(Originally posted September 18th)
The story of Abraham and Sarah reminds us of their faith and obedience. God told them to leave their extended family and go to a new land that they had never seen before. There was tremendous danger in being an alien in ancient days, but they obeyed God and moved to the land of Canaan. Later in their old age, God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son. That was a little harder for them to believe, but ultimately they were obedient and God did as He promised.
I think many Christians today find it easy to talk about faith and consider themselves obedient. But are we obedient? God has challenged us to tithe as a measure of our faith. Will we give 10% or more of our income to God, trusting that God will meet our needs and bless us as the Bible promises (Malachi 3:6-12). If we have faith we will do as God commands us and tithe. Yet study after study shows that only 10-15% of Christians actually tithe. We can’t claim to have faith and be obedient if we don’t tithe.
God also calls us as Christians, if we have faith, to identify our spiritual gifts and use them to serve God. And yet many Christians are unemployed or underemployed when it comes to the kingdom. The reason 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church is because 80% of the people are not fully invested in using their gifts and serving the Lord.
It’s not easy to have faith and it’s not easy to be obedient. Abraham and Sarah risked danger, loss, ridicule and hardship in doing what God asked them to do. If we think it’s easy to have faith, then we probably have a faulty definition of what faith is (and probably haven’t read the Bible). Faith is hard. Faith requires sacrifice. Faith demands the total commitment of our lives to Christ. So evaluate your faith. Is your faith like that of Abraham and Sarah? Are you willing to go wherever God wants you to go? Are you willing to do whatever God wants you to do? Jesus says discipleship means to take up your cross daily and risk your life for the sake of the gospel. Is that our definition of faith and discipleship?
Lets’ follow the example of Abraham and Sarah, two people who were not perfect, who made some mistakes along the way, but ultimately they were faithful, they were obedient, and God was able to use them in an amazing way. If we practice faith and obedience like Abraham and Sarah, God can use us in great ways as well.