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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Moore

Promises & Power

Do you know the Biblical story of Abraham and his son, Isaac? If not, you can go give it a quick read in Genesis 22, or you can check out my SparkNotes (are SparkNotes still a thing??) below:

God promised Abraham - even though he and his wife, Sarah, were childless and old in age - that their offspring would outnumber the stars. Isaac was the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise. Then, years later, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and Abraham obeyed. And then, right at the last moment, God intervened, telling Abraham that because he was willing to obey the Lord above all else, Isaac would be spared. Furthermore, God said that because of Abraham’s obedience, “all nations of the earth” will be blessed through Abraham’s bloodline. (hint: that was a foreshadowing of Jesus, who was - you guessed it - a part of Abraham’s bloodline)

For the longest time, when I read this story, I chalked up Abraham’s actions to “blind faith”. He was going to sacrifice Isaac because God told him to; period. And while that was admirable to me, it also felt unattainable. There was no way I could ever be that bold in my faith. But then I read this in Hebrews chapter 11:

17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, 18 even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” 19 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

Did you catch it? (If not, go read v. 19 again) Why was Abraham able to confidently follow-through with God’s instructions? Because he knew that God could save his son. He couldn’t see the end result, but he had enough experience with God’s miraculous power to know that it was real. He couldn’t understand God’s reasoning but he remembered God’s promise. The Bible says that Abraham was “fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises” (Rom. 5:21). There was no “blind faith” here. No, Abraham knew exactly what he was doing, and in whom he was trusting. His faith was fueled by God’s sovereignty and backed by God’s promise.

What does this have to do with me?

Perhaps today you find yourself confused or disheartened by God’s instructions, or unsure of the path He’s directing you to. Maybe he’s telling you to leave behind a job or a relationship. Maybe he’s asking you to take a leap of faith into an unknown future. If that’s you, I encourage you to take a page out of Abrahams’s book:

  1. First, take a moment and steep yourself in the realities of God’s power. Think of a time in your life where God made a way for you. Or, take a stroll through the Bible to read countless accounts of God’s power.

  2. Now, remind yourself of God’s promises. Remember that He has a plan for your life (Jer. 29:11), that He’ll never leave you (Deut. 31:6), that His word will never return void (Is. 55:11), and that He will complete any good work that He has begun in you (Phil. 1:6).

Then, take your new weapons – knowledge of God’s power and promises – and go boldly into whatever God is calling you to. You take the first step and He’ll handle the rest.

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