I love vacations. Getting away with the family from the daily routines of life to enjoy different places and experiences helps to recharge the soul. I don’t however enjoy the actual planning of the vacation. The details involved in the preparation can have the opposite effect on me. However, in order to really get the most out of a vacation we must in fact plan.
The thought of taking a trip without much preparation would sound foolish to most of us. And yet, that is exactly what we find occurring in the life of Abraham. In Genesis 12 God calls Abram to get up and go to a foreign land that God would show him. But he isn’t just leaving for a quick out of town trip. He is moving his entire family, forever.
It is no surprise that the author of Hebrews would utilize this story in his depiction of what real faith looks like in Hebrews 11. There we read of three important aspects of Abrahams faith. We see that Abraham possessed a faith that was obedient, trusted in God’s power and faithfulness, and desired God above all else.
In Hebrews 11:8 – 10 we see a brief recap of Abraham’s call by God to go. The author writes in such a way so as to highlight that Abraham was immediately obedient to God’s calling. Delayed obedience cannot really be called obedience. Abraham was quick to obey. He does not take time to question God, ask for more details, or stall. He simply obeys. And he obeys not for some promised lavish and extravagant lifestyle. He simply obeys because God has called him.
And then in the following verses we are reminded of a promise given to Abraham by God. In Genesis 12 Abraham is told that God will make him into a great nation. However, there was a bit of a complication with this promise. Abraham and Sarah were childless and the couple was 99 and 90 years old! Although we do read of a lapse in faith in Genesis 12 we see that Abraham and Sarah trusted the Lord and He delivered on His promise to deliver them a son. Hebrews 11:11,12 records how the couple focused not on the problem but on the power of God. And they trusted in the promise of God more than worrying about the problem. This ability to trust in God’s power and faithfulness to His promises was another key ingredient to the real faith Abraham possessed.
And finally, we see in Hebrews 11:13 – 16 that Abraham held a faith that desired God above everything else. Even though Abraham moved into the land promised to him as an inheritance he was still an alien living in a foreign land. Why? Because this world was not his true home. Abraham desired more than what this world could offer. He desired to dwell with God forever in eternity.
Are these qualities present in our own faith? Are we obedient to God’s Word and His calling? Do we trust in His power and faithfulness to be able to always work everything for our good and His glory? Do we desire Him above everything else which allows us to be obedient to whatever He calls us to do?
All of us definitely have room for improvement when it comes to these areas of our faith. Therefore, let us commit to building up our faith by spending time in God’s Word nourishing our souls with His truth and promises. Let us read biographies of great men and women who, like Abraham, have exhibited real faith. And let us pray, asking God to give us an obedient, trusting faith, that desires Him above all.