“By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” - Hebrews 11:8
I heard a story about a woman who lived in mortal fear of a burglar breaking into her two-story home. At least once a week, she would wake up her husband in the middle of the night and beg him to go downstairs and check out a noise that she heard. This went on for over 10 years.
Then one night, things were different. The wife heard a noise, woke up her husband, and he stumbled downstairs as usual to check it out. But when he reached the bottom of the stairs, he got the shock of his life. He looked around the corner into the family room, and there actually WAS a burglar in their house! The man staggered back in shock. Then he introduced himself and said, "You’ve GOT to go upstairs and meet my wife. She’s been expecting you for years!"
You could make the case that for 10 years that man’s wife had a whole of faith. Even though she never saw him, she BELIEVED that burglar was coming for her. But now, let’s take a look at a more positive kind of faith—the kind shown by one of the greatest men of faith in the whole Bible: Abraham.
Abraham started life with the name Abram. He and his family lived in
which is located in modern-day Iraq, not very
far from Baghdad. In Genesis 12:1, God spoke
to Abram for the first time, saying, “Leave your country, your people and your
father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” In this short verse,
God commands Abram to “GO” and leave behind three things: his country, his
people, and his family. That would be tough enough. Now, notice that God didn’t
even tell Abraham where he was going. He simply said, “Go to the land I will
show you.” That would be like God telling you or me, “Head east!” “East” could
mean Palm Springs, Arizona,
New Mexico, New York,
or even China!
Abraham had to push his doubts and questions aside to do what God told him to do. And he had to give up a
LOT in order to do it. But
according to Genesis 12:4, “Abram left, [just] as the Lord had told him.” That
journey eventually added up to about 1,000 miles total—traveled on foot. Abraham
did it not because God answered all of his questions, but because God simply
said, “Go!” So, in faith, Abraham went.
Abraham confidently obeyed God’s command to GO no matter how uncomfortable it was, no matter how much criticism he received from his family and friends. And, in all likelihood, at least some of those people were devastated to hear that Abraham was walking away from their tribal god to follow some new God called Jehovah. But Abraham counted the cost and obediently walked in faith anyway. Why? Because that’s what faith does. I love the way it’s described in Hebrews 11:8: “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
Over the years I’ve discovered that most people are willing to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. After all, most Americans believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. And most people really don’t want to go to Hell. So, they’re more than happy to say a quick prayer or jump through a few quick religious hoops to get “fire insurance” to avoid Hell. In my experience, most people are willing to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. But most are not willing to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. You see, the word “Lord” means “boss and master,” and most of us despise the thought of someone being our master.
But if no one has ever told you this, let me be the first to tell you loud and clear: Savior and Lord go hand-in-hand. Jesus cannot be divided in two. Jesus is the whole package. If you accept him as your Savior, you also accept him as your Lord. But if you reject him as your Lord, you are also rejecting him as your Savior. If I truly have faith in Jesus Christ, there is no mistaking who’s in charge: He’s in charge—not me. He’s in the driver’s seat of my life—not me. He gives the marching orders, and I obey those marching orders. That’s true Bible faith.
That’s the kind of faith that Abraham had as he left his hometown, country, friends and family and headed Northwest, even though he didn’t know where he was going. And that’s the kind of faith that God has called you and me to have today.
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for our Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m. at the new Dr. Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.