Summary: Why Abraham’s Faith Was Superior to Human Reasoning (Rom. 4:10-12)
Why Abraham’s Faith Was Superior to Human Reasoning (Rom. 4:10-12)
Illustration:The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him; the greater our progress in theology, the simpler and more childlike will be our faith.
J. G. Machen.
1. Why do you suppose that Abraham’s faith was superior to mere human reasoning? Many people place a great deal of faith in the sound reasoning of doctors, scientists and judges. Most people never have to make the hard choices that Abraham was faced with. Years are spent in education to teach people to rely on the wisdom of experts. Yet, sound reasoning has its limits. Human sensibility and common sense will only take a person so far. The best logic will not help a person get into heaven. Abraham is an outstanding example of man whose faith defied all human reasoning through many crises.
Paul once wrote to the Romans, "Abraham believed in (trusted in) God and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God)." (vs 3) Through four major conflicts Abraham’s faith showed how belief was superior to human reasoning as God delivered Him from terrible adversity. During each crises Abraham learned how to surrender his will to God as an expression of a maturing faith and obedience. (Rom. 4:20,21) Ask the Lord to help you learn how to walk more by faith and less by sight as Abraham did.
2. First, Abraham expressed faith in God by giving up his country and network of family and friends to go to another land. Moses wrote, "Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you." (Gen 12:1) It must have defied all common sense but Abraham’s faith caused him to obey God rather than his own human sensibility. Can you imagine all the mocking, scorning and criticism Abraham had to endure as he left for a place that he knew not of. Most of Abraham’s relatives must have said, "You don’t even know where you are going or what you will do when you get there? You must be out of your mind!"
Illustration: Refuse to give in to the pressures of well meaning people. Men like William Carey, the father of modern missions, heard similar mocking when he sailed for India. Yet, his courage inspired tens of thousands of men and women to obey Christ’s great commission. Thousands of young people have chosen to listen to the voice of God rather than frightened relative when they felt God calling them in to the ministry. When the Lord tells us to do something, be sure that others will try to dissuade you from making any changes. Ask the Lord for the courage, faith and determination to obey God rather than men as Abraham did.
3. Second, Abraham expressed faith in God by breaking off contact with his nephew. Lot was very close to his uncle as a fellow believer and possible heir. Moses wrote, "Then Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right: or if to the right, then I will go to the left." So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other." (Gen. 13:8-11) Sometimes we have to remember what Jesus said, "Unless a man is willing to hate his own Father, Mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26,27) There are times when we must follow the priorities of loving God over our natural love for our relatives. Ask the Lord for the courage and faith to break away when it is necessary.
4. Third, Abraham abandoned his own special plans for Ishmael and switched to placing his hope in the birth of Isaac. Yet, Moses wrote, "And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!’ But God said, ‘No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him." (Gen. 17:18,19) It must have been difficult for Abraham to believe that God could allow Sarah to become pregnant at 90 years of age. It must have been even more difficult to convince Sarah that God wanted to work a miracle in such an unheard of way.
Ask the Lord to help you be willing to abandon your special plans for the greater purposes of God as Abraham did.