”By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.“ Hebrews 11:8 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Abraham left the comfort and security of Ur to obey the call of God. Without hesitation, he “obeyed and went.” He is known for this immediate step of obedience.
Abraham’s spiritual experience was marked by four difficult steps of obedience that showed the strength of his trust in God:
- He left his country and family (Genesis 12:1).
- He broke with his nephew Lot, offering Lot his choice of land (Genesis 13:1-18).
- He changed his focus from Ishmael to Isaac for the center of God’s promise (Genesis 17:17-18).
- He was willing to offer up Isaac, his only son (Genesis 22:1-19).
Abraham did not choose the easy way in these situations—because of his faith in God, he chose God’s way and obeyed him, even when obedience was difficult. His faith is an example for all of us. Paul uses Abraham as the central theme in Romans 4 concerning justification by faith and describes him as “the father of all who believe” (Romans 4:11). Abraham was God’s friend (James 2:23).
Are you willing to obey God even when it’s not easy? When you don’t understand? This kind of obedience takes a great deal of faith … faith in God’s goodness, faith in his love for you, faith in his power, faith in his plan. It also takes devotion to God and a desire to please him. May we all work toward this kind of faith by meditating in God’s Word, by spending time in prayer—listening as well as speaking—and by allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to us.
Growing in faith and obedience is a process that spans a lifetime. Looking at the entire process can be overwhelming. Try to focus on a decision or choice you are facing right now, today. Determine to choose God’s way. When you sense his direction, don’t hesitate. Step out in obedience, even if you don’t understand the reason. Trust him. His plan is always the best one.
Father, help me to follow in the example of Abraham and other heroes of faith. I know that in the past I’ve sometimes taken the easy way out or insisted on doing things my way instead of trusting and obeying you. Forgive me. Help me in this situation right now to be sensitive—and obedient—to your leading. Help me to obey without hesitation. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Godly Heroes: A Small Group Study of Hebrews 11 by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This guide presents a step-by-step study of Hebrews 11. It also features the profile of the characteristics of Godly heroes, written in language that relates to today's living and offering definitions, characteristics and examples of the heroes' faith life. Learn more about this topic.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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