“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” – Hebrews 11:8
This is the story of Abraham that we find in Genesis chapter twelve. The Word of God came to Abraham and instructed him to get out of his own country and away from his father’s house. God told him to go “to a land that I will show you.”
Think about this setting for just a moment. Abraham was 75 years old when God told him to go. He was rich with livestock and established in his home. Everything was good. You might even say he had a good job, good pension and a good home. He may have been looking forward to simply retiring and overlooking his spread thinking this was already his inheritance. All seemed well and then God says, “Okay, time to move on!” Not only did God tell him to move on, He did not even tell Abraham where He was going first. In a chapter about faith, it is no wonder why the writer of Hebrews uses Abraham as a great example of faith in God.
Before we think to ourselves, “sure, this is the story of father Abraham, a Patriarch of the faith. Of course he is obedient and faithful to God. But, I am not him and God is not with me like He was with Abraham”, we must stop and consider something. Although Abraham showed tremendous faith, the story goes on to show us a place where his faith failed because he trusted in himself and not God. But, God did not give up on Abraham, he does end up testing his faith again in a more extreme way. This time though, Abraham had learned his lesson. He was brought from faith to faith. As a Christ follower, this should bring us comfort. To know that even Abraham, a “Giant” in the faith, messed up at times because he was human gives us hope that God can use our lives in mighty ways.
The Bible says that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith and that Christians shall live by faith. This faith in Christ does not “magically” show up though, many times it must be built up. Many times it is built up through the testing and trials of life. And this is what the writer of Hebrews has been talking about. Having our foundation on Jesus and building upon that through faith. And as we mature in our relationship with Jesus, our faith is built up to a point where God no longer parts the Red Sea, He makes us get into the water first before He parts it. Just as He did with the Nation of Israel when they crossed the Jordan.
Abraham was called out of his comfort zone. He was told to pack up and move out without even knowing where he was going. He took a step of faith and God made him father of many nations. I wonder what would have happened if he did not listen to God’s voice and stayed put? Thankfully he did not because it helped usher in the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What about you today? Is God challenging your faith? Are you in a “comfort zone” and still immature in your faith when God wants to take you further with Him? Will you listen, step out and go like Abraham or will you remain and trust in yourself? Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey Him and He bids you to come. Will you come to Him in faith today?
“Love for Christ is a love of willing, as well as a love of feeling, and it is psychologically impossible to love Him adequately unless we will to obey His words!” – A. W. Tozer