Thursday, January 12, 2012

By Faith

You may remember that last January I started the Bible in 90 Days challenge with my friend, Andrea.  It was a wonderful experience, and one I hope to repeat in the future.  However, in keeping with my mission of limiting as much pressure as possible from my daily schedule to focus on this first year of homeschooling, I decided to take on a less daunting but hopefully just as fulfilling task this January.  While Andrea reads the Bible in 90 Days again, I am reading The Story in 90 Days.  We started on Monday and are holding one another accountable for keeping up with our daily reading through regular texts and encouragement.    

In case you are not familiar with The Story, it is basically a chronological compilation of all the major stories, prophecies, psalms and proverbs of the Bible.  It does not include every scripture verse in the Bible, but all of the prose in The Story are word for word verses from the NIV Bible.  The purpose of The Story is to tell the narrative of God and His people, making "the insistent claim that a loving God has sought you and provided a way of redemption- a way for you to enter a relationship with Him." (p. ix)

This morning as I began reading about Abraham, these verses really ministered to me and where I am in my faith journey right now:

"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. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."  Hebrews 11: 8-10
"Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness."  Genesis 15: 6 
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be."  Romans 4:18
"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."  Romans 4: 20-21   
Biblical faith is not mere head knowledge.  It is not intellectual assent to the existence of God.  After all, even the demons believe- and shudder!   Biblical faith is obedience no matter the cost.  It is going where you are called, even when you do not know where you are going.  It is living as a nomad, never setting down immovable roots, so as to be ready to go when called at a moment's notice.  It is believing with hopeful expectation in the promises of God, even when the circumstances look to be against all hope.  It is unwavering.  It is being fully persuaded in His power.  It gives glory to God in the midst of pain, fear and confusion.  It is looking forward to that city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.    

Abraham and Sarah had reason to fear, but they had bigger faith.  My cousins have sorrow and pain, but they have bigger faith.  I have had times of fear, sorrow, confusion and pain.  And I am learning to walk by bigger faith.  A faith that is bigger than all these feelings.  A faith that is hopeful, expectant, ready and willing, and glorifies God.  A Biblical faith.  As I journey, I am thankful for the examples of faith from the Word and from this life.  And I am thankful for my God who is always FAITHFUL to nudge me along in my walk of faith, bringing me ever closer to that city with foundations.  

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