“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” Romans 4:20
When you study and review the life of Abraham, it is one of transformation and faith. It is a story of obedience, trust, grace and relationship. We see how this ‘pagan’ man encountered this God and was able to develop a relationship with Him via his journeys. He got his name changed from Abram to Abraham (name change linked to a change in Identity) and finally became the Father of Faith (Romans 4).
We see in Chapter 15 of the Book of Genesis, Abraham sounding overwhelmed and at the same time concerned that all that the Lord had blessed him with will be inherited by another – Eliezer of Damascus- the son of one of his servants. Now what Abraham did not see or pay attention to was that throughout his journey with God the promises that were given was to him and his offspring. It had not yet dawned on Abraham that God had a plan to bless him with a seed and was not going to leave him childless. The child was to come only from his union with Sarah, his wife.
Why was Abraham unable to see that it was already in the plan of God to give him a son in spite of all that had happened? – that is, God changing his name to mean “Father of many”, the promises and lands were to be given to his seed/offspring, of whom it is said that they would be as countless as the stars”. Abraham was unable to see God’s eternal plan of sending His own Seed through the lineage of Abraham’s natural seed. In other words, it was more important to God for Abraham to have a child than it was for Abraham himself.
What was God trying to do?
God wanted Abraham to see that which was considered impossible by working on his ability to think and see like Him. The genealogy of the Messiah had already been strategically mapped out by God and now He was bringing this strategy and plan to life, He was starting this plan with Abraham, knowing that if he (Abraham) got it right, we would all get it right. What Abraham could only see was that he needed an Heir to inherit his wealth irrespective of the source, however, he could not see this heir coming from his union with Sarah due to the fact that she was barren and had gone past her child bearing age. Abraham could not just see this happening and God could not afford his plan been compromised.
We see in chapter 15 of the book of Genesis where God promised Abram (his name at that time) that he would give him a son that was his own flesh and blood. Abraham needed assurance from God that he would possess this promise that God had made. God made a covenant with him reassuring him that what He (God) had said will be -Totally awesome! This tells you a lot about the character and nature of God. It tells you about how a God so high and mighty chooses to walk with us via relationship and does not mind coming down to our level to provide reassurance, mind-blowing!!
The Bible says that Abraham believed God and righteousness was accredited to him. In order for Abraham to walk with God, he had to be rightly related to God – a gift God imputes the moment He (Abraham) agrees with Him. This is where the journey of faith and trust actually began for Abraham. So we see Sarah going through a struggle in her mind about not been able to bear a child due to barrenness, she blamed it on God and finally conceived a plan to create a family through her maid servant. Not sure if God’s promise for a son was ever communicated to Sarah by her husband with the exception of Chapter 18 of Genesis when the Lord asked where she was?? This is another topic for another day.
A lot of things that have gone wrong in our lives have come from times where we have felt that we have to ‘help’ God help us and/or compromised, we meditate on all the wrong and obvious things that we see about that situation, we rationalise the situation/circumstance via logic and reasoning with no comprehension of what God is saying about it or what He has already said??
Ishmael was conceived and born to Abraham. At this time Abraham was eighty-six years old. He did not hear again from God until he was ninety-nine years old. God appeared and reminded him that Sarah was to bear a son and that her name was to change. Abraham thought that this was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard God say. Bear him a child? who? Sarah? at ninety? – impossible! hence why he laughed when he fell down to his face in reverence before God.
He tried to convince God to accept Ishmael who was thirteen at that time;
“that he may live under your blessings”
God made it quite clear that Ishmael was not the promised child but Isaac – the child that He will establish His covenant with and his descendants after him.
The one thing Abraham was good at was obedience. When God appeared again, he told him about circumcision. The bible says that after God had finished speaking to him, on that very day, Abraham took his the male born and brought in this household to circumcise them. Obedience is key in our walk with God even when the path might not seem clear, it pays to walk in obedience.
The Promise had to come by Faith – further reading can be done to have a greater understanding of Faith, righteousness and the promise.
Sarah laughed at the thought of having a child but God being God, did not take offence at this as He knew that her mind was unable to fathom nor see this happening, so He said, “at about this time next year, Sarah will have a baby”.
Abraham had to get to the point where he either believed this God that he had walked with and come to know or forfeit the promise through unbelief. However, the scripture tells us that Abraham in being fully persuaded, hoped against hope and considered not the deadness of this own body and his wife’s womb. He became strengthened in his faith, glorified God and became fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. This gives me a picture of contending for what is yours, Abraham rose above the circumstances around him and was able to obtain the promise through Faith – Isaac was born. So also must we contend and lay hold of that which rightly belongs to us.
Having gone to so many doctors for 12 years and spent all of her money on her condition but nothing worked?
However, things changed when she heard of this Jesus and what He was doing, she became fully persuaded to the point that all she required was just to touch the hem of His garment and she would be made whole. Her circumstances ceased to matter the instant her focus became Jesus. She knew she would be healed once she touched the Master and when she did, the bible says, power left his body. Jesus knew he had come in contact with faith – Glory! mind-blowing. If you only knew that when faith is in operation, the whole of heaven moves and the power of God is ready and available, it is like a magnetic force that pulls on God and gives him no other option than to respond – Hallelujah! God indeed responds to Faith!
Another instance of faith at work is seen in the story of the Centurion, who himself, was a man of power and authority. He had a full understanding of this. His servant was paralysed and suffered greatly . He left the situation and went after the Master. On reaching the Master (not understanding righteousness at that point), this man looked at Jesus and said he was not worthy to have Jesus under his roof, however he understood authority as he was a man under authority – “I am a man of authority, if I say to one go, he goes and to another come, he comes, and to my slave do this, he does it!”. He told Jesus to speak the WORD and his servant will be healed. This was one situation where Jesus marvelled at such faith. His servant was healed that very minute.
Not forgetting the Canaanite woman whose daughter was possessed with a demon, she ran to Jesus and cried out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. The scriptures say that Jesus did not respond. In fact, his disciples urged him to send her away. Strange isn’t it? One would think that it seems like Jesus was denying her access to covenantal rights which in a sense was legitimate as you do not give what belongs to the children to an outsider at that time. However, this woman persisted in her faith in Jesus and replied, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table”. Jesus marvelled at this and said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request has been granted”. Her daughter was healed at that very moment.
We have become, dare I say, our own worst enemy when it comes to believing God and His Word. We try to sound very intelligent and knowledgable (not that there is anything wrong with knowledge) when it comes to the things of the Kingdom forgetting that the things of the Kingdom cannot be explained nor interpreted from a carnal and fleshly point of view. You simply cannot apply reasoning and logic to the things of God instead you apply FAITH – absolute confidence in God and in the power of His Might!!
Our walk in this life is the walk of Faith. We are the Just and we live by Faith. However, faith cannot work without Love (Galatians 5:6). When you understand that God loves you and his love for you cost him his son. The life that he came to give is life in abundance and just as the Word says, he who has the son has this Life. Love grows via relationship. Without relationship and understanding of union it is impossible for you and me to walk by faith.
We have been called to be imitators of God and walk in love (Ephesians 5). Everything about the Kingdom of God is hinged on Love, that is, understanding God’s love for you, humanity and been able to function in this Love in all that concerns us in this life. Love is not dumb or foolish as some would see it. Love is more than feelings, it is a person and it has to be seen in action. WHY? because God is LOVE!!! The truest expression of Love is God!!!
When we walk in Love, we automatically function with the beliefs that ‘I am protected’, ‘I am healed’, ‘I am favoured’, ‘my prayers are answered’, ‘I am saved’, ‘I am righteous’. It ceases to be a prayer point, it becomes a way of living and your reality, it becomes your life!
We do not just DO the word when it is convenient, we live the Word because that’s who we are – living epistles. We contend from a point of victory over what has been said and written about us. We do not give in to situations, no!! a thousand times No!! You have been called an overcomer so begin to live and act as one.
The knowledge of the path is nothing when compared to the application of the truth of God’s word. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free – free from every lie, every impossibility, every form of bondage – sickness, disease, addiction, lust, fear whatever it is – the truth of your reality in Christ will set you free.
What is Faith again?
Faith is daring to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Faith is absolute confidence that God cannot fail.
Faith is proof that you have that which you have asked him for.
Faith is your title deed.
Faith is walking in agreement with God.
Faith says it is mine irrespective of what is happening around me.
Faith is your evidence.
Faith is taking action on what you believe.
We need to move from the position of just believing to FAITH – being fully persuaded.
I sincerely hope that this write up has kindled your faith for it impossible to walk with God without it.
God Bless you!