Back in early March, my pastor began a sermon series at church called ‘Walking with Abraham.’ I honestly don’t know how to even begin telling you how eye-opening and challenging each message in this series has been for me. We’ve been looking at the details of Abraham’s life and it is amazing how each week, the topic was right on time. Covenant faith, interceding faith, failing faith, waiting faith. The list goes on and it has been a rather interesting journey, walking with Abraham. God has been doing a lot as a result and words cannot describe how much I have been blessed.
However, on the first Sunday of the new series, despite the fact that I knew the messages would be phenomenal, the moment I heard Pastor Toledo say Abraham, I let out a sigh. Like an out loud physical sigh. Faith like Abraham? That caught me off guard and hit a lot closer to home than I was expecting. Hearing those words, I knew I was about to go on a little trek with God. Let me explain. You see, over ten years ago, early on in my Christian walk, I prayed to the Lord for faith like Abraham. Yes, father of faith Abraham. A pretty hefty request. And if that weren’t enough, I went on to ask for things even more specifically. I asked that in the midst of my trials, people would see the Lord in me, not the trials, and be amazed by Him. I had no idea what I was really asking for. And if those requests weren’t detailed enough, I then turned to God and told Him to bring it on. What in the world!? I just told GOD to bring on the trials. TRIALS!!! Well, He brought it, that’s for sure…
Anyhow, a year ago around this time; I’d begun to pray for faith like Abraham again. I was hungering for God in a different way and wasn’t satisfied with where I was at. You would think that I’d have known by that time what comes along with crazy requests like that, but I prayed it anyway. Then, within weeks of my revived faith-like-Abraham prayer request, Pastor Toledo started a series on the Sovereignty of God. The moment I heard that title, I knew it was about to get hectic. And did it ever.
Fast forward through the chaos. Here I was on a pew in March, feeling pretty good because I was finally starting to experience a bit of semi-calm after some crazy storms (storms that were intended to take me out, but didn’t, Praise God!). I wasn’t without stress, but I was cool with being out of spiritual ICU. Really cool. But then Pastor Toledo busted out with ‘Walking with Abraham’ … and although I didn’t know what that meant specifically, I knew it meant that God was about to take me on another journey. Thus, the big fat sigh.
The first sermon was about obedience and building altars. By the end of that service, God had already begun to give me little (and big) assignments. Stuff that made no sense in the natural. But anyone who’s read about Abraham, knows that brotha had to do all sorts of stuff that made no sense. He had to live according to the promise, and the same applies to me. On that Sunday, I knew things were about to get real interesting. And although things were not adding up as to why certain things were taking place, I had a supernatural peace and knew God was in control.
It hasn’t been a season full of catastrophe (PRAISE THE LORD!), but it has most definitely been a hard season, one that has required a deeper level of faith and trust. My circumstances have not all changed, in fact, some are worse. Some of the stuff that made no sense in the natural still doesn’t. But God has been changing me and revealing Himself to me in a new and amazing way. Isn’t that what’s supposed to be taking place anyway? Knowing God. Growing in God. Pleasing God. (Without faith it’s impossible to please Him…) If our faith life is the same as it was ten years ago, or eight months ago, or even two weeks ago, something’s not right. When we walk with God, we take ground. We get closer to a destination. The path we’re on may change because we’re moving through different places and terrain but our final destination doesn’t change. It’s eternity with Jesus. And every day, we’re another day closer to being with Him forever. We have a blessed hope…
Even though I have let out many sighs (and sometimes screams) over the course of my Christian walk, I can honestly say, I am so grateful for the faith journey God has put me in on. The territory has often been rough, but I have never been alone. It’s made me who I am in Him and I can honestly say today I am thankful for the trials. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t EVER want to go through them again, but I wouldn’t trade what God has done in the process. He truly does know best. In His love and mercy for us, He allows us to go through difficult circumstances but it is always with our best interest in mind, knowing that He will get the glory. The Lord will never, ever leave us or forsake us. I have no idea what the future holds, but I am certain that my faithful God – the God of Abraham – is walking with me and my life is in His hands.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see… If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:1, 15-16