What Faith Can Do
JUST as we live in a world driven by models in virtually every field of human endeavours, so it was in Bible days. There were men and women that modeled their lives after God’s commands, and in the process became exemplars for others to follow. One of such men was Abraham, on whose worthy example, we can veritably pattern our faith today.
He lived and walked by faith so much that he earned the sobriquet: “a friend of God.” The Bible records that, “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.”
He began his life of faith by responding to God’s call to separate himself from the idolatrous worship of his people. For, “the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” I
t is the response to this divine injunction that marked the beginning of his walk with God. His obedience stemmed from faith in God’s instruction, without which he wouldn’t have been able to please the Lord. God’s call is still going out today to people who are in a wrong occupation or profession, wrong relationship or religion.
It is this kind of call that Abraham responded to by faith, without bothering to know what was in it for him. The first lesson to learn here is that as we walk by faith, God may not reveal the full details of His plan for us at the start.
In fact, oftentimes, He does not do so, at all. Rather, He decides to unfold them as time goes on, and as we continue to walk with Him in obedience.
If we wait to know what will happen to us, how our lives will turn out before obeying God, we are not walking by faith. Faith is like a telescope that helps men see a distant object that may not be visible to the naked eye.
But such faith does not come without a challenge as happened to Abraham. Quite significantly, God called him out of idolatry and worldliness into fellowship with Him.
Through this simple process, we learn how God calls His children. God cannot call you from a righteous activity into an immoral or sinful practice. He will always call you out of something bad into something good or better.
Hence, His admonition: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness. And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Abraham, by faith, departed as God has commanded him. He willingly obeyed without delay. He did not argue, question or fault the call. To walk by faith, you will not need to modify or misinterpret the Word of God.
Abraham was 75 years old when he received God’s call. It is neither usual nor natural for a man of Abraham’s age to embark on a long journey, even today.
It is always difficult for such senior citizens to break off old acquaintances and friendships they have made over the years. They find it more difficult leaving their loved ones behind and moving into a new environment at that age.
But Abraham, by faith, subdued these natural inclinations, so that he could walk with God. The Lord is calling us today to a life of faith. This begins when He calls you to salvation. Jesus said: “I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
If you are living in sin, God is calling you to genuine repentance and salvation. As it was not convenient for Abraham to obey, so it may not be totally convenient for you to obey, especially if you derive great benefits or pleasure from such sinful acts.
Yet, the Lord is calling “all men every where to repent because he hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.”
The carnal mind would try to reason out the gains in abandoning sin to follow the Lord. References: Hebrews 11: 8; Genesis 12:1; 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18; Luke 5:32; Acts 17: 30,31; Romans 4:20,21; Hebrews 11:11; (All scriptures are from Kings James Version).
Unfortunately, for such people, the depth of the riches of God are impossible for the natural man to understand; they might even seem foolish at first glance! They only become clearer as time goes on.
It is faith such as Abraham had, that will enable you to wholeheartedly, promptly and willingly break away from the life of sin without waiting to know what you will gain by obeying God. Faith is connected with patience. Without patience, there can be no faith. The farmer plants a seed, not doubting its ability to grow.
He believes the seed is going to germinate and do well inside the soil, although he may not see it physically. He gets home to sleep without worrying if the corn will grow or not. So is our walk with God. It must be based on faith, on trust that God will do the very best for us in all circumstances.
Abraham did not complain about God’s future programme for him, but waited patiently for its fulfillment. Following God’s encouragement, he built an altar to worship and glorify the Lord
. He knew God will neither fail nor lie. He demonstrated some qualities worthy of note. First, he waited for God to work things out at His own time. Second, he waited without complaining.
Third, he rejoiced before the physical manifestation of the promise that God made to him. Fourth, he kept on serving, worshipping and glorifying the Lord in the midst of his need.
He knew that the promises of God are not meant to be debated about but to be taken at face value. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
Faith is mighty and powerful. The Red Sea parted by faith. The Jericho Wall collapsed by faith. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, became pregnant by faith when she was well beyond menopause, advanced in age. “Through faith…Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age; because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
If you have faith, things that are ordinarily impossible for men, will become possible for you. God did not just give Sarah and Abraham a son, Isaac, but blessed them with long life to see their grand children and great grand children.
This is what strong faith in God can achieve. When there is no hope, when all expectation seems gone, faith will achieve the unachievable. Faith will astound your critics and mockers. If God fulfilled the promise that He made to Abraham, He will fulfill the ones He is making to you today. All you need to do is to only have faith in God. References: Hebrews 11: 8; Genesis 12:1; 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18; Luke 5:32; Acts 17: 30,31; Romans 4:20,21; Hebrews 11:11; (All scriptures are from Kings James Version).