Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Reflections...

Abraham's Life of Faith
"He went out not knowing where he was going." Hebrews 11:8

In the Old Testament, a person's relationship with God was seen by the degree of separation in that person's life. This separation is exhibited in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and his family. When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from their viewpoints. This is what Jesus was referring to in Luke 14:26, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not have hate (i.e., by comparison of his love for Christ) his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."

This is an inherently Christian doctrine to forsake the world and follow Jesus – Paul, Peter and the other Apostles knew it and lived it, John Bunyan practiced it, and I identify with and have complete comfort, joy and thanksgiving in it. Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. And it means loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reasoning - a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.

The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character, and we encounter many changes in the process. I feel the presence of God around me when I pray, yet others are only momentarily changed. We have this overwhelming tendency to keep going back to our everyday lives and the glory vanishes. A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, but is a life of day-in and day-out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31). It is not even a question of the holiness of sanctification, something which comes much farther down the road. It is faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test: Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life we all strive to lead - the life of faith - a faith, tested and true, built on the one true God. "Abraham believed God...." Romans 4:3.


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