Summary: So, how mature are you in the Christian faith. Have you moved forward from the day that you came to know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, or are you still in Spiritual kindergarten?
Abraham: Following In the Footsteps of Faith
MOVING TOWARD MATURITY
Intro: Hopefully, we all know what faith is. According to the Bible in Heb. 11:1 it defines faith has, "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But, did you know that faith is something that is ever changing? If you are maturing in the Lord as you should be, then the faith you have this morning is far greater than the faith you had the moment you believed. Of course, the ability to exercise faith, as well as the faith to exercise, is already in you. You may not see it, you may not believe it, but it is there nonetheless. You see, faith is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the larger and stronger it becomes. That is why the Lord leads us through difficult places in our lives. He is helping us to grow in our faith.
In this passage, we are still following the life of Abraham. If you will remember, he is a man who left his home, his family and the country of his birth to follow God. By faith he has journeyed and by faith he has lived. He followed God based on a simple promise. That promise was that he would receive a land and that he would produce heirs. In my opinion, he has exercised great faith. In god’s eyes, this has been spiritual kindergarten. The Lord has some even greater tests in store for Abram’s faith.
The passage we are looking at this morning deals with the matter of Abram’s faith. Here, we see him Moving toward Maturity. As we consider what the Lord is doing in the life of Abram in this passage, let us consider that the Lord wants to grow us too. He wants to move us toward maturity, day by day. Allow me to share a few thoughts that present themselves in this passage.
I. THE CONCERN OF ABRAM’S FAITH (vv. 7-8)
A. God’s Reminder (v. 7)
• God opens this section with a reminder of who He is and what He is doing. His reminder is three-fold.
1. of His Person
o God refers to Himself as "Jehovah", "The Self-Existent One."
God is merely reminding Abram Who he is dealing with.
o We have a tendency to forget just who is in control of the events of life.
It would do us good to remember that we serve "Jehovah God" He was here before anything and He will be here after everything.
And, He controls all things that happen in between.
He is a powerful God.
He is a present God.
He is a perceptive God.
He is in control of all of life.
If we could ever get our souls around that truth, it would revolutionize our lives!
2. of His Power
• God reminds Abram that Abram is where he is today because of the power of God.
o Abram did nothing to get where he was, it was all God.
• May we also remember that what we have, what we are and where we are, are all a product of the Lord’s work in our lives, 1 Cor. 15:10.
o You name the area of your life and you can count on the fact that it is all God and not you!
3. of His Plan
• God reminds Abram that He brought him out so that He might give Abram a new land.
o God’s purpose was to take this childless pilgrim and transform him into father of a great nation.
• I just want to remind you that God has a wonderful plan for your life.
o You and I need to be careful lest we hinder that plan and bring pain and hardship upon ourselves.
o Let me just remind you that God’s plan is always a good plan, it is always the best plan, it is always the right and perfect plan!
o Therefore, find God’s plan for your life and walk in it!
B. Abram’s Response (v. 8)
• Some have taken this question by Abram to be an expression of doubt.
o His question is not doubt but curiosity.
o He is merely asking the Lord for more information.
o God doesn’t mind His people asking for more information.
o It is doubt that bothers Him.
o When you hear from the Lord, do you respond by asking for more information, or do you immediately begin to question the truth of what you have heard?
II. THE CHALLENGE TO ABRAM’S FAITH (vv. 9-11)
In response to Abram’s question, the Lord makes a strange demand. This demand served as a challenge to the faith of this man. By the way, faith that isn’t tested isn’t really faith at all.