First off, let me say I’m enjoying this 90-Day bible challenge to the utmost degree! I’ve read through portions of the bible before, but never with friends and never paying as close attention as I have now. I seriously sit through my readings looking like the big-eyed emoji mouthing, “God, you just added this today?”
I thought it would be befitting to use my blog to share some of my own personal notes and thoughts regarding the readings as we go along (Thanks to Dylan for the great idea)! What better lesson to start off with than Abraham and the lesson of both faith and obedience!
In the reading of Genesis 17:1 through Genesis 28:19, we learn of God’s covenant with Abraham, indicating kings will come from his lineage and that his line would be fruitful. Now, this would be hard to believe to anyone of the age of Abraham and his wife Sarah who were barren for years. Seeing as she couldn’t bare any children, Sarah gave her servant Hagar as a wife to Abraham so that she could have a child.
Faith is Believing Without Seeing
God spoke and told Abraham that Sarah would be blessed, the mother of nations. Kings of people would come from her. Sarah’s response was one many share, unbelief. As Abraham was telling visitors that his wife would bare a son the next year Sarah over heard the conversation. In Genesis 18:12 it says that Sarah laughed stating, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
I bet you can think over the years of many things God has told you he’d provide and you either didn’t believe or you rushed things trying to make a way for yourself. Let me share a funny story that I think perfectly illustrates this.
I was never the type to ask for things for Christmas. My mom would ask and I’d give the usual answer of “It doesn’t matter,” or “Yea, that sounds good.” My sister usually is the one with the long list capped off by option 1A or option 1B if 1 isn’t available. This one year though, I’d saw the gift I knew I wanted. The Nintendo GameCube was on sale for a smooth $100.00 dollars. I’d never had a new console until years after release and this hadn’t even been out long, cha ching! I was like one of those “If you don’t buy I’ll die” kids!
Long-story short, money looked tight and I didn’t think I’d get it. The Christmas tree was littered with gifts I just knew were for my sister but no gift that was symmetrical to the shape, size, or weight I needed that gift to be. So one day, I threw a fit… Oh, it was astronomical. I was just venting, “Mom, how could you guys not get it, I never ask for anything!” Ah, I gave a speech that would make Mark Antony jealous. I ended it with an “It’s too late, they’re sold out.” So my step-dad hit me with the Kevin Hart before it was even a thing, “Are you done, Are you, are you done yet?” They then hit me with the elaborate story of how they were one of the first to get it and how they wanted to wait to surprise me Christmas day, hopefully adding a few games along with it. I stood there with this look half dumb, half tongue stuck out grasping for any word that I could summon until finally an “Oh…” dropped from my lips. How many times has God had to shut your temper tantrum down and pull back the curtain for you to see? Abraham’s faith never dwindled. In Genesis 15:6 it states that, “Abram believed the lord and he credited it to him as righteousness.” We have to believe what God has stated as fact. He loves us so much he’s letting us know he will provide! Let him provide but better yet, believe he’ll provide.
It All Starts With Obedience
Look at the obedience Abraham displayed. Not only did he obey God when he told him to send his firstborn Ishmael away, ensuring he’d be safe, but Abraham also obeyed God when he told him to sacrifice Isaac. Think about that family. Abraham didn’t flinch. Abraham took Isaac up to Moriah on a hill and was ready to sacrifice his livelihood. Because of his obedience, God instructed the angel to tell Abraham his descendants would be blessed as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand by the sea.
Now put this into perspective. Go outside and look at that nice car that God blessed you with; hold the hand of the kids or husband/wife God gave you; walk into your job that you so adore and think, “If God told me to sacrifice the thing I love, would I be obedient and give it up?” I’ll give you a minute to think on it. God promises us that if we’re obedient, he will bless us beyond measure. Forget the blessing for a minute; it’s our Father telling us to literally do something, to be obedient. The blessing is just an added bonus, somewhat like a sucker the doctor gives after giving you that icky shot. How many of us would literally sacrifice what we love because God told us too? Everything starts with obedience. Abraham was obedient in waiting for the Lord to provide a son and it came to fruition. So why not be obedient if God tells you to be bold and take that extra step?
Call To Action
Think about your life and wonder where you could be more obedient; think about God’s promises and ask yourself the question, “Do I have Faith?” God was the originator of keeping his promises. He is the orchestrator of the great orchestra known as Life. Why wouldn’t he stand by his promise? After you ask yourself those questions, put a plan into action to become more obedient and to start having faith, even when you cannot see the direction you’re going.
Prayer: Father, you created me from dust and put breathe in my nostrils. When you instruct, I must follow. Help me to put my foot forward and be obedient to your words. Help me to have faith as Abraham, believing without seeing. I shall never laugh at anything you’ve promised. You’ve shown me time and time again that you are a keeper of promises. Thank you Father. I ask these and all other blessings in Jesus name, Amen.