Abraham: The Model of Faith

It is widely accepted that Abraham is the Model of Faith, meaning that Abraham’s life teaches us what real faith is all about.

THE MODEL:  God made a Covenant or contract with Abraham.  Abraham believed (had faith) in God and his Covenant.  God counted that faith to Abraham as righteousness (Romans 4:3), as right standing before God.  THEN Abraham obeyed God daily and walked according to God’s “commandments, statutes, and laws.”  THEN Abraham was blessed by God according to the promises made in the Covenant.

Abraham looking up at the starsGenesis 26:4-5“And I (God) will make your (Abraham’s) seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

The Apostle James is one of Jesus’ (Y’shua) original disciples and also his half-brother and was also head of the first Church at Jerusalem.  James writes a most excellent chapter about faith in James 2:14-26: 

(21)  “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  (22)  See how faith worked together with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  (23)  And the scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’  (24)  You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

You discover who a person really is and what they are about by their actions.  A person’s faith is seen in what they do.  For if they say Jesus (Y’shua) is their Lord and Savior but don’t walk in obedience to God in their life they really don’t have faith in Jesus (Y’shua).

Faith Like a Little Child

Obedience to God is a Matter of Trust

Remember when you were a child, looking innocently up into your parent’s eyes, ever trusting –  they were your safety, your comfort, your home.

God our Father knows us better than we could ever hope to know ourselves.  He knows what is best for us.  As our Father, he expects us to obey even when we don’t know “why” he’s asking us to do something.  This is a child-like faith.  It’s natural to want to know “why” God is asking us to do something.  A rebellious child will not obey.  An obedient child obeys because they trust God.   Often you find out “why” on the other side of obedience, but knowing “why” should never be a prerequisite or condition for our obeying God.

Child-Like Faith is Required

The only one who is perfect and can be perfectly relied upon is God.  There’s a song:  “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Matthew 18:1-4(1)  At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  (2)  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,  (3)  And said, Truly I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  (4)  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And in Mark 10:15, Jesus states:  “Truly I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

bart-children-runningAs children growing up with earthly parents and a heavenly father, we all tend to go through cycles of rebellion, discipline, good standing, rewards, and maturing.  Sometimes we learn quickly that obedience gets better results than disobedience and rebellion.   You also learn quickly that our parents reward and bless us when we please them and are doing what they want.  God wants us to obey him because we love and trust him, because we yield to him and desire to please him.  It’s always been about having a good and healthy relationship with God.  It’s about fellowship with our Heavenly Father, our Creator, in its purist child-like way.

No Greater Faith

bart-centurionMatthew 8:7-10“And Jesus said unto him, ‘I will come and heal him.’  The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.’  When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Truely I say unto you, I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel.

The Roman Centurion’s faith was absolutely confident in the capability, power, and authority of Jesus (Y’shua).  There was no doubt because he “knew” God.  The closer you get to God in knowing him, the more confidence and strength of faith you gain.  Doubt fades away and becomes a distant memory.  This is the type of faith that Jesus (Y’shua) wants us to have.

If I asked you do you know your parents?  You would most likely say, “Yes, of course.  They raised me.”  This is the same.  Let God teach and raise you, don’t fight him, trust and obey him and you will have the strength and confidence of faith to “know” and not doubt.

 

Faith and Doubt

Walking on the Water

bart-walking-on-waterMatthew 14:29-31 (ESV):  “And Peter answered him (Jesus), ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’  He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, O you of little faith[G3640], why did you doubt[G1365]? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Lack of Faith:  NT #G3640 means:  lacking confidence (in Christ): – of little faith.

Doubt:  NT #G1365 means:  (mentally) to waver (in opinion)

Having Rock Solid Faith

You might have heard the teaching about the Mustard Seed and Faith, how a small seed of faith can move mountains.  This brief teaching is about finding God’s Perfect Will, fighting the opposition, and having a rock solid faith in God.

Matthew 17:19-20“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him (an evil spirit) out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Luke 17:5-6:  “And the apostles said unto the Lord (Jesus/Y’shua), Increase our faith.  And the Lord said, If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say unto this sycamore tree, Be you plucked up by the root, and be you planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

James 1:6-8“But let him ask in faith, not wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

 

Just as a small seed of faith can move mountains, a small seed of doubt can destroy mountains of faith.

 

Confidence or having rock solid faith in God is extremely important.  Know this:  That God wants you to know his Will more than anything and to know it without a shadow of a doubt.  That being, if you do not feel you know God’s Will on something, it is better that you stop and wait on God.

Isaiah 40:30-31 (ESV):  “Even youth shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD י ה ו ה shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Often our instinct is to always “do something” but that approach can lead you into walking outside of God’s Will and into destruction or hurting someone else.  The most important thing you can do is to know God’s Will and to know it without any doubt.  When doing so you walk in the full power, might, and protection of God.

Ephesians 6:16“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

Fighting the Good Fight.  Think of it this way:  To use a farming concept, when you are plowing a field you do it one row at a time.  If you constantly keep your eyes fixed on the goal, the fence post at the end of the field, then you will plow a straight row, otherwise your field will look like a complete mess and you won’t be able to grown anything.  The fence post down at the end of the field is your goal: God’s Will.  If anything steps in front of you and becomes an obstacle to you accomplishing God’s Will, you have the full force and authority of God to destroy it.

It is such a terrible thing to spend one’s time and efforts to do something that will not bear holy fruit from God.  That is why it is so important to say within God’s Will.  To not waste one’s time on un-fruitful activities.  To have gone down a path thinking you were doing what God wanted but to find out it was not – having to abandon that road with all your time and efforts gone to waste.  So be sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt before you do something.  Over time, as you get closer to God you will start to know him very well and with his Holy Spirit instructing you and tell you what to do you, your labors become very fruitful and beneficial to yourself and to others.  Because you start to minister to others, not mainly out of a duty to God, but out of the overflow of God within you, pouring out naturally and much less effortlessly into other people’s lives.

bart-tree-faithJeremiah 17:5,7-8 (ESV): (5) “Thus say the LORD י ה ו ה, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD י ה ו ה.’

(7) ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD י ה ו ה  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear for it does not cease to bear fruit.’”

 

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