Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And, it's devotional time:

Read Genesis Chapters 20-23

“God Himself will provide…” Genesis 22:8

Mountaintop Faith

In all honesty, the test of Abraham’s faith, found in Genesis 22, has always left me feeling inadequate. How would I have responded to God’s directive? It wasn’t so much a question, for I knew the answer and doubted my ability to meet the task. It was only when I set aside my personal sense of inadequacy and looked more closely at this test of faith that I was able to see that my faith has not so much to do with my abilities, it only requires that I trust our God who is able.

I struggled with God’s command that Abraham must sacrifice Isaac; I wrestled with the necessity of such a test of faith. I avoided even thinking about this command as I could never justify the sacrifice required for any outcome; even if that outcome was an analogous precursor for Jesus. And, once I became a parent, this conflict intensified. Unintentionally, during these thoughts of uncertainty, I experienced a test of my own faith. Was I truly walking in faith? Could I, like Abraham, be called a “servant of God” (Genesis 26:24) or a “friend of God” (2 Chronicles 20:7); could I ever “please God” (Hebrews 10:38) if I could not be obedient without question?

As we review the entirety of Abraham’s life, we find that even the Father of Faith struggled with disobedience and self-reliance. Although God had promised that Abraham would be the “father of [many]” (Genesis 15:5), with a lack of trust in this promise, Abraham and Sarai manipulated the birth of Ishmael (Genesis 16). In Genesis 20, we read another time of disbelief as Abraham relies on his own maneuvering over God’s divine protection (11-13), tempting Sarai to enter into sinful deception as well. As you study these verses, do you see that Abraham was not always perfect in his faith? It was God who never failed - He is the perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Abraham’s example of faith illustrates not only the importance of faith (in fact, faith is mentioned over 300 times throughout the Bible) it also demonstrates God’s provision of unmerited favor; his grace. Although we may not always see clearly, we can still have the faith of Abraham when we practice the kind of faith that Oswald Chambers defines as “deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”


Are you facing a struggle that seems unbearable and you doubt your ability to continue? Are there circumstances in your life that are causing you uncertainty? In the face of doubt, may we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2)

Today’s devotional was written by Diane Viere
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Dawn said...

Absolutely wonderfully said! I have struggled with the same questions.

Nadine said...

Great post. It's a good reminder to keep our eyes on Him.

C. H. Green said...

This is such good stuff, girl! That and your newest post. I love t when you share your God moments wth us.