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Stretching Our Faith
6/7/2017

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

What would you do if you were asked to sacrifice the life of your child, or any loved one for that matter?  This is exactly what happened to Abraham (Genesis 22:2).  God tells him to take his “only” son whom he loves, up into the mountains, and to sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.  Ouch!  What’s even more amazing is Abraham believes and trusts God so much he doesn’t even question this command.

We can see this same type of faith as recorded in the Book of Exodus when Moses leads the people out of Egypt, and out of bondage of slavery.  God gives the command and the people respond by leaving their homes and following Moses. As we look at these two stories it is remarkable how they both required faith, and yet each one was uniquely different.  Let me explain.

In the first story Abraham was asked to do something that would cost him dearly, and yet he followed God despite the costs.  And in the end, God spared his son.  God never intended to have Abraham take the life of Isaac; He was just allowing Abraham to prove his faith and obedience.  And we can see the fruit of Abraham’s faithfulness recorded in Genesis 22:16-17.

“By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. Genesis 22:16-17 (NKJV)

In the second story the Israelites were given the hope of the Promised Land when they were told to follow Moses.  Their obedience wavered badly and they complained and murmured constantly, and they did not exercise faith in God’s promise.  And as a result many of them never saw the Promised Land, instead they just roamed about in the desert until they died.  Once this faithless generation was gone God allowed their sons and daughters to enter in to the Promised Land.

but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD— because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. Numbers 14:21-23 (NKJV)

The way I see it, the Israelites probably would have never left if they had known everything they would face and experience.  They would have reasoned amongst themselves, and concluded it was not worth it.  And yet if they had been faithful to trust and obey—even though the going was rough—they would have received a tremendous blessing.

Q: How does this apply to us today as Christian men and women?

It means we will probably also be tested, and will probably face some serious challenges at various times in our life.  And we will be given the choice to exercise our faith by trusting God completely—even praising Him in the storm—or we will stop walking in faith, instead choosing to doubt, mumble and complain bitterly.

God isn’t going to come tell us every detail of what we will face in our life, but He has given us His Word to tell us what we need to know.  And just as in the case of Abraham, we just need to trust in God and His perfect plan, even if it looks fatal.  God is going to stretch our faith because this is how we grow spiritually.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Proverbs 3:5-6, what are we promised if we trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding?

PERSONAL INVENTORY:  Are you willing to follow God faithfully, putting your trust in Him, and abiding in what He asks of you?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make a commitment today to follow God in faith.  It might not look good always, as there will be times of testing, but God has a specific plan, and it is perfect.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for taking care of my family and me so faithfully.  Thank You for allowing Your Son Jesus to die in my place, so I could be forgiven of my sin when I placed my faith in Him and received Him into my heart.  Jesus, I choose to follow You and to trust in You in every aspect of my life.  Give me the faith I need to walk after You.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000