Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Hear the word...Do the word!

''Now the Lord had said to Abram:
"Get out of your country, from your family and from your fathers house.
To a land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse those who curse you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Genesis 12: 1 - 3

I wonder what must have passed through Abraham's mind when he recieved that well-known promise from God, that through his offspring the entire world will be blessed. If I were Abraham, a child-less 75 year old from Ur (a city in southern Iraq) my response would have most likely been 'you've got the wrong fella'.

But in Genesis 12, which begins with the first recorded conversation between God and Abraham (who was then called Abram - meaning 'exalted father') Abraham hears God's word, and then actively obeys him in faith. I emphasise the word hears as we know from Romans 17 that 'Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God'. Abraham heard God's word, then stepped out in faith.

We know that through Abraham's faith in God's promise, great blessing was brought upon the whole world, including himself. This makes me think, how blessed will we be when we daily put our faith in God's promises for our lives? If you need an awakening to God's promises for you, I reccomend you read chapter eight of the book of Romans. There you will learn that when you accept Christ, you become not only a child of God but a joint heir in his Glory. You will grow in confidence as you realise that 'all things work together for the good of those who love God' (verse 28), and you will understand that nothing can seperate you from the love of God (verses 38 - 39).

As it was with Abraham, it is the same for us. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. But it then requires a response. James 1 verse 22 tells us to be 'doers of the word, and not hearers only'. When Abraham recieved God's word in Genesis 12, he gathered his things, his wife and his servants, and moved to the land God promised him. Hearing must be followed by doing, and as Abraham actively possessed the land God had given him, we must do the same. We have a promised land to enter in to, not a geographical territory but a spiritual one, it is eternal yet it begins now. It is, to quote U2, 'A place that has to be believed, to be seen'.