Generation Cedar

Every now and then a verse, one I’ve known for years, just slaps me in the face with newly discovered truth.
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Watch this…Abraham’s righteousness did not come as a result of his believing IN God. It’s easy to believe in God. Most people actually believe in God.
But how many of us believe God? Believe what He says, just because He said it? Believe that He is able, capable, faithful to do what He promises? Believe to the point we walk blindly out of our own logic into the unknown?
You have to remember what Abraham’s big test was…the most irrational test ever given to a human. “Kill your son. For no reason other than I said so. The same son that I promised would be the father of thousands.”
How long do you think He wrestled? How many logical explanations do you think He gave God? How many times did he try to convince himself that he was just misunderstanding the command? Do you think he ran this one by friends and family? Doesn’t our test dim in comparison to this one? And don’t our excuses seem puny up against Abraham’s?
And in the end, Abraham’s righteousness was proven by his belief that no matter how illogical this thing seemed, God knew what he was doing. “He believed God.”
Man, you gotta love that kind of faith. “Dear God, give me faith like that.” Faith that flies in the face of logic.

What is He asking me to do? Where is He asking me to go? Am I believing God, or using reason to justify my disobedience?

Ouch. Got some soul searching to do!

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8 Responses

  1. Kelly,

    I read most of your blogs and very much appreciate your hard work and open heart before God. Not one to quibble over details, I did however notice something I want to bring to your attention.

    Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
    Gen 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
    Gen 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
    Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
    Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    This passage is referenced twice in the New Testament. Once in Romans 4 and once in James 2.

    In Romans 4, the time line is given for when God justified Abraham. (before Isaac was even born, because it was before he was circumcised – which is recorded in Gen 17) The point being made in Romans 4 is that God justified Abraham – not by the law – but by His own power because of Abraham’s faith. (as God is the only one who is able to justify the unrighteous – Romans 4:5)

    In James 2, there is a key difference. It is talking about when WE SEE that justification being evident in his life. (you show me your faith without works, I will show you my faith by my works, then goes on to show the extent of how Abraham’s faith resulted in works.) He is in effect pointing to the ultimate culmination or climax of the righteousness God in fact worked out in Abraham while he still lived. God didn’t just say Abraham was righteous, he made him righteous.

    To summarize, God justified Abraham when Abraham believed God, way back in chapter 15. But WE SEE for sure (years later) that this in fact took place and that his faith was evident in offering his own son as a sacrifice. So as we are judging ourselves to see if we “believe God” we are to look at what we do, not what we said at one time back when.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the heart of what you are saying and pray the same prayer with you. (admittedly with some timidity when I wonder what he will ask of me)

    Keep up the good work. I pray for you daily. God has given you a tremendous ministry.

    Craig (the simple guy)

  2. Kelly, like you said, believing in God is easy, as His presence is obvious. But trusting His instruction, that’s an entirely different thing.

  3. Craig,

    I think I’m following you 😉 I didn’t mean the post to sound like I was saying “this act” justified him.

    I wasn’t thinking of his actual justification at all, just that we acknowlede his “believing God as being imputed for righteousness” as a very important “note to self”…if that makes any sense. Thanks for pointing out my error.

  4. Kelly,
    Sorry I came off as though you committed an error. Not my intention, and I don’t believe you did.

    I suppose I got a little wordy, and was not clear. My point (intended anyway) is that God is the one who does the justifying work, and that he just doesn’t say we are righteous, he actually (step by step, day by day) makes us righteous. I am comforted to know that God will give me the desire and power to actually follow through in whatever he asks.

    It’s nice to know that while I press on toward the mark, God will complete the work.

    I intended to agree and just add to what you said.

    Thanks again for your posts, I enjoy them.

    Craig

  5. I have often wondered that of myself. Do I truly believe God? COULD I be like Abraham? Could I do hard things? Regardless of my own or others’ wisdom?

  6. This is a VERY GOOD post! You are right when you say many people just “believe IN” God, but not believe or obey His commandments.

    I struggle with this basic phenomena each and every day. I think some things I am fairly confident in believing, and then there are other points where I make a scrunched-up face and think, “Gee, I dunno.”

    Kelly, I think as Christians, we ALL NEED some soul searching to do (as an example, you’ve given me much to soul search about over these past few days with your posts about public schools). Sometimes it’s just very difficult to “break out” of molds that we are so accustomed to living and dwelling within.

    At any rate, thank you for this awe inspiring post. I needed this today (smiles).

  7. Kelly,

    Thank you again for making me THINK!

    The distinction of “believing in” and “believing” is so vital to our faith.

    It seems as if the difference is in the “belief” that “someone” is “out there – somewhere”, and the “knowing” that “someone” is “right here, right now”.

    I hope that we can all know Him “right here, right now” and believe in what He says.

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