“Lord, grow my faith.” That is a prayer that has been on my heart lately. Not exactly sure why it has been there repeatedly and so strongly, but I am convinced that examining our “growth” is a good exercise. One to be done regularly – just as carefully as parents assess the physical growth, and maturing, of a child. I’ve been a Christian for many years (um, decades) and it is easy to be content with a certain level of spiritual maturity. But, just as much as I would not want to remain a spiritual babe, I do not want to become stagnant in my growth.
Spiritual growth, obviously, requires spiritual food – milk (the spiritual basics) and then solid food (deeper truths). But it is not enough to just take in nourishment. Continuing with the comparison: a child’s growth requires food and exercise, and for our faith to grow we must “feed” it as well as exercise it. Doing as well as hearing. And doing – going, being willing to follow, and obeying – even in the midst of the unknown – is one of the strongest exercises of our faith. I think of it as an “Abraham kind of faith.”
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of the country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Genesis 12:1)
GO – Most of us are familiar with Abraham’s story. God called him – told him to leave his home and all that was familiar and to simply go. Not only was the call monumental…to leave everything – home, extended family, way of life and culture – but he was not given any instruction about his destination. It was all unknown. There was tremendous blessing attached to his obedience and willingness to go, and we know the end of the story which sometimes makes it more difficult for us to appreciate just how huge of a task and call Abraham had been given. Despite all of the unknown, Abraham willingly obeyed. That is faith.
God grew that faith – to the point that he was willing to, once again, obey God even when asked to sacrifice his son, Issac. How does faith get that strong? That resolute? Through close relationship with Christ. Regular communication with Him – both asking God and seeking wisdom, as well as listening when He speaks to our heart. And, then, through obedience. Obeying whatever and however He directs. Even if not all of the details are known.
Just to be clear: a “faith like Abraham” is not simply blind faith. After each step of faith, God proved Himself trustworthy, dependable and true to Abraham. This assurance gave Abraham a foundation on which to build his faith. Not only was Abraham blessed because of his faith, but he was also justified because of it.
“And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
STOP – A final thought. I mentioned my brother on Instagram earlier this week. He is preparing to move. To the other side of the world – Viet Nam. Selling everything here and persuing work that he is passionate about – a heart’s dream. But he has no job there. No house. Not even a bike. While I’m not sure his faith actually led him to that decision, he is trusting the Lord to provide. He inspires me and, as well, reminds me what faith – despite the unknown – really looks like. I know the end of Abraham’s story but not my brother’s…but I do know that God is just as able to lead, provide and to bless. Not only my brother but my faith as well!
This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt?? UNKNOWN:)