Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 (NASB)
I came to know God during a season of my life. After I graduated from college, I returned home to discover that my mom and my step-father had started to attend church as a family with my sister, brother, and step-siblings.
Since I was raised Jewish, I had only ever entered the doors of a church two times. Once when I spent the night at my best friend’s house on a Saturday night, and since her family attended Mass on Sundays, they invited me to go with them. The second time I attended church was when I was sixteen, and my boyfriend’s mom invited us to visit her church. At that moment, glimpses of God’s fingerprints on my life began to emerge right before my very eyes.
In church, for the first time I understood the message (because it wasn’t all in Hebrew). The Pastor spoke directly to my heart when he said, “God is love.” There was a quickening in my soul, but it was smothered just as fast as it started when my father (who did not live our home) called that evening. He told me some people use God as a “crutch.” At sixteen, I did not need crutches.
Now I know differently.
When God spoke to Abraham, he believed and he was considered righteous.
1. He believed.
2. He was considered righteous.
Abraham’s heart understood God’s presence, His plan, and His purpose for his life.
Abraham could not see the “big picture,” but he trusted God had his best interest in mind and at this point God forgave Abraham for the sin which he bore from Adam. We need God – not only as a crutch, but for life.
Know God : Know Life
No God : No Life
Each one of us bears sin from Adam and Eve. However, Christ’s blood was shed on the cross for my sin and for your sin – once and for all. There is not a scale that measures sin. Sin is sin. We have it, we bear it, but we are cleared from it (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) when we believe.
Yes, that is correct, according to Scripture, our sin is forgiven yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Hebrews 10:10 (NLT)
After Abraham believed, He “backslid” a few times. He made a few choices which did not reflect his trust or his faith in God. He asked Sarah to lie for him, and when God wasn’t fulfilling His promise to Abraham soon enough (his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky), Abraham choose to help God by having a baby with Hagar.
Even after we believe, it’s possible for us to still make mistakes. I call these choices that don’t honor God, “Abraham-like decisions.”
In my Christian walk I have made a few myself. Since the Spirit is present from the moment you first believe, God never leaves you. The Holy Spirit will not let you stay in an Abraham-like decision. He will make you uncomfortable, and the Spirit will pull you back into the freedom you received when you first believed.
Even when we are faith-less, He is faithful. Faithfulness is one of His attributes. God is always there for us. The faith process, called “sanctification,” makes us more and more like Him. Leaving the old life behind is a process, but it is possible, one step at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. The power of the Spirit gives us strength, and the ability to shift our attention from things which temporarily fix the pain to Christ. In Christ we are completely “fixed.” Sometimes there are issues in our hearts that He needs us to deal with, and He lets us go somewhere, so that we are completely “fixed” on Him when we return.
You may say, “Life is hard.” Or, “I’m in over my head.”
To you I will say, “Yes it is.” And, “Yes, you are.”
It’s okay to be in over your head.
As long as you’re in over your head in HIM.
And you crash over me, and I’ve lost control but I’m free. I’m going under, I’m in over my head. And you crash over me, and that’s where you want me to be. I’m going under, I’m in over my head. Whether I sink or whether I swim, it makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head. Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music
After all, Abraham is not known for any of the poor decisions he made.
Abraham is known as a Patriarch – one of the father’s of our faith.
I praise you for who you are and for loving us right where we are. Even when we falter, You are the same and You love us the same – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thank you for the sacrificial love you have given to each one of us by way of Christ’s blood on the cross. I am eternally grateful. Thank you for the fresh start you give us in You. Thank you for filling us completely and satisfying us completely. Help us to walk confidently in you each step, each hour, and each day.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Keeping you close in prayer,
Mindy writes regularly on Basking in His Light: Encouragement for the Heart and Nourishment for the Soul.