The Testing of Your Faith, Part 2
In Part 1, we looked at the testing of our faith—testing will come to every one of us who are children of God. And particularly if we want to be fully His, giving Him not just “a place” in our lives, but what He demands: preeminence in our lives. God cannot take a backseat if He is Lord of our life.
We looked at the challenges Abraham faced in the test God gave him: to sacrifice his son Isaac—Abraham’s heir and his hope for the future lineage God had promised him. We asked the question:
CAN I TRUST GOD WITH THE POSSESSIONS HE HAS GIVEN ME?
Now we ask:
CAN I TRUST GOD WITH THE PURPOSE HE HAS FOR ME?
God had given Abraham a purpose—a son and a lineage, a people of faith. Now God says, “Put that to death.” That didn’t make sense.
Faith is not primarily believing God in spite of the evidence. It is obeying God in spite of the consequences. Not knowing why, not having to know why. Obedience is the great proof of our trust and our faith. When we know that we know, when we know we have a word from God, we don’t pass it past the judgment bar of our understanding. We simply obey. The only alternative to obedience is disobedience.
What kind of obedience must it be?
It must be informed obedience. Don’t go out and make some sort of sacrifice to show God how much you love Him. You’ll make a horrible mistake. Be in tune with God. Listen to God. Abraham heard God speaking. Many Christians are endeavoring to do things for God that God doesn’t want done. God has not promised to bless any endeavor He has not commanded. We must hear God in order to obey God. It must be informed obedience.
It must be intentional obedience. Are you listening? Do you report to God for duty? Real obedience is not mere absence from doing wrong. It is actively seeking the will of God for your life. Ignorance of God’s will is not an excuse.
It must be immediate obedience. When God gave Abraham the command, “in the morning he rose up …” (Genesis 2:23.) No wait, no delay. As soon as possible, he got on the road to do exactly what God told him to do. Has God told you to say something, give something, do something and you’re waiting? Don’t wait.
It must be impassioned obedience. Not reluctant. Not pouting. Not dragging. We need to serve Jesus Christ in these days in which we live with a burning, blazing passionate, emotional love for Jesus Christ.
CAN I TRUST HIM WITH THE PROMISES HE HAS MADE TO ME?
17 He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son…”
Abraham did not know how God would do it. He just simply knew that God would do it, and God did it.
God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac. Why? It wasn’t Isaac that God wanted, it was Abraham. God said, “Now I know that you love Me more than you love anything else.”
What is the heart of this message? If you love it, let it go. If it’s yours, you’ll get it back. If not, you will be saved from a fate worse than death: holding on to something that would be an impairment to your spiritual life. Jesus said, “If you love your life, you lose it. If you lose it for My sake and the gospels, you’ll find it.”
Remember the saying, “Finders keepers, losers weepers”? God says just the opposite: “Keepers weepers, losers finders. Lose your life for Mine, and you will find it.”
19“Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead…”
The word “accounting” here literally means Abraham considered. It means to calculate. It’s the Greek word we get our word “logistics” and “logic” from. Abraham reasoned that if God could miraculously give him a son in his old age, He could also raise that son from death.
Abraham is calculating, “God, You gave me this boy. I can trust You with him. Lord God, You have a purpose. I can trust You with it. Lord God, You made a promise, then I reckon on it. God, You’re going to keep Your Word. You cannot lie. I don’t have to understand. I don’t have to parade it past the judgment bar of my knowledge.”
God gave him back his son, and Abraham called the name of that place “Jehovah-jireh” God will provide.
Is there any good gift you’re unwilling to surrender? I’m not talking about the bad things. I’m talking about the blessings. It may be your finances. It may be your health. It may be your grandchildren. Is there any obedience that you’re not willing to perform even though it seems contradictory to what you think is God’s way for you?
Is there any promise that you cannot trust God with even when it doesn’t make sense. Remember, we don’t live by explanations, we live by promises.
You may not like this message. I didn’t like it. You may be saying, “Oh no, God, I don’t want this kind of test.” The faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. God wants you to be strong in faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God.
The Messiah that Abraham trusted is the one I want you to trust today.
To hear this entire message, including more content than we can share here, the message will be heard on radio nationwide in two parts on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15 and 16. You can hear it on our website, www.lwf.org on those dates and afterward, and at www.oneplace.com.
If you’d like a CD copy for your own study and review or to share with a loved one or friend, call us at 1-800-LOVE-GOD and request Message # 2392, “The Testing of Your Faith.”