Summary: “Faith is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the bigger and stronger it becomes.” That is why God leads us through difficult places and circumstances in life. By so doing, He is helping us grow in our faith.
Theme: Moving Towards Maturity
Text: Genesis 16: 7-23
A. Our message last Sunday was about the word of God to Abraham concerning his fear, future, and faith. God reassured Abraham of His divine protection and comfort. God told him that he should not be anxious about what his future would be because it is under the care, protection, and operation of God’s Sovereignty and Omnipotence.
Actually, that message reminds us of God’s word in Jeremiah 29: 11, which says, “I have a plan for you: a plan to give you a future, and a plan to prosper you.” That means, God had already determined the future of each of us here that trust in Him through His divine foreknowledge. When we fully entrust our lives to God in total confidence and obedience, a wonderful future awaits us, and nothing in the present can ever abort this wonderful plan of God for us.
B. This morning we are still following the story of Abraham’s life. Our passage today deals with the matter of Abram’s faith. In here we see Abraham moving towards maturity.
C. Hopefully, we know what faith is. Heb.11: 1 says of faith as, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” But you know, faith is something that is ever changing. If you have matured in the Lord, then you know that your faith today is far greater than the faith you had when you first believed in God. “Faith is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the bigger and stronger it becomes.” That is why God leads us through difficult places and circumstances in life. By so doing, He is helping us grow in our faith.
Let’s see this morning what God has been doing in the life of Abraham to move him to maturity. We see Abraham had already exercised great faith when he obeyed the voice of God to leave his country, but in the eyes of God, this has been spiritual kindergarten. God has some even greater tests in stored for Abraham’s faith. Why? The Lord wants to move Abraham towards maturity.
But it’s also true with us. God wants us to realize and consider the truth that He wants to grow us also. He wants to move each of us to maturity day by day. How will God do it? Abraham matured in faith by three things:
I. GOD’S REMINDER
As we notice, this section opens with God reminding Abraham about Who He is and what He is doing. Verse 7 says, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land.”
A. God reminds Abraham of three things:
1. Of His Person. That is, Who God is. God refers Himself here as the “Lord” or “Jehovah”, which means, “The Self-Existent One.” God is merely reminding Abraham that He is the One Who is in control of the events of life. He is the God Who was here before anything and He will be here after everything. And, He controls all things that happen in between. This is the truth that God wants Abraham and everyone who believes in Him to understand. He is the God of yesterday, today, and forever. He is the God of before, now, and after.
2. Of His Ability. That is, what God has done. Last Sunday I said, believers are serving the God of the “has done.” It means, whatever will happen to the life of a believer has already been determined in the mind of God. What will we be has already been ordained by God. We have that assurance knowing that He’s working out His will in us through His sovereignty and omnipotence.
In our passage God said to Abraham: “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur….” Here God is reminding Abraham that where he is today is because God, in His Sovereign will, has just put to reality what He had already ordained in times past for Abraham’s life. This gives us the truth that whatever we have and wherever we are now are all product of the Lord’s work in our lives.
3. Of His plan. That is, what God is going to do. God said: “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” God reminds Abraham about His purpose of bringing him out of Ur. He took this childless man to become the possessor of a new land, and to transform him into a father of a great nation.
The wonderful truth here is this: God does not call men to wander away. He’s not leading anyone aimlessly. So this morning let me say this: God calls you to become His own because He has a wonderful plan and purpose for you.