Monday, January 24, 2011

The age of seventy-five sounds more like a retirement age than a leap-of-faith age. But, taking a step of faith at this age is what makes this extraordinary man of faith so ... well, extraordinary.

"So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran." (Genesis 12:4)

It's much easier for us because we know the rest of the story. God abundantly blessed Abraham because of his faith, and the salvation that has come to us through his descendant, Jesus, is a personal blessing we enjoy. But, at the time of Abraham's faith journey, the benefits and blessings weren't in sight. The long desert journey likely provided plenty of time and opportunity for second thoughts and doubt. Although the call to the faith journey was clear, living with and walking the decision was a formidable challenge. And that's the nature and challenge of faith: stepping out toward the unseen and the unknown, and continuing on when the urge to quit and return is nearly overwhelming.

Many of us can recite the faith-definition-verse from Hebrews eleven: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). Defining faith is far simpler than living faith. Subscribing intellectually to the "Abrahamic faith" is much easier than packing for the journey and then setting out, as Abraham did.

Daily life is ripe with opportunities for steps of faith. Packing our possessions and moving a few hundred or thousand miles is the idea of faith many people have, but journeys into the risky unknown can be taken daily. Getting out of our comfort zone to initiate a life-changing spiritual conversation is as much a faith step as a cross-country move. Moving out away from safe routines to engage in activities that clearly have the leading and approval of God are ventures in faith.

The adventure of faith brings us face to face with two key questions: (1) What activities and initiatives exhibit the clear leading and calling of God? and; (2) How can I be involved in these? Risky questions to ask, to be sure, but questions that open the door to rich and fulfilling adventures in faith.

Faith calls us to give up - "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house" (Genesis 12:1) - but what we gain in the adventure of faith far outweighs that which we give up.

May this day be an adventure in faith that enlarges the kingdom of God.


© 2011, Steve Taylor


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