FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM
By: Stephanie Adams
What is FAITH? The definition of faith in the modern day dictionary is
Faith= 1. A confident belief in the truth, value, and trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. (the free dictionary.com)
The definition of faith in biblical terms is found in Hebrews 11:1
ďNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.Ē (NKJV)
ďNow faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Ē (OAB- New Revised Standard Version)
Why teach faith?
When Sherrie first looked at me when asking the question, ďWho wants to teach next month?Ē No, was always the first response that came to my mind. This time was different. Before my mind could think, my mouth had said OK. What was different about this time? I had said no before and not thought a second thought about it. This time I had something to say. Itís not what I thought I was going to say, but itís something God would have me to say.
For the past year and Ĺ, I had been living in a place that was causing all kinds of health problems. I needed to make a decision and I prayed about it for a while and talked it over with a few people as well. When I heard Godís voice telling me what I should do in this situation, I said, ďLord, is this what you would have me to do?Ē The answer was yes. In that, I knew I had to leave. The answer seemed to be the least logical choice at the time, but when God speaks, we have to know that He can see the entire picture of what was, what is, and what will be. We can only see the what was, and the what is. This is where we have to choose faith just like Abraham did.
I was sitting in my apartment just thinking about what would be if I chose to give up this apartment. I could feel God telling me, ďI told Abraham to go. To leave his life, his family, and everything that was familiar to him and just go to a land that I would show him.Ē (Genesis 12:1-3) I knew those words had to be coming from God, and he began leading me on this journey through the story of Abraham.
When God told Abraham to go, Abraham could only see the what was, and the what is of his situation just like me. As I read through the story of Abraham and all that he endured, I was mesmerized by what I was reading. I had read this story before. I had heard preachers preach this sermon before. But it was different to me this time. It was personal. At the moment God told Abraham to Go, he went. He didnít stand and question Godís motives. He didnít hesitate. He just believed God enough to go. Abrahamís belief in God was credited to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
I said, ďOk, Lord, I will go.Ē Not knowing where youíre going could give cause for panic at this point, but I didnít panic. I knew what my decision had to be, and I didnít need to question the why?? I had to choose right then and there that I was going to put my 100% trust in God who did know where I was going. In making that choice, I knew God had greater things than I could even imagine. Just like He did with Abraham.
Sometimes, I think we miss out on so many blessings God has for us because weíre not fully willing to trust Him. Life wasnít easy for Abraham when he made the choice to go. Iím pretty sure his family gave him a hard time about his decision. Iím sure people questioned the logic of leaving what is familiar to go into this unknown zone just trusting this God that they couldnít even see. Well, people have thought I had lost my mind when I decided to walk away from my apartment too, but if we stay in the ďcomfort zoneĒ when God is calling us out for something bigger, we will miss out on blessings that are meant for us.
The place I was living had become a sort of ďcomfort zoneĒ for a while. But when I moved from one apartment in the complex to another, it became the thing that held me back. It was never in Godís plan for me to move into this apartment in the first place. The thing is that when I made the decision to move, I didnít pray about it. I didnít ask God what His thoughts were. What His plans were for me in that moment. I thought it seemed better because it offered a washer/dryer hook-up. In leaving God out of the decision making process, this apartment became a blessing blocker. It had become the thing that held me in a place I wasnít supposed to be. God allowed a shaking to happen in me. He got my attention loud and clear. He did not cause the health problems, but He allowed them to happen so that I would be able to fully trust in Him.
One day last summer, around my birthday, we were going to South Williamson mall to shop for my birthday. My head felt like a fog. Like I couldnít stand on my own. Mom, Kevin and Christy prayed for me in their driveway, and I believed God was going to touch me. We finally got to the mall, and as soon as I got out of the car, I heard this man singing a song. At first, I couldnít make out the words. Then it was as clear as a picture--- ďHe touched me, oh He touched me, and of the joy that floods my soul.Ē I was saying the words along with him. I couldnít see him, but I could hear him very clearly. God sent this man at this time so that I could hear those words.
I had never had any trouble believing for healing for someone else. But when it came to me, I had never had to. Looking back now, I can see that God was allowing this to happen to build a track record with me for my faith in Him for myself to become stronger. When we believe God for something for ourselves, itís always harder than believing for someone else. Surely the devil meant all of this for evil, but God used it for good. Just like with Job. Through it all, I didnít understand what was going on. Why my head was such a fog. Why I felt so off balance and dizzy. I went up front to be prayed for and I didnít just believe, I had and expectation that God was going to touch me. That He was going to heal me. It did not happen in an instant, but over time. Sometimes we need things to happen in a process like that because it is what builds faith in us. If we just skipped over all the hard parts, and the uncomfortable moments in life, how could our faith be made stronger? Without something to believe Him for, how would you know if He will??? God allows things to happen sometimes to get our attention. When itís involving your health, it gets your attention quickly. He allowed the symptoms to linger, not for my harm, but my benefit. He allowed it so that I would lean on Him. So that I would know where my help, and healing came from. Every day, I had to pray for strength to get through the day. And a few months later, my blood pressure was back to normal, and I can tell this story to others.
If we will only be willing to suffer some hard times, to endure the moments that seem to be the most miserable, we will find God was in it with us the entire time. He was never going to let go. He was holding on to me even when I didnít have the strength to hold on to Him. Thatís how faith is built. Itís all part of a learning process that leads us to have a faith like Abraham.
When I left the apartment behind, I was a little apprehensive, but not panicked. The people around me thought I was making an irreversible mistake. I never believed that. I knew in my gut (my knower) that God had something better. I am resting in the assurance that God has a plan that will exceed anything I could ever imagine for myself. When God brings these things into reality, the naysayers of my past will be able to see what I had been believing for. The reason I had to go.
Even though on the outside, Iím missing my stuff, and my own space, I can honestly say that on the inside Iím happier than Iíve been in a long time. One day I was feeling so down, feeling like maybe I would never be able to find a place to live, and God spoke to me once again saying, ďAbraham believed Me for a nation, and you canít believe me for a house?Ē Thatís when I knew that no matter how long this season may last, itís all for purpose that I may not understand until later. The fact is God will lead me to what He has for me if I will be still, make Him the center of all things, and above all, TRUST HIMÖ
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