Thursday, October 20, 2011

Radical Faith

What is faith? Well as the dictionary defines it: confidence or trust in a person or thing. Let's look at Genesis 22 and examine Abraham's faith in God and how we can relate to it now. To understand the context, God had miraculously provided a son for Abraham way later than normal. It's not normal to have a baby at 90 years old. But anyways, God had promised Abraham "I will make you a great nation." (Genesis 12:1-3). So Abraham now finally had a son to call his own and God's promise would be fulfilled.

But then, getting into our text, God commands Abraham to do something very odd. He tells Him to go and sacrifice Isaac, his one and only son, as a burnt offering to the Lord. What!? And what is Abraham's response? He gets up early the next morning to start the 3 day journey! He didn't delay the trip. When they got there, he told the servants that he and Isaac would return and worship together. Whoa! That's faith with the expectation that God will come through for them. That I would argue is true faith. If you take your faith in Christ away from your life, would your life look any different than it does now? Abraham proved his faith again by responding to his son saying "God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice." Again, faith with the expectation of God coming through. That's radical faith right? This is Biblical faith. It's radical because this type of faith is not seen nowadays and is so foreign to most churches.

This is the type of faith God is after. Now we'll look at God's response to Abraham's act of faith. The Lord saw his radical obedience to kill his own son because He told him to do so. God is glorified through our acts of faith and obedience. God provided a ram for the sacrifice because He saw that Abraham truly feared God. Abraham believed God would provide. To get very practical, when you pray do you believe wholeheartedly that God will answer that request? Abraham was willing to give up his most prized possession, his son, because God called him to. Would you? God is glorified when we prove our obedience through radical faith. This is the Biblical model of faith.

I leave you with Jesus' words on faith: He said to them, "... For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."(Matt 17:20)

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