Saturday, January 8, 2011

Growing in faith

Let's look at Sarah for a little while.

She was the wife of Abraham.
He and she were very wealthy.
Her name means Princess. Because of their wealth she was probably treated like one.
God told him (and her) to leave their home and God would guide him where He wanted them to go.

Gen 12:1-5

They were every day ordinary people. The supernatural things that happen to them or that they did, come from obeying God. Not from themselves. Alone without God they could do nothing. Just as we can do nothing of value without His help.

Can you imagine if God told you or your spouse to leave everything and everyone you knew?

Sarah had to believe her husband heard from God, and she had to believe God would do what He said.

The promise God made to Abraham was made to Sarah also.

Some lessons from her life:

1. She trusted the faith of the person leading her.

Sometimes we don't have enough faith on our own to do what we are called to do. Or at least we don't think we do. Obviously if God calls you to do something He gives you the faith you need to do it, but sometimes we doubt that part of the call. At those times we must trust in the faith of the person God has leading us through the situation. It may be your spouse, pastor, a friend. You need people in your life that you can trust in their faith when you are having a hard time trusting in your own. They should challenge you to greater faith.

Don't be satisfied with the level your faith is at right now or you will never increase it. We must continue to grow our faith. You must be a leader to someone with less faith then you in a situation. God sends us people to help us with our faith but He also uses us to help others. Encourage them to grow in their faith as you believe along with them.

2. She turned away from the pleasures of this world.

She had to leave what was familiar. Her home, her family, and most of her belongings I am sure. And she had to set out on a journey not knowing where she was going.

1 Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We must not hold on to tightly to the things or people in this world. We should only hold tightly to the Lord.

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

3. She embraced the unknown with a heart of faith.

Heb 11 mentions Sarah for her great faith.

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 Cor 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Once you can see the thing you are believing for, it is no longer faith but fact.

Now just so you don't think she was perfect
4. When God's promise didn't come in her timing, she took matters into her own hands.

Gen 16:1-6

Sarah became impatient and weary waiting for the promised child. Now after she took things into her own hands, she blames Abraham and Hagar.

Hagar was a servant and had no choice when Sarah told her to conceive a child with Abraham. It meant death if she refused.

Abraham must have been weary waiting also cause he agreed and did it.

There are situations in our lives right now that we are growing impatient waiting for the promise from God. We must not take things into our own hands. God's timing and way is not our timing and way, but His is perfect. Things will never turn out in a good way when we go ahead of God. We must wait on Him.

You don't see what God is doing to bring your situation to the end result He wants. But that doesn't mean He isn't working it out.

5. She despised the very thing she caused to happen by going ahead of God.

Gen 16:5-6

Things begin to fall apart quickly when we take things out of God's hands and into our own. And like Sarah we try to blame someone else or we blame God. We are saying we don't trust God when we take things into our own hands. We may not admit it, but that is what we are saying.

Waiting patiently for God to work may be one of the most difficult experiences of our Christian walk. We live in an age of immediate. We somehow thing if we aren't doing something to help the situation we are being lazy. Sometimes God wants us to just wait. We often get in God's way by trying to "help" Him. Trust me, God doesn't need our help. If He wants our help He will let us know. Sometimes He has something for us to do, but be sure before you do it that it is what HE wants you to do, not you taking over cause it isn't happening in your timing.

When you (or I) are tempted to step in and make things happen, let's remember Sarah.

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