Wednesday, March 6, 2019
I am encouraged when I see that Abram’s faith was a work in progress. I can relate. Abram’s faith was growing and being challenged to continue to grow, just as mine is every day.
Faith grows every time we take another step of faith. No step of faith is the last one, but each step of faith leads to a greater one. Abram has just demonstrated his desire to trust God for everything (see yesterday’s devotional). God now asks him to take yet another and even bigger step of faith.
Genesis 15:1-6 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: ”Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
In today’s story, God speaks to Abram and says that He is his very great reward. Abram’s faith is challenged. Abram is very wealthy already. He has a huge household of people serving him. He is in possession of a great land, and his fame is spreading. He has flocks and herds and camels, and he lacks for nothing. But Abram also understands that the heritage of future generations is the greatest reward any person can possess. This is obvious from his question back to God, which is, “What can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram knew that if he had no descendants he had no real reward.
Let me ask you – where is your treasure? Jesus said that wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart is. Is your treasure in what you have? Is it in what you accomplish? Our first faith principle for today is this – our treasure is to be in the people to whom we model faith? Possessions cannot pass on heritage. Only people can! Put your heart into people, especially your family, and pass on the heritage of faith.
Back to the story: God gives Abram more details of His incredible promise. God says that Abram will have a son, and that through this son his offspring will become as numerous as the stars in the heavens. This is extremely significant. God’s earlier promise to Abram in Genesis 13 was that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust (or sand) of the earth. In his early stages of faith, Abram needed to see things from a worldly, horizontal perspective.
The second faith principle is this – God understands our weak faith and meets us where we are to give us what we need to grow. Maybe right now in your life your faith is still small and all you can see is the world’s perspective. God will meet you there, but be prepared – He will not leave you there. As Abram’s faith grew, God asked him to change his perspective from looking at the world’s view to seeing a heavenly view. Abram’s significant step of faith was to hear God say, “Look up, don’t look around.”
I believe that is the step of faith many of us need to take today. Stop looking around for the fulfillment of life and the greatest reward: look up with the eyes of faith and trust the Sovereign Lord.
This is the first time in Scripture that anyone has called God Sovereign, and it is significant. Abram believed that God was in absolute control of all things and would accomplish His purpose. Even though he did not fully understand it, he surrendered to it, and God credited his faith as righteousness.
Abram did not work to receive righteousness; he believed the promise of a Son. It was more than a belief in a physical son named Isaac who would be born. By looking up Abram saw the spiritual heritage that he would be given when the Son, Jesus Christ, would be born. (See Romans 4:23-25) Abram’s reward was the spiritual understanding of God’s eternal purpose for man. He could not receive that reward by looking around. He looked up.
My friends, it is time for us to experience the fullness of God’s spiritual reward for our lives by looking up instead of looking around. It is time for us to take the next step of growing faith and surrender to the Sovereign so that the spiritual overwhelms the sensual. This will eliminate the need for knowing and seeing, and will solidify the reality of trusting.
Will you take that step today? If you do, you will soon be saying, “Things are looking up!”