Believing... Faithing... Trusting
There are three letters that make us know that an action is in progress, that it is continnual. ING... running... jumping... swimming... believing...
Believing God is an action that must and always be continuous for the action to be effective. Once we stop believing God, all the lions and tigers and bears start crowding our thoughts, which leads to fear.
Fear is of Satan.
Gen 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, You stay here with the ass. I and the boy will go over there that we may worship and may return to you.
Fascinating passage. God had just asked Abraham to sacrifice his son by his beloved wife Sarah, to put him on the altar as a burnt offering.
Fear could so easily have engulfed Abraham. So often we tell God "Your will, not mine, LORD." Then when God asks us to do something, we say... "Um, I know I didn't hear You correctly, LORD. I think you actually meant this and such." Or we tell God that we've decided to do something else altogether. Sometimes it may take a month, or a year, but those who really love the LORD will come to the realization that God literally meant what He said and we must do what He says.
What we so often forget is that God can do what He says He can do. He is the Creator after all. He is in control, if we let Him be in control. Things actually do turn out a lot better when He's director of our feet rather than an observer of our path.
Abraham did not say, "Uh... wait a second God. You just gave me this boy 15 years ago. He's the promised one to me and now you want me to do what???"
No. Abraham knew beyond any doubt that God would provide the sacrifice. He would follow through with the sacrifice exactly as God asked. He had the knife in his hand to slay his son and suddenly an angel cries out for him to stop.
Can you imagine Isaac's relief? Can you imagine the burgeoning joy that floods Abraham at the realization that he would not have to follow through with the sacrifice of his son. I do not know if Abraham thought that God would bring the boy back to life, of if Abraham thought that God would give him another son, or if he knew that God would stay his hand at the last minute. I do know, though, beyond any shadow of doubt that Abraham knew he and Isaac would return down off Mount Moriah, back to his men and the donkeys, for this is what he said before they ascended the mount.
That is Believing.
But, that is not the end of the story. Because of Abraham's believing and because of his unquestioning obedience both in deed and in thought, God blessed him.
Gen 22:16 And He said, I have sworn by Myself, declares Jehovah, that on account of this thing you have done, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies.
Blessing follows obedience. It always has. Perhaps God asks the impossible of us, but He never fails to provide what He asks. Time, talent, money, children, family... God requires many precious things from us, and He is fully trustworthy with them. He never fails. He always prevails. Have faith in God... Have faith in God.
Is there a power greater than that which raised Jesus from the dead?
Revelation 4:11 tells us that the LORD is worthy to recieve all honor, glory and praise. No other was found to be worthy. The Lamb who was slain was found worthy. All things were created by Him and for His great pleasure.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that our faith (belief) brings Him pleasure, without no one can please Him. It is a simple thing, yet so hard.
It is easy to believe there is God. He created the heavens and the earth in all their glory. The universe is vast beyond our wildest imaginings, but the Bible tells us that it can be measured by his hand's breadth. A newborn's cry is a testimony to God's presence for He created life. His signature is in the stars for He named each one of the billions of billions of stars. Just look at some of the photos that the Hubble Telescope takes. The dogwood's flower gives testimony.
But to believe God. That is harder to do. When you don't "feel" the presence of God, how do you know He's there?
That is when we must go with what we know rather than our feelings. I love to remember the times we have had together and to draw my comfort from those things He has done for me, from the fact He has never failed me, ever. I know He will fulfill His promises because of all the promises He has already fulfilled. He made the sun stand still. He made the wet bottom of the sea dry as toast. He cause it to rain, and He caused the rain to dry up. He raised Jesus from the dead.
That kind of power flows through Him and yet, He is mindful of me. He knows my name and how many hairs are on my head and the number which are gray and the number which are brown. It matters not to Him how many wrinkles I have, for He has taken me Just As I Am.
Is there a power greater than raising Someone from the dead? Perhaps it is the power of changing lives, the power of forgiveness, the power of mercy, the power of grace. Without those, Jesus would not have needed to be raised for He wouldn't have given Himself as sacrifice.
Psalm 5:11 But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever, because You cover them. And let those who love Your name be joyful in You
Such simple words and yet they hold all the comfort of a snuggly quilt and a warm, cozy fire complete with hot cocoa and a purring cat on the lap.
God's asks a lot of us. We can't see Him. We can't touch Him. Why should we believe Him, trust Him, have faith in Him?
Because He said so.
If that isn't enough, then there is plenty of evidence that He is real, that He does exactly what He says He'll do, and that He answers our prayers, that He loved us enough to die for us. There is no greater love than that, except He also loved us enough to rise from the dead. He is alive, back from the dead and that, my friends, is a feat great enough to silence the most scornful voice.
Considered thoughts from Gina Burgess at 1:30 PM