Downloading Abraham

I have been in Hebrews 11 & 12 the past couple of weeks. The passage speaks of the cloud of witnesses and singles out some who are “in the cloud”. The word picture I get is a stadium where the cloud of witnesses is cheering us on. The question then becomes, what would one of them say to us. I would love to know what Abraham would have to say to us to encourage us and push us forward. I think Abraham would say that God always does the right thing. He is a father of faith and the journey of his life proves the growth of his faith. So, what is faith? Faith is the ability to trust even when you don't understand. We tend to question - are you sure about this God? But, we can increase our trust level like Abraham did with God’s help. As we grow in faith, we learn that we'll be ok not to know what God is up to or ok not to know until later. My goal is for you to be ok with things you don't understand.

Let’s take a closer look at Abraham. Genesis 15:1 tells us that Abraham, the proclaimed father of nations, had no child. This did not make sense. He had a promise from God for a child and that he would be a father of nations, but he had no offspring. So, in God’s faithfulness, He visits Abraham (Abram at the time) in a vision. He told Abram, “Do not be afraid.” This is a message for you today. There are things God has placed in your heart that have not come to pass. But don’t be afraid. Even though there seems to be no movement toward the fulfillment of the promise. God said it and you can believe it. God always does the right thing even if it takes a long time. Abraham had no idea that God was going to wait until his body had no more power to reproduce. He didn't realize God was going to wait so long. God is notorious for taking a long time. At least, what we think is a long time. But if we trust, we will be patient. Even with God speaking to Abraham and restating the promise, declaring to Abraham that his offspring would be uncountable as the stars, he still didn't get it. We know this because he took matters into his own hands. He takes his wife’s servant, Hagar, as a concubine and produces Ishmael by her. But, this was not God’s plan and not God's timing. In our press for things to be right now, we can try to rush things. We will never be a great person of faith until we get an understanding of patience with God and for God. Second Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise as some people think.”

God always does the right thing, even if it seems absurd. Abe was 99 and Sarah 89. Can you imagine Sarah telling someone she was pregnant? With their age it was not possible. But, in Genesis 18:10, the angel of the Lord proclaimed Sarah would have a son and reassured them that nothing is too difficult for God. Whatever you're going through, nothing is too difficult for God. Rom 4:19-21 states that Abraham's faith did not waver. This is what the New Testament says about Abraham, even after he tried to rush the fulfillment of the promise. This is the testament to Abraham’s growth. His faith actually grew stronger, and he became fully convinced. My goal is that your faith would grow stronger. God always does the right thing even if it doesn't seem right. God is not wrong. In Abraham’s life, he faced God’s judgment of Sodom. This impacted Abraham personally because his nephew lived in Sodom. Abraham challenged God and negotiated for His mercy for any in Sodom who were righteous. Questioning God is not wrong. Asking “Why?” is ok. But the conclusion is that God always does the right thing. There is a way that seems right to man but leads to death. God’s way brings life.

God always does the right thing even if we don't understand. Some time after Isaac, the son of the promise, had grown up, God tested Abraham. God instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac at Mt Moriah, now known as the Dome of the Rock. This tested his faith. Up to this point in his walk, we saw Abe question God and even take matters into his own hand. Yet in this, the most extreme test, Abraham never questions or complains. By this time, Abe knew God and he trusted God completely. That's my goal, for us to trust God at this level. I don't know how God will make a way, but I know He will. Heb 11: 17 gives us insight to this amazing growth of faith in Abraham. It explains that Abraham knew God could bring Isaac back to life. He knew God would finish what He started. The more we know God, the more we will trust Him. God is on your side and He knows best. Make it your goal to know Him. God isn't meant to be understood. He's meant to be experienced. If you limit God to what you can understand, you will reduce Him to the small capacity of your own brain. But God is the God of the impossible, without limits. God always does the right thing.
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