Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Step Into The Unknown

Lately, the Lord has really been dealing with me about faith. Do I have the faith to trust that he will provide? Do I have enough faith to believe that he will work before it's too late? Do I have the kind of faith he is looking for so he can work to the fullest in my life, and not just a little?

The best chapter in the bible to read when you're wondering, "Is God working?" or "Will he work?" is Hebrews 11. This chapter is full of people who believed God would work and then saw him work to the fullest in their life.

But did you know that some of them actually believed God would work and never saw the end result of what he promised?

One such man was Abraham. God promised him a nation with as many people as the sand on the sea shore, yet, Abraham only had one son who was given the promise to fulfill.And then that son had only two children-once again only one was given that promise. Um...God, how do you get a  people so great they can't counted from only three people who were given the promise?

With God nothing is impossible. The theme in Abraham's life seemed to be: "Step Out Into The Unknown." Talk about faith!

The first time we see Abraham stepping into the unknown was when God told him to leave his family.  

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."

Hebrews 11:8

Abraham left his family not even knowing where God was taking him, but he did so in faith. Then God promised him a nation would come from a family that as yet, he didn't have. In fact, his wife was way past the time where she could conceive children. 

Yet, once again Abraham believe that if God promised it he was faithful to fulfill it. And God gave him a son. God then told Abraham to sacrifice or kill his son! Talk about having to have even more faith!

But I suppose by this point in life Abraham was used to seeing God come through for him so he went up a mountain, got the altar and wood ready and proceeded to lift his knife. God had promised him a nation and Abraham believed that if it wasn't from his son, Isaac, then God would provided another way. Thankfully Abraham was spared from having to sacrifice his son and God showed him a lamb that was provided instead.

So what does Abraham's faith teach us?

Two verses in particular spoke to me the other other day:

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth"

Hebrews 11:13

First of all, Abraham died not having seen what God promised, but believing it would be so. And this was a man who didn't have a bible to turn to in time of need. He didn't have scriptures to encourage him. He just saw God working in his life and knew that God would do great things for him and his future family.

The second verse is what truly gave me an "aha" moment:

"And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned."

Hebrews 11:15 

We need to embrace the promises that God has given us. If the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 had focused on where they had come from they would not have been blessed and been able to see God working in their life.

When we focus on what is behind us and not what God has for us, we are tempted to return to a place that didn't and doesn't let us be used of him. Think about Israel after they were released from captivity in Egypt. They kept thinking about all the good they had, but they didn't seem to remember that they were held captive and enslaved.

Don't allow yourself to focus on what you had. Don't allow yourself to believe that what you had was better than what God has for you. It is hard to keep the faith when times get rough and thoughts slip back to when life was ssssooooo much better. No doubt you had challenges and difficulties back then too, but you're just fantasizing it because it seemed so much better than what you are going through today. 

But right now is the moment where you must build your faith and believe that God will use you even more than you imagined. Focus on what's ahead. and if you can't see what's ahead, then look heavenward and remember that we are strangers and pilgrims in a land that is not our own. We have an inheritance that will last forever with the one who loves us and died for us!

What more could we ask for? This life will slip away quicker than we can blink. The only thing I desire to live it to the fullest in faith, believing and knowing that while at times I step into the unknown- God's Got This!

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