Walking Each Day by Faith
What a blessing it is when God opens our eyes to understand more and more of his Word! I love it when another piece of the puzzle fits together. When the passage you’ve read for years suddenly makes sense. We see the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts and minds, and we finally get it. Perhaps there is even rejoicing in heaven when God’s truth is seen more clearly by one of His children!
Just recently, I had two of those ‘aha’ moments. The first one is simple, but I now have a deeper confidence in my understanding. Whenever I would teach John 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” to kids in Sunday School, they would often ask, Who is the Word? What is the Word? We’d continue on further in the passage, and I’d explain that the Word is another name for Jesus. We know this because John 1:14a says “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This explanation would satisfy them, and we’d move on with our lesson.
But, boy, I wish I would have known years ago that Revelation 19:13 & 16 were the perfect follow-up Scriptures. John describes Jesus as one who is “dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Did you catch that? His name is the Word of God and the King of King and Lord of Lords. It’s so clear. I absolutely love learning more and more about God’s Word – the Scripture and God’s Son!
Another recent ‘aha moment’ for me has to do with Lot’s heart. Genesis 18-19 tells quite the sad story of sin going wild within an entire city. The perversion becomes so evident when we learn that the men of the city want to ‘get to know’ the visiting angels – in the Biblical sense. Lot’s disgust at the men’s demand is good, right? Well, yes and no. Lot had been affected by all the sin around him, and his solution to the men’s protest was to offer his virgin daughters to them instead. Oh my! Not good! Things are definitely not right in this city, and the level of debauchery is beyond most of our imaginations.
Fast forward to the rescue of Lot and his family by the angels. His son-in-laws didn’t believe Lot’s frantic alarm to leave the city, and so they were left to face utter destruction. By the grace of God, the angels didn’t allow that to happen to Lot’s wife and daughters. The angels actually look Lot, his wife and his two daughters by the hand and led them safely out of the city, “for the Lord was merciful to them.” And yet, Lot’s wife still met a tragic end. Even though the angels had warned the whole family not to look back at the city, Mrs. Lot just couldn’t resist, and she paid the ultimate price for her disobedience – her life.
It’s a hard story to absorb from start to end, and it gets even more bizarre in the hours to come. We want to believe that somehow Lot was worth saving, but it all seems so distasteful and disgusting. So, what do we do with the story? We consider the grace of God. We face the reality that God cannot tolerate sin forever. We reflect on our own misdeeds and hidden sin in our lives and ask for God’s mercy.
But here’s the heart of the matter. That part that I never knew existed in the Bible. In 2 Peter 2:7-8 God says that God “rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.” Wow! Lot was considered righteous in God’s eyes. He was distressed by the filthy lives of those around him, and he was tormented in his righteous soul by what he saw and heard. That paints a whole different picture in my mind of who Lot was and why God saved him. Yes, he was tainted by the sin around him, but in his heart of hearts he hated that sin. (Makes me start to wonder if I’m more like Lot than I’ve wanted to admit. Hating sin, but tainted by it. Ouch!)
Finally, here’s one of my favorite ‘aha moments’ from Scripture. In Genesis 22, we read about the sacrifice that God asked Abraham to make. To sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a form of worship. How hard would that have been to follow through on? We often wonder what Abraham and Isaac’s conversation was like as they hiked up the mountain. Did Isaac ask questions or just obediently follow his dad? How did Abraham get Isaac to crawl up onto the altar? To bind him? It all seems too bizarre. And, yet, we love the climatic and miraculous intervention of the angel along with the God-given ram. Talk about waiting until the last minute to come to the rescue! But all ended well, and we breathe a sigh of relief. God saved Isaac, and Abraham was obedient.
Then God gives us an extra special insight into Abraham’s faithwalk in Hebrews 11:17 & 19. It says, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” I love it! Abraham trusted God, and oh how he trusted Him. God said sacrifice Isaac. Abraham obeyed. God promised that Isaac would carry the family line, and Abraham believed.
Makes me wonder how deep my faith runs.
Hebrews 10:22a & 23 encourage us to “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith"…and to "let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Only by the grace of God will our faith grow deeper and deeper in the One who is faithful. Perhaps it’s time for you and me to both draw nearer to God…
With a sincere heart
In full assurance of faith
By holding unswervingly to the hope we process
And by believing that He who promised is faithful!
I want to walk closer to Him each day. How about you?