Christ His Son and says: He will lead you the right way. You need to follow Him.
To those who have chosen the right path, God lets the Holy Spirit give the directions. The Holy Spirit teaches us the right way. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit.
But in both cases, God designed our trip so that we would get the chance to know Him. Knowing God keeps you on track. So God will take many opportunities in your life for you to learn to trust Him, love Him, learn from Him, and follow Him along this road. We see such an example in the life of Abraham.
If God wants us to live by faith, and He expects this for those who follow Him, then God has given us examples to find out how to live by faith. This evening, I want us to look at God and what He is doing in the life of Abraham – someone God called a friend. We are going to look at specifically what God does in this instance in Abraham’s life and see how we can get to know God on our journey of faith.
1. God will try to get your attention
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
(Genesis 15:1 NKJV)
In ancient times, God spoke to His people in visions and dreams.
1. In sleep – dreams
God has and still does speak to His servants in dreams.
2. When awake – visions
God speaks to you when you are awake. He spoke to His servants in the Old Testament in two distinct ways:
1. In a bit of ecstasy.
Isaiah 6 is a perfect example. John in the book of Revelation is another.
2. In a representation.
This means that God physically appears to you and speaks to you. Some would say today that this is a day dream. Some doctors would even say that people who experience this have a mental disease.
How does this happen today? My simple answer is that God puts thoughts in your mind. God will put things in your mind to tell you what He wants you to know. But when He does this, He never contradicts Himself. That means what you hear has to harmonize with the Bible. If the Bible prohibits something, God will never tell you to do it. If the Bible expects you to do something, then you will get a “sense” or “compulsion” to do it. This is the Holy Spirit telling you to do it.
Why am I talking about the methods that God uses to talk to you? Because many times, He will try to get your attention. He was trying to get Abraham’s attention here. Abraham did not come to God in prayer. Instead, God came to Abraham. So it is mostly with us. We should be taking each and every matter to God in prayer. But many times, God has get our attention. He may do it through many ways and with different people.
2. God will try to get your attention to tell you something important about Him.
God has just delivered Abram through a war. He has protected Abram and helped him receive a financial reward. The Lord speaks to Abram and confirms his faith. Abram learns something new about God. Abram experiences God in a new way.
Abram has many doubts in his mind. For example, he wonders when God says a promise: “I will give this land to your descendants”, Abram doubts it. Why?
Abram has bought this land that his people will inherit. But the region was very unstable. Just northeast of his piece of land, Abram’s nephew has been captured in a war. So Abram had to get an army together and get his nephew back. So of course Abram is wondering: “Yeah, God – You say this is mine, but I don’t see it staying mine very long.”