27 May 2000

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report"-Hebrews 11:1,2 From our faith hall or fame, we have learned from our "elders" that faith enables us to do many things. Thus far we have learned that we offer by faith; we please God by faith; faith teaches us to fear God; and today, we learn from Abraham that we obey by faith, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went"-Hebrews 11:8. FAITH IS UNCOMFORTABLE TO THE FLESH Living a life of faith is not a comfortable lifestyle. Though we may talk about being faithful, if we are honest, we find ourselves surrounded with many doubts and fears when put to the test. Consider Noah's experience. Abraham was called upon to do something that was very uncomfortable to the flesh. Leave all that he knew. Imagine that! God called Abraham to leave his home, his dwelling place, his acquaintances, his occupation, and He didn't even tell Abraham where he was sending him. God said, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing"-Gen 12:1-2. I can just hear Abraham asking God, "Where do you want me to go?" And God's reply was, "To a land that I will shew you". In other words, God was saying, "Trust me Abraham, I'll take care of you". Abraham did not know where he was going…but God did! God does call upon his faithful to do some very uncomfortable things. Has God ever called upon you to surrender some creature comforts to follow Him? Have you found some of the things in His word to be contrary to what the world is telling you? Let us take the uncomfortable path of faith. Therein the blessing is found. FAITH IS NOT STEPPING OUT INTO THIN AIR Faith is not stepping out into thin air. Abraham did not decide upon his own to leave his place. He didn't say, "I shall go off into who knows where and expect God to bless me". His journey was not of his own making. His actions were based upon something solid and sure: God's word. That is not thin air! SIMPLE THINGS Some believe that faith is only for great feats. They look for some great thing to do for God: build a great ark; become a leader like Abraham or Moses; or preach like the apostle Paul. But I find that it is the simple things in God's word that we stumble over the most. We stumble over them because they do not seem big enough. The real reason is that they are uncomfortable to the flesh. Every day our faith is put to the test in the small, seemingly mundane affairs of life. God's word gives us information for the home; the workplace; God's house; and every avenue of life. We may never be an Abraham or a Moses. But if we use our God given faith to overcome our own particular trials and tribulations we can please God just as much. OUR OBEDIENCE IS IN PROPORTION TO OUR FAITH IN GOD From Abraham's experience we learn a maxim in faith: our obedience is in proportion to the faith that we have in what God has said. If we believe what God has said, we will obey, for we see the reward of faith. If we allow doubts and fears to keep us from the performance of the His word, our faith is lacking, we miss out on the blessing. If God said it, we must believe it; trust it; act upon it; and live according to it. We can read the Bible one-thousand times over; we can know and memorize all of scripture; but unless we step out on the principles our faith is dead. Abraham became the father of a great nation. He was called "High Father" by his people. Paul referred to him as "faithful Abraham". God called him "my friend". Look at his life and consider the blessings so wonderfully packaged in God's gift of faith. The Lord willing, we will continue our discussion of "The Faith of Our Fathers' next week. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor