Monday, March 5, 2012

Even the faithful...

Week 10:
Genesis 15:4-6 4Then the word of the Lord came to him:  “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”  5He took him outside and said, “Look at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.”  Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  6Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Abraham was considered a great man of faith.  In fact he arguably had the strongest faith of any of the characters of the Bible.  However, even in the midst of his great faith, he experienced times where he showed a lack of faith. 
One of my greatest weaknesses in my faith is the lack of patience I have with God “showing up”.  I feel that I have faith in God so far as I know he exists, his son came and died for me, I am forgiven, and that he has great and awesome power.  Where I believe I am weakest is when I cannot wait on him any longer and I take over the situation.  I lose trust that God will come through.  Then I look up and realize, “Wow, I messed this thing up!”  If I would have waited on God, this would have had a better outcome.

Abraham did the same thing.  As we read the verse above, we see that God made a promise to Abraham.  However, in the following verses we see that Abraham and his wife lose patience and Abraham has a son by Hagar which eventually becomes a nation that is a bitter enemy of Israel (Isaac’s line) to this day.  How’s that for consequences for impatience?  I hate to say this, but I take some comfort in the fact that a man that had a direct line with God lacked in faith a time or two in his life. 
One thing that is difficult for me and others ad I discuss this lack of faith with them is this:  When am I weak in faith and taking it on myself and when am I stepping out on faith that I am doing the right thing?  It is hard to determine at times which is which until the whole situation is over.  Then, I realize that it was God pushing me to act or it was me with a lack of patience. 
I do believe that I have gotten a little better at discerning when it is me and when it is God.  However, I still get it wrong.  I thank Him for His grace.  One thing I have learned is to wait and do a little more verifying.  I do have to watch closely as I walk that fine line between waiting on the Lord and procrastination.  A topic for another time I am sure.
Ultimately, faith is something to be worked out and worked on.  As I read about the faithful men of the Bible, I see their mistakes, but I also see their great victories according to their faith.
1.       What is you greatest weakness when it comes to a lack of faith?
2.       Describe a time when have you taken it yourself not waiting on God.
3.       What was the result?
4.       Describe two people in your life that have great faith.
5.       What has God revealed for you in this article today?

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