How To Live A Faithful Life
Abraham believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6
Why God chooses to use some and not others who seemingly have far greater talents and abilities has never been completely clear to me. The fact is that God often uses individuals who have little in the natural to recommend them. I think of Gideon, who demanded a sign from God, and Barak the military leader who wouldn’t face the enemy unless a woman went with him; Rahab, the prostitute, who was of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Include the twelve who were common fishermen, farmers, tax collectors and laborers, who walked with Jesus… along with St. Augustine, Mary Slessor, the Scottish lass who left such a mark on Africa in the nineteenth century, and on and on. But two common threads seem to be evident: Men and women who are used by God in some measure or capacity are people of simple faith, and have lives characterized by complete obedience.
No one better exemplifies these two characteristics than a man who lived almost 4,000 years ago, Abraham, the man who became known as “the friend of God.” It was Martin Luther who said that “faith is a lively, reckless confidence in God,” and it was this kind of faith that marked Abraham’s devotion to God. Hebrews 11 catalogues him in the roster of men and women of faith, saying simply, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he was going…….” Four words summarize his life: “By faith …Abraham obeyed.”
Naturally, Abraham is loved and admired by people. After all, who doesn’t admire Billy Graham, or a George Müller, or the missionary who lives in poverty, bringing healing to suffering humanity; but many of us stop with admiration and seldom embark on the journey ourselves. We tend to be much like G.K. Chesterton, a giant of a man who was an ardent admirer of mountain climbers. Chesterton once said, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills but I will not take my carcass thither!”
Are you that way when it comes to faith in God? You admire those who step out to follow God, but someway think that those who do are a cut above you. I’ve got news for you, friend. What God expected of Abraham, He still expects of you. The way you respond may be different, but when you are confronted with the will of God for your life as was Abraham, you have the same choice to make that he did, which is simply one of two things: obedience or disobedience. Indifference is the highest form of insult when God wants you to do something. Our problem, however, is we want options. We think of God’s will as one of a variety of choices, when in reality the choice is simply the path of obedience or disobedience. It is little wonder that Jesus said, “Broad is the way that leads to destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to life.”
God’s plan for your life is intensely personal. It includes your marriage, and how you treat your wife or husband. It includes how you raise your children, the way you spend your money and what you do with your time. Frankly, the will of God never has been a negotiable commodity. It wasn’t for Abraham, and it isn’t for you or for me. A knowledge of God’s will demands decisions and decision results in either obedience or disobedience.
When you make a commitment to do that, it’s amazing how simple things become.
Resource reading: Genesis 15:1-6