By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. Hebrews 11:8
Oh, what faith it took for Abraham to leave the land of Ur to follow God. Oh, what faith it took for him to embrace Yahweh and forsake the gods of his family. Daily, what faith it took to sojourn through foreign territory with all the resistance he encountered. And, what faith it took to believe that he would father a son in his old age. All of these were steep tests.
But the greatest, at least to me, was that when he reached the land of promise and it was already inhabited by other people, he stayed to live as a foreigner. He still believed God even though he adjusted to the fact that his time of tent dwelling was not over. He had to be sick of it. He’d done it throughout his long journey. He’d remained true to God and kept himself from calling anyplace home. He’d kept his family nomadic so that when God spoke, they could move on to their stopping place. Did he promise his family that when they reached the land God promised, they would leave their tents and build houses? Probably so.
It would be like God leading me to move to Finland, promising me a particular home once I moved, but after arriving there I discover that the house is occupied and not even for sale. The people who live there have no intention of selling and they are hostile when I inquire.
Was this not what happened to the children of Israel hundreds of years later when they reached the perimeter of the promised land under Joshua? It was not vacant, just waiting for them. The Canaanites had no intention of giving it up without a fight. To make the faith test even greater, the inhabitants were giants and, humanly speaking, no match for God’s people.
When God makes a promise, one I am to embrace by faith, I can count on the fact that there will be many realities within my field of vision that beg to disprove it. The fulfillment is rarely instant. Dave Wilkerson called it ‘the death of a vision’. God calls, I listen, there are confirmations, but when I set out by faith, all evidence disappears that I am on the right path. I begin to think I heard wrongly. This is the journey of faith. I’m not the first to fear that God led me astray. I won’t be the last to have the foundations of my faith shaken. So what comprises a man or woman of faith? It is not that they ever fail to ever doubt but whether or not they obey in spite of their trembling.
In this chapter, Abraham is remembered because when he was called, he obeyed. By faith, he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise. By faith, he continued to live in tents instead of fleeing in disbelief.
Today, I steady the course when the enemy comes accusing Your character. Amen