Great Faith

Faith is trust. Trust leads to action.

Genesis 12:1-9 (ESV)

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Abram/Abraham is typically seen as the father of faith because of his willingness to kill Isaac, but this might be a greater example. By the time Abraham is told to kill Isaac, he has already seen numerous miracles and is used to trusting God. Sure, it’s an immense test, but of a more mature Abraham.

Here, Abram just walks away from his life. He carries lots of possessions, but he leaves behind all the real estate along with many friends and family.

He doesn’t know where he’s going; he just knows that God said, “Go.”

When the LORD said to Abram, “Go” He was speaking in an audible voice. Oh, if only He would speak to me that way!

The great thing about God speaking in an audible voice is that there’s no doubt about what He said. But we typically don’t have that blessing. This leads to two problems. First, we struggle to know God’s will. Second, we use that struggle as an excuse to not obey.

Solve the first problem and the second one goes away, but the first problem is rooted in the second. You must be ready to answer before you’ll be called (or maybe close to ready).

Two more points. First, the sign should be appropriate. For example, don’t pray, “If you want me to quit my job and become a missionary, make the next 10 traffic lights be green.” Instead, make the condition something that fits like, “Have my job eliminated.”

Second, being ready doesn’t just come from our efforts. That misunderstands the gospel of grace. No matter what happens, we can’t keep our side of the bargain without supernatural help.

It takes a lot of prayer (answered prayer) to really be ready.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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