Posted by: Terry | February 5, 2009

How strong was Abram’s faith?

So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, he and his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot with him. (Genesis 13:1 NASB)

Abram was not wrong in going to Egypt, God provides in times of need. Yet in Egypt he was confronted with tests that revealed that his faith was not fully developed.

In The Class last Sunday someone asked about Abram in Egypt, “How strong was Abrams faith?” The lesson of Abram is not the strength of his faith it is the depth of his faith. We have this idea that if I just had more faith I could move the mountain. Jesus explains that it is not the size of the faith it is the conviction in the face of mountains and the object of our faith that makes a difference.

Abram went to Egypt, yet instead of relying on God he implemented his own plan. The result was that God had to intervene to protect Sari’s honor and the line of the Messiah. Abram was still learning that he could trust God for everything, he had faith I am sure, but only experience teaches us how inclusive is “everything.”

While in Egypt we have no record of him calling on God. He seems to have lost his center of attention on God, without giving up on God. Concern about safety, Sari, and his new found prestige and wealth may have overshadowed his faith. I know that I have done the same thing, still believing but too busy doing to call on God and wait.

When he left Egypt he went back to Bethel, where he had pitched his tent and built an altar; “and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.”

The trip back to Bethel was at least a month; Abram had plenty of time to ponder his time in Egypt. When he arrived back at the altar and the place he left he called on the Lord. A person of faith will call on God after they fall short.

We who are on the journey of having our faith developed must be careful to not judge too harshly the paths that others take in their process. God is maturing every believer’s faith, which is the process we call sanctification. And our faith will never be complete until we no longer need it, when we are with him face to face.

With every blessing there is opportunity for growth; Abram would live through many, as we do. What is important is that when we do not perform as we would like, do we return to the place we know and call on the Lord? That is the issue, and that is maturity.


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