17. Take the first step

Thirteen years after Ishmael's birth, God appeared to Abraham again and reconfirmed His covenant with Abraham. In the process of reconfirming the covenant, God changed Abram's name to Abraham, meaning the 'father of many'. He also changed Sarai's name to Sarah, meaning 'princess'. He changed it to 'princess', because she will be the mother of many nations, and kings will be among her descendants! What a blessing.

And in this process of reconfirming the covenant with Abraham, God also gave Abraham something to do. God told Abraham the following:

"Your part of the agreement," God told Abraham, "Is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised; the flesh of his foreskin must be cut off. This will be a sign that you and they have accepted this covenant." Genesis 17:9-11

God gave Abraham also a part to play. God will do the amazingly, 'impossible' thing of making Abraham into a father of many nations and giving his descendants the land, and Abraham had to obey and be circumcised and also circumcise all the males in his household.  How wonderful is our God. He never gives us the difficult things to do, He wants us to be obedient with what we can do, and then He will go forth and do the 'impossible' for us.

God stepped forth and promised Abraham descendants through his wife, Sarah. And when He did, Abraham laughed to himself in disbelief. He couldn't believe it, despite God Himself promising it to him. He was one hundred years old and Sarah, ninety. It was truly difficult for him to fathom. But God continued and promised him once again that Sarah will be the one through whom His covenant will come to pass.

So basically here Abraham had a choice. He could both continue in his unbelief and not trust God to fulfil His promises, or he could accept the covenant and circumcise all the males in his household. Abraham chose the latter and that is why we still admire him to this day. Despite his unbelief, despite the overwhelming odds against him, he decided to believe God. Verse 23 says that Abraham circumcised all the males in his household on that very same day. He didn't wait a moment longer, but immediately acted on God's command. He chose against his unbelief and he chose God.

Sometimes it is just as difficult for us to trust God. Our unbelief hovers in our minds and it takes control of our actions. It is difficult for us to trust God when things seemingly go wrong, when things just don't go our way, when promises of years gone by hasn't come to fulfilment. It is very difficult and much easier to walk away from God and rather handle situations on our own. But Abraham teaches us a valuable lesson. Despite unbelief in our minds, we should still step forward and do the right thing. Sometimes we will know what the right thing to do is, God will lead us to it, but even if we don't know, we can continue living according to His Word and live according to His principles. The rewards for living according to His Word are priceless. Do not allow your ego to get in the way of receiving all that God has planned for you. Say 'no' to your 'carnal' mind and 'yes' to the Spirit inside. You will find that you will be enjoying your life much more. You simply need to take the first step.

Thank you Father that You are always faithful and true. Thank you that we can trust in You. Please help us to take the first step in showing that we believe in You, even if our flesh is screaming against it. Please give us the strength, we want to follow You. In Jesus Name. Amen 

1 comment for “17. Take the first step”

  1. Gravatar of BertieBertie
    Posted Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 3:44:10 PM

    Thankyou, you are such an encouragement.. Trust God our loving Father to do the difficult part.

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