SERIES: Faith of Our Fathers
Week of June 16-22, 2021
AIM: After studying this lesson students can realize the difference in stepping out on faith for God and stepping out in faith and be ready to demonstrate their faith!
Several weeks ago we studied a lesson that was entitled “Stepping Out On Faith,” and our lesson today is “Stepping Out IN Faith”.
Point to Ponder: What is the difference in stepping out “in” faith from stepping out “on” faith? Or is there a difference?
Would you like to be a friend of God? I think all of us would like to be considered His friend. We sing about “what a friend we have in Jesus” but the question is – can He sing “what a friend I have in ” (put your name in the blank)? To find out how to be a friend of God, let us look at a person God proudly says in the Bible “I am the God of Abraham”! What did Abraham do that we can do? How did Abraham step out IN faith? Let’s look at his journey and see how we can be ready to follow suit.
Genesis 12:1-4 (ESV)
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
Hebrews 11:8 (NCV) – It was by faith Abraham obeyed God’s call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go.
- First, We Must Be Prepared for Directions
- The Bible does not say how God called Abraham, but God told him to leave his. . .
- Obeying God’s Word always begins by leaving our “Ur” the old way of life and taking a step in the direction of God’s will for our life.
Luke 9:23 (NCV) 23 Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me.
Jonah 1:1-3 (NIV) 1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
Point to Ponder: What are you willing to give up to follow Jesus? What have you given up? Or, have you given up anything?
Point to Ponder: Are you willing to follow Jesus, His directions whether you “agree” with it or not? Whether you “like” it or not? Are you a Jonah or Abraham?
- Your cross is whatever makes it difficult for you to follow Jesus.
- It may be where you work, a family member, a temptation.
- Being a friend of God doesn’trequire that we be perfect, but it does require that we be obedient!
Matthew 16:24 (ESV) 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
- Abraham obeyed, even though he did not know where he was going.
- Many people ask God, “What do you want me to do?” God usually says, “Get moving first, and then I will direct you.”
- You can’t steer a car that isn’t moving, and God can’t guide us if we aren’t moving.
- Commitment means still trusting and believing God even when we have to wait. Abraham waited.
Hebrews 11:9-12 (NCV)
9 It was by faith that he lived like a foreigner in the country God promised to give him. He lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who had received that same promise from God. 10 Abraham was waiting for the city that has real foundations—the city planned and built by God. 11 He was too old to have children, and Sarah could not have children. It was by faith that Abraham was made able to become a father, because he trusted God to do what he had promised. 12 This man was so old he was almost dead, but from him came as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. Like the sand on the seashore, they could not be counted.
- Second, We Must Be Prepared for Delays
- God promised Abraham that He would give him a land for him and his descendants.
- However, after Abraham arrived in the land, there was a delay.
- Abraham lived to be 175 years old (Genesis 25:7), or for a 100 years after he left Ur.
- If we had to describe Abraham’s life with one word – that one word would be he waited.
- Abraham waited for a home in the Promised Land. In fact, he spent his entire life living in tents.
- He waited until he was 100 years old for the son God promised.
- And all along, he waited and waited. . .and waited. . .and waited for the Messiah and the Eternal City of God.
- Does your faith require you to WAIT? Do you sometimes feel like you are stuck in an eternal waiting room?
- Waiting for an answer to prayer
- Waiting for a job offer
- Waiting for the results of a medical test
- Waiting for this Covid-19 pandemic to be over
- Waiting for (fill in the blank)
Psalm 27:14 (KJV) 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) 31But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
- How do you react to delays?
James 5:7 (NCV) 7 Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again. A farmer patiently waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth and for it to receive the autumn and spring rains.
Matthew 6:31-34 (NLT)31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT) 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed,
Psalm 37:8 (NLT) 8Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.
Proverbs 14:17 (GWT) 17A short-tempered person acts stupidly, and a person who plots evil is hated.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (GWT) 9Don’t be quick to get angry, because anger is typical of fools.
John 11:21 (GWT) 21Martha told Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
- God wants to do something in us before He does something for us.
- Divine delay is not denial!
Abraham was 99 and his wife Sarah was 90 (Genesis 17:1, 24), well past childbearing age, and still had no children. One day three visitors came to visit Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18:2). One of them was the LORD and the other two were angels. Genesis 18:10a says: Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah overheard and laughed in disbelief (Genesis 18:12). At that time the next year she had a son, whom they named Isaac, which means “laughter.”
You may face a problem that seems like an impossible situation and you don’t see how God can keep His promise to answer your prayers.
You may ask. . .
- How am I going to get out of debt?
- How can I ever get my kids through college?
- How much longer can I endure this physical problem?
We think that if God would just tell us “why” we could accept the problem. However, people that step out IN faith do not live on explanations; they live on promises!
Proverbs 3:5 (KJV) 5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Genesis 22:1-5 (NCV)
22 After these things God tested Abraham’s faith. God said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” 2 Then God said, “Take your only son, Isaac, the son you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Kill him there and offer him as a whole burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”3 Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey. He took Isaac and two servants with him. After he cut the wood for the sacrifice, they went to the place God had told them to go. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey. My son and I will go over there and worship, and then we will come back to you.”
Hebrews 11:17-19 (NCV)
17It was by faith that Abraham, when God tested him, offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. God made the promises to Abraham, but Abraham was ready to offer his own son as a sacrifice. 18God had said, “The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac.” 19Abraham believed that God could raise the dead, and really, it was as if Abraham got Isaac back from death.
- Third, We Must Be Prepared for God’s Demands
- Facing God’s demand for absolute sacrifice
- This is a real crisis in Abraham’s life. But when you have faith IN God, He will bring you through.
- God has brought Abraham through crises after crises, each of which was a real strain on his heart.
- God asked Abraham to do a most difficult thing: to offer his son as a sacrifice to Him, the son whom he loved ever so dearly.
- Facing God’s demand for absolute surrender
- God led Abraham to absolute surrender by taking the most precious thing in his life and leading him to surrender that thing as an offering, as a sacrifice to Him.
- God led Abraham to absolute surrender by testing him within his environment. God always has to use the language and the things of a man’s environment if He wishes His message to be communicated and understood. In the days of Abraham, the sacrifice of human beings was the supreme act of worship.
- When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham knew exactly what God was saying to him. He was to make the supreme sacrifice, prove that he loved the only true and living God above all else.
- Abraham knew that God was after the absolute surrender of his heart, his will, his spirit.
- The testing of Abraham took place in order to show and teach several things to both Abraham and succeeding generations.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can know God personally. A person can actually have a personal relationship with God.
Revelation 3:20 (NLT) 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
John 1:12 (NLT) 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can love God supremely. A person can love God before all else, even before his son or daughter.
Matthew 10:37 (AMP) 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can glorify God above all else. A person can glorify God by obeying God’s Word just as it is given, no matter the cost.
Matthew 7:21 (AMP) 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
1 Samuel 15:22 (AMP) 22Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can reach an unusual height of spiritual maturity, a maturity that stands out as a great testimony for God.
Matthew 5:16 (KJV) 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can be completely surrendered to God. A person can give back to God the greatest gift of all, the very gift that God had given the person in the first place, his body and his life.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person’s faith can be victorious over all, no matter the trial.
2 Corinthians 2:14 (NCV) 14But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory parade. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.
1 John 5:4-5 (NCV) 4because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world—our faith. 5So the one who conquers the world is the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
- Abraham demonstrated that a person can put God first, no matter the cost.
Matthew 6:33 (NCV) 33Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
- Fourth, We Must Be Prepared to Do God’s will!
- Abraham trusted God, trusted every Word that God had said!
- Abraham didn’t just believe it, he knew God’s Word was true – His promises true – so he stepped out IN faith that God would somehow make everything alright!
- Abraham showed his great trust by telling Isaac that God would provide the lamb for the offering!
- Abraham believed God! Believed that. . .
- God could raise Isaac from the dead if need be, or
- God could stop him from sacrificing Isaac and provide a lamb for the offering.
- Abraham believed God. . .
- He believed God’s power to raise up and use Isaac to fulfill the great promises of God.
- He believed that God would do whatever was necessary to fulfill His promises, His Word!
- Within his heart, Abraham had offered the supreme sacrifice to God. Within his heart Abraham had made the absolute surrender of himself to God.
- God is after the hearts of people, the surrender of their spirits to Him, not the slaying of their bodies.
- God wants living sacrifices, not dead sacrifices.
- God wants the bodied of people, but He wants living bodied, not dead bodies.
- God wants a human sacrifice, but He wants the sacrifice living not dead!
- God wants people to sacrifice their lives – their hearts, spirits, and bodies – to Him. He wants people to surrender themselves – totally and absolutely.
Romans 12:1 (NLT) 1And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
- Fifth, We Must Be Prepared for God’s Deliverance!
- God provided a substitute sacrifice.
- God gave Abraham a ram to offer as a substitute for Isaac.
- Abraham worshipped God and memorialized the place forever!
- He named it Jehovah-Jireh. The Hebrew means the Lord Provides. And provide He did!
- The Lord met Abraham’s need: He gave Abraham a substitute sacrifice in place of his son!
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Ask God to send you directions to deal with the delays for the demands you experience as you wait for your deliverance while doing HIS will.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Intercede on behalf of those on a journey that they remain faithful to the task.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Let othersknow how Christ completed his task and how it blessed you and how it will bless those you share it with.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Being a consistent giver helps others accomplish God’s will.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Doing the will of God is not always easy; remain diligent to doing His will, HIS way!