“The act of faith is more than a bare statement of belief; it is a turning to the face of the living God.”
Faith is tangibly expressed through our obedience. What we believe shows up in our actions. At times I have marveled at Abraham’s great faith in God, especially when tested by God in Genesis 22:1-5 to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac. But when I reflect on Abraham’s prior history with God, I can better understand how he was able to obey.
Abraham’s experiences with God in Genesis 12-21, caused him to believe God and to take Him at His word. God spoke to Abraham, called him to leave his country, and promised to make him into a great nation. Abraham saw God’s hand of protection for him and his family numerous times. God called Abraham His friend, giving him access to intercede. God answered those prayers and rescued his nephew Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord made a new covenant with Abraham, complete with a name change. Sarah miraculously became pregnant at age 90 and gave birth to Isaac.
Abraham’s willingness to offer up his son shows us that Abraham believed three things about God. Abraham trusted in God’s goodness, that He would not ask Abraham to do something that would cause him harm. Abraham knew God would bless him and that He had his best interests at heart. He believed that overall, whatever God asked would be good for Abraham and his family.
Abraham also had faith that God was all-powerful, omnipotent. He knew God was able to do anything! “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20). Hebrews 11:19 writes that Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead.
Abraham saw by his experiences with God that God keeps His promises. God is the ultimate Promise Keeper. What God says, He will do. God promised that through Abraham’s offspring Isaac, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars.
Abraham obeyed God’s hard ask because he knew God was good, all-powerful, and able to keep His promises. Having a history with God also helps us to obey Him.
“What is more elevating and transporting, than the generosity of heart which risks everything on God’s word?”
John Henry Newman
Describe when you have seen God as good, powerful, and a fulfiller of His promises in your life.