It is impossible to be a Christian without some semblance of faith. More specifically, it is impossible to please God (or enter into a relationship with Him) without faith.
At the moment of our salvation, we are essentially saying, "Lord, I believe. And I accept your gift of grace, as demonstrated through Christ's death and resurrection." This is our defining moment of faith. Yet as we grow and mature as Christians, God will continually call us to express our faith in his goodness and power. Thus, we must practice faith on a daily basis.
God will grant us the opportunities to do more than our perceived abilities, talents, and gifts would seem to allow. Faith means grasping hold of these opportunities and seeing what God is capable of doing, despite of our human weaknesses. The rewards for a life of obedience are great, as we can see in the story of Abraham. Genesis 17-18
- A supernatural and laughable pronouncement was made to Abraham and Sarah.
When God promised Abraham and Sarah an heir despite their old age, a son was practically inconceivable. First of all, Sarah had been barren all of her life. Secondly, she was past the age of childbearing. Yet because of their belief in God's word, Abraham and Sarah were indeed blessed with a son, Isaac.
Ephesians 3:20 speaks of God as capable of doing immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. So why not ask and imagine, with faith that He can and will do all things that work for His glory and purpose? In your prayer life this week, why not pray as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane? Present your presents to God with the premise that not [your] will but [His] be done. Luke 22:42
- A supernatural purpose is marked by a new name.
Acts 11:26 is the first place in the Bible where the followers of Christ are referred to as "Christians." When we place our lives in His hands, believing and committing to Him, he gives us a new identity as a Christian. Let us not forget that we as believers are also considered sons and daughters of the Lord God, beloved heirs.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 What a privilege to have a new name, "Christians," that includes/encompasses His own name.
- A supernatural parting from the world is marked by circumcision.
Abraham experienced physical circumcision as a mark of his faith/commitment to God. Today, post-Christ's death (which abolished the law as the means of relating to God), we experience circumcision "of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code."
- A supernatural provision of the promised land was made.
God is faithful to provide for those who honor and follow Him. No, He does not promise us a life of riches, power, or prestige, but He promises us things that are far more valuable: peace, love, joy, etc. As Jeremiah 29:11 illustrates, God's plans are always to prosper us (not in the earthly sense of the world), and to give us hope and a future. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God says: My grace is sufficient for you. We can be assured as Christians that God's grace will preserve us and provide for us in all ways.
- The supernatural preparation of Sarah's body enabled her to have a son at 90 years of age.
Because of our faith, God will work within and through us. One of the many ways through which God achieves His purposes is seen in the utilization of spiritual "gifts" that are granted to each believer. Before we are Christians, we have talents; after we accept Christ, He will enhance our strengths (and even provide new ones) "as he determines." 1 Corinthians 12:11 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:4-5
- A supernatural prerogative was given to Abraham.
God said to Abraham, I am almighty God; walk before me and be blameless. Genesis 17:1 The purpose of Abraham's life shifted after God's mandate. Just as we used to live to satisfy the sinful nature before we were saved, we now must strive for blamelessness in the sight of God, in light of His grace and mercy. Romans 8:9
Note that God did not tell Abraham, "Walk before me and you will live a life of comfort and ease." No, instead he tells Abraham to walk before Him and be blameless, solely because of who He is - the "almighty God," deserving of all praise and honor.
Today, will you walk before the Lord and be blameless?