Updated: Oct 22
"So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith." (Galatians 3:9, italics added)
What did Abraham, "the man of faith," do?
What actions did he take that demonstrated his reliance on faith?
What visible responses proved his trust in the One who is absolutely trustworthy?
Why exactly did his life have an eternal impact on future generations?
Abraham didn't just hear the voice of the Lord,
Abraham actively obeyed the voice of the Lord.
There's an immense difference—a chasm-sized distinction—between merely hearing and obediently doing.
Abraham, the "man of faith," followed where the Lord's voice led, even though it meant going in a direction that human reasoning and common sense, no doubt, could not rationalize or understand.
He believed God's covenant promises would prove true, no matter the odds stacked against him, persevering not just days or weeks or months; but rather, with the promise set before him, "against all hope, Abraham in hope believed" (Romans 4:18), year after year after year.
He called upon the name of the Lord, understanding that an authentic relationship with the One who'd called and set him apart, involved action on his part as well.
He built altars of acknowledgment and altars of worship to Him upon whose promises and provision he was absolutely dependent.
He even placed his own son on the altar, committing his child to the Eternal God's far-reaching plans, because obedience was not a matter of negotiation or delay. He surrendered to God the very one he had for so long waited, and loved so very much, entrusting the outcome to the One "who could even raise the dead" (Hebrews 11:19).
Evidently, Abraham's faith was not faith because of what he thought or said. His faith was authentic faith because of what he did, a direct result of what he genuinely believed. And because his "obedience [came] from faith" (Romans 1:5), the Lord was magnified and glorified in his life, as well as the lives of those who would follow Abraham's example and
"[walk] faithfully"(Genesis 24:40) too.
Was Abraham void of fears or flaws once God had called him into a relationship with Himself? When you read the Genesis chapters that narrate his story, it's clear that he was not. Yet it's also clear that this "man of faith" understood and lived out what James, under the Holy Spirit's inspiration, would pen two thousand years later: that it's by our works—our actions—that we demonstrate the legitimacy of our faith; this is why "faith without works is dead" (James 2:17-18).
Without question—undeniably without question—Abraham's life was characterized by a fear of the Lord and reliance on faith, evidenced by obedience, and sacrifice. Sacrifice of his perspective, his plans, his control of his life, and even the most cherished blessing God had gifted him: his son, Isaac.
Once called and set apart by God Almighty, Abraham lived his days stretched out upon an altar called faith.
And because of this reverent, perseverant trust in the Lord and His promises, God not only blessed Abraham but blessed future generations through the eternal legacy Abraham left.
Dear sojourner, fellow follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, may the same be true of you and true of me as we live out our remaining days in reverent fear and authentic faith.