God has made it clear in Scripture that without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11.6 goes on to tell us, those who come to God “must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” One Bible dictionary defines faith as “believ(ing) to the extent of complete trust and reliance.” Believing the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin is the door, according to Jesus, that brings eternal life. Faith is what opens the door, and faith is what sustains a believer throughout their journey here on earth.
A Journey of Faith is what we’re considering at LJB these days during our Sunday morning worship services. More specifically, we are journeying with Abraham, since he is the one several passages of Scripture mention who believed God and God accounted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15.6, Romans 4.3,9,22, Galatians 3.6 & James 2.23). In Isaiah 51.2 we find God saying He “called him (Abraham) alone, and blessed him and increased him” during the post tower of Babel time when no one was seeking after God. A description of those times is found in Romans 1.18-32. God called and Abram, believed God, and started out on a journey of trusting Him. His faith journey wasn’t characterized by a one-time belief in God, but he believed God throughout his journey. A consideration of how God worked in Abram’s life, (later Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude”), reveals someone who grew in their faith in God. Like us, he had highs and lows. He left his father’s house and his country and went to an unknown place that God would show him. In time, he showed himself willing to sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, believing God could resurrect him from the dead (Hebrews 11.19) if necessary. But, on two occasions (Genesis 12.10-20 & 20.1-18) he struggled with believing God was able to protect him and Sarah, placing them in extremely delicate situations. Abraham believed God, and like you and I, he grew and matured in his ability to live life believing God.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry He challenged his disciples with the following “whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14.13-14). Later, He would tell them, “assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Our God is the God of the impossible according to Luke 1.37. Sometime He uses natural means, other times He uses supernatural means to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him (2 Chronicles 16.9). From speaking the world into existence (Genesis 1) all the way to the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, (Revelation 21) God has worked and will continue to work bringing glory to Himself. Matthew 7.7-11 records Jesus speaking the following during the sermon “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Does Jesus not invite His followers to petition their Heavenly Father and gratefully expect good things?
The believer’s spiritual life begins with faith, just like believing Abraham. It is a faith which is a gift from God (Ephesians 2.8), and Scripture informs us four times that the believer’s life is lived by faith, too. The life of a believer is a Journey of Faith, faith which trusts a kind, heavenly Father for the unseen and the things hoped for (Hebrews 11.1). In light of Jesus’ invitations to believing prayer, may I ask you, “What are you asking God for, that only He can do?” Are you able to reflect and be encouraged as you’re reminded of God’s goodness through your believing prayer? James tells us one of the reasons we do not receive from the Lord is because we do not ask (James 4.2), another is because we ask with wrong motives (James 4.3). Perhaps you would like to join us on our Journey of Faith, either on Sunday morning @ 10 a.m. or by listening to the messages that are uploaded on Tuesdays. Together, in the footsteps of believing Abraham, and more importantly because of the kindness of our Heavenly Father, let’s purpose to grow in our faith, believing God for what only He can do, and allow Him to respond in the manner He chooses, either naturally or supernaturally.