Friday, April 13, 2018

Faith to Obey, Occupy and Offer

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6 NASB

The essence of spiritual life is faith.  We know we are saved by faith (Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9), are to live by faith (Hebrews 10:38) and discover our peace by faith.  The writer of Hebrews shares story after story of people who discovered the power of faith in their lives.
Faith by definition is the substance, assurance or confidence of things we deeply desire and the evidence or validating of things not yet come to pass.  It’s not some whimsical notion of "I guess so ... or hope so!"  Faith is to have some substance to it!  Faith is to be the concrete of God's Word in our lives that holds us steady in our assurance of God and the evidence of God working when all else is giving way. 
Looking into the life of Abraham we find his life a picture of faith in three ways… 
  1. He was willing to Obey: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
Abraham was called to go out ... out of the familiar…surroundings; family; friends; security; comfort zone, and not knowingwhere he was going.  God is always on the move. You can't stay where you are and still go with God.  God is about change…transforming me into the image of His Son.   Having Faith will mean changeeven if we stay where we are.
  1. He was willing to Occupy: By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; Hebrews 11:9  
Abraham was challenged to live where he was led but always be ready to move; there were no permanent dwellings but tents.  We may be guilty of limiting God by our settled lifestyle but even staying where we are requires faith.  Faith challenges us to occupy (dwell in) the time and space where God has placed us for the moment.  Finding purpose in every day is the picture of Ephesians 5:16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” andColossians 4:5  “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” God’s greatest challenge it seems is getting control of our present, not the promise of our future
  1. Faith Challenged to Offer: By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  
    Hebrews 11:17 
Faith will always require a sacrifice at some point because faith calls us beyond ourselves.  Faith is limited when we hold on to something else for our identity and security.  Abraham was challenged to give up... offer up... Isaac.  Abraham offered up his life, promises, future ... his all.  By faith what    do you need to offer up to God that you have been holding back? 
May our faith challenge us to obey God’s direction, live in His purpose and surrender our all today.

Scripture to Claim:Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. 
Hebrews 11:39-40 MSG

Devotional Archive