Abraham is a powerful figure for so many reasons. His faith was incredible. He literally left everything he knew to follow God in a direction he didn’t understand. Despite his shortcomings, Abraham triumphed time and time again because he believed God would show up. He believed it so much that he was willing to be bet his own life as well as the lives of his family. And in every situation, God did show up and Abraham’s faith was proven true.
I think one of the reasons Abraham’s story resonates with me is because I am not like him. If I am going to trust God then I need proof, direction, evidence that I am not going to be left poor and forgotten. My faith is so often small and frail. It cracks under the weight of every day life. I desperately want to do extraordinary things for God, but just the ordinary things tend to keep my hands full.
What I’m learning is that great things start small. I don’t have to have faith enough for tomorrow, only for what I am facing today. Abraham became Abraham one day at a time. Through trial and error, his faith was built on the victories of God in his life. And it was through learning and remembering that he grew into the patriarch we know him as today.
That is why I want to share these 7 lessons with you. I want us to live with BIG FAITH. And to get there we must start here, exactly where we are at today. I hope these insights inspire you to take small steps, to dig into God’s Word, and to believe that you are already living in the extraordinary story God is writing.
#1 My story is part of a much bigger story. (Genesis 11:27-32)
Abraham’s story didn’t just begin when God called him, or even when he was born. God had begun writing it long before Abraham was ever born and continued long after he was gone. The reason our stories matter is because they are part of something infinitely bigger.
#2 It’s okay to get frustrated when God doesn’t seem to be keeping His promises. He’s working on something big and has not forgotten about you. (Genesis 13:14-18)
If the story is so big, than that means I’m pretty small and insignificant, right? Wrong – God doesn’t work that way. The God we serve is a God of the details. He sees every piece and knows exactly why He needs it. Nothing and no one is insignificant in God’s eyes.
#3 It’s okay to ask God, How can I know? Faith doesn’t always have to be invisible. (Genesis 15:7-21)
Every time God does something significant in my life I build an “altar.” Sometimes they are simple, like a twenty-dollar bill or a note in a my Bible. Other times they are more extensive (like writing a book). These physical objects act as reminders. Whenever I see them, I am reminded of that time in my life when God stepped in and radically changed my situation. If altars were good enough for the patriarchs, I think they are definitely something we should implement.
#4 Our relationship with God affects everyone around us. (Genesis 17:15-27)
Because Abraham had faith, his family had the courage to take steps of faith as well. Abraham influenced his wife, children, and descendants by his obedience to God. We have the same opportunity. Whether it’s our family, friends or coworkers – every time we step out in faith, people see that. Sometimes the greatest way to share the Gospel is to simply act on God’s call and let Him do the rest.
#5 Remembering God’s actions in our past will help us fight today’s fear. (Genesis 20:1-18)
Have you ever had to retake a test? Usually, you do much better the second time around because you know what to expect. Then why do we still fail so much in our own lives? We have a dangerously short-term memory when it comes to God’s actions in our lives. Whether it’s helping us fight temptation or watching Him provide, we tend to fall back into our old ways way too easily. It’s only when we take the time to remember how God has already helped us win before, that we can have the faith to win again.
#6 God doesn’t run away from messes. He runs towards them. (Genesis 21:8-21)
Abraham’s life got messy at times. Between family drama, physical pain, and outer turmoil Abraham had his hands full. God wasn’t turned off by what He saw. In fact, when situations get messy and out of control, that is when God rolls up His sleeves and dives right in. We have to learn to run towards God and not away from Him when we are neck deep in life’s craziness. He is ready and able to help.
#7 We are always putting our faith in something. (Romans 4:16)
This last one is a hard one to swallow but the truth is we put faith in things everyday. If you’re sitting, you had faith the chair would hold you up. If you ate food today, you had faith that it wouldn’t poison you. Our jobs, education, relationships – these are all objects of our faith. We hope that they will take care of us and protect us and when they don’t, it feels as if our whole world is falling apart. God wants our faith to be in Him alone. Abraham succeeded by putting his faith in the right One. We can do the same.
Abraham had an uncommon life and so can we. We serve the same God he did thousands of years ago and the best part is, God is still writing.