Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

An Adventure with God

Luke 17:5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

The Difficulty
Faith in the Lord Jesus is what saves.  In addition, we walk by faith and not by sight after we are saved (1 Corinthians 5:7).  Sometimes I think it is more difficult to believe God when it comes to the practical promises of this life than it is to trust Him with our souls for eternity.  The Bible speaks of little faith and of great faith  I do not believe that great faith refers to the intensity of our believing or the quality of our believing but instead, I believe, great faith has to do with our ability to believe in promises that naturally speaking are unbelievable.  Little faith means that we have not yet matured to the point where we can rest on promises that make no logical sense.

The Example of Abraham
In Genesis 22, God tested Abraham by asking him to offer Isaac, his miraculous unique son, as a burnt offering.  This must have seemed strange since God had never before asked for a human sacrifice.  It was also strange because a dead son cannot produce offspring as promised to Abraham. Yet, Abraham willingly obeyed the Lord because He did believe Isaac would live to produce offspring.  Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham had confidence that God would raise Isaac from the dead.  Abraham had believed God when he was told that he would have a son through Sarah.  Yet he listened to his wife and tried to help God fulfill His promise by producing a child from his own body through Hagar, Sarah’s slave girl.  Obviously, this was a waiting time for Abraham, and often waiting times are times when we begin to question the promises of God.  Abraham had to wait until both he and Sarah were past the age when they could produce children before the promise to have a child was fulfilled.  When the promise was fulfilled, there was no human intervention involved, and there was no logical scientific explanation involved. The promise was made and was fulfilled by God himself.  The current nation of Israel is living proof of the fact that God did what He had promised Abraham.

When the test of Abraham’s faith came in Genesis 22, Abraham willingly did what God asked.  While Hebrews 11 makes it clear that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead, even in Genesis 22 we see Abraham saying that he and the lad would go yonder and worship and would come again (verse 5).  The man who had been weak in faith when he took Hagar and produced Ishmael, now has grown in faith and is willing to do whatever God asks.  He now expects God to do miracles.

Practical Application
Having weak faith is better than having no faith.  But if we walk by faith and not by sight, we will grow in our ability to believe in God’s practical promises.  When we come to the conclusion that what God has promised He will also perform (Romans 4:21), that is when we have great faith or are strong in faith.  In reading the story of Abraham and comparing it to New Testament teaching about Abraham’s faith, it seems Abraham’s faith was strong in Genesis 15 when the he is first promised a son, then he seems to have weakened when he took Hagar as the surrogate mom.  But Romans 4 makes it clear that when he reaches the age where neither he nor Sarah could have children because of the “deadness” of their bodies, then he was strong in faith.  This set the stage for him to worship God by being willing to offer Isaac on an altar even though Abraham was to be the father of many nations though Isaac.

Missed Blessing
How often do we miss miracles that God wants to do for us because we have a problem believing in the promises of God? The children of Israel received miracle after miracle when in the wilderness but they never expected the next one.   Because Abraham experienced the miraculous birth of Isaac, he was prepared to experience Isaac’s resurrection because of his confidence in God’s promises.  I know some people talk about their faith in a general way as though they have faith in a good God who will take care of them even though these people often have no promises from the Word of God on which to base their confidence.  I believe that kind of faith can be a good thing, but I believe it is better when we can remind God of promises that He has made to us.  It is even better when we have peace about the fact that “what He has promised, He will also perform.”  The promises don’t have to “make sense,” they just have to be God’s promises to us.

An Adventure With God
When our faith matures to the point where we can depend in a practical way on promises God has made to us, this life can be an adventure with God.  It is an adventure that those who walk by sight (human logic and reasoning) rather than by faith, will never experience.  When we quit second guessing the Lord and the promises He makes to us, that is when the adventure begins.  We don’t want to miss the thrill of that adventure.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of February 16, 2014

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