The Light Washed Path

What To Do Between Believing & Receiving-1

Rom. 4:16 Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants—not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.

Rom. 4:17 I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.

Rom. 4:18 [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, believed on in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be.

Rom. 4:19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb.

Rom. 4:20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,

Rom. 4:21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.

Rom. 4:22 That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God).

Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,

There’’s nothing more essential to your walk with God than knowing how to stand between the time you begin believing God to the point where you receive His promised provision. To make this point, Paul uses the example of Abraham; the man with whom God made the covenant to come into the world as Jesus Christ, our Savior. God tells Abraham that He HAS (past tense) made him “the Father of many nations”. And then He goes on to say that he will begin with a son, and multiply from there till his descendents are as numerous as the stars of the heavens. He tells him that out of his lineage will come a special man,– the Son of God, Who will become the Savior of the world.

Of course when we read this in our Bible it seems so plausible from our viewpoint of historic perspective. There’’s the story of Abraham, catalogued in the Bible, right along side all the other miraculous events of God. But from Abraham’’s position at the time, it required a dedication to faith that would call him far above and beyond the realm of human reason. You see, Abraham wasn’’t 20 years old with a fertile young wife. He was 75 years old and married to a barren woman, who was well past childbearing years. And just so that the fulfillment of God’’s promise would surely come as a result of faith, God stretched out the time of fulfillment over 25 years, in which Abraham had to “stand in faith” from the time God made the promise to the time it materialized.  During that 25-year span Abraham and Sarah stood in faith, fending off the natural doubts that surely attacked their minds. They maintained a profession of faith and praise to God for the promise they believed He would fulfill.

Using their example, Paul teaches us what it similarly takes a stand in faith for the fulfillment of God’’s promises in our lives. Over the next several installments we will explore the 3 basic steps that Abraham took in order to go from believing to receiving – from faith to fulfillment.

Step One: – What Has God Said?

Rom. 4:17 As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.

Abraham surely wanted children. His desire to have children didn’’t begin with God introducing His plan to him at 75 years old. Abraham had probably even prayed to God for years, that he and Sarah would be blessed with children. But the faith with which Abraham would come to possess that promised son — the faith with which he would unite with God to bring forth Isaac, his miracle son — was not a faith that stemmed from his own desire to have children, but from God’’s Word to him about the matter.

Faith comes from what God says, and not from what we want.  Even if what we want happens to line up with God’’s Word and plan, our desires by themselves will never produce the faith that can receive what God is offering. It is God’’s Word itself, by which God conveys His faith into our hearts. And it’’s our desire for the fulfillment of God’s Word that unites us with His faith. So the faith to receive…the ability to stand for the fulfillment of God’’s Word, comes to us from God, through His Word.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  Rom. 10:17 

Many believers have entered into great frustration, thinking they were believing God for an outcome. For example, if one were to receive a diagnosis of cancer and begin to pray for healing, motivated by the deep desire to be free of cancer, he would likely end up in frustration. It’’s not the need for healing, but faith in the promise from the Healer, that brings answers from God. The Bible plainly states that:

“…For by His wounds you were healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

Notice the past tense declaration, just as God had told Abraham that He HAD (already) made him the “father of many nations”. But it was not Abraham’’s desperate desire for a child that produced faith in him to eventually receive that child in Isaac. It was believing God’‘s Word to him that gave him the faith to stand those 25 years until the promised son arrived.

The Words of God are pregnant themselves, with the life and power to create and bring forth fulfillment. Jesus Himself taught that the entire Kingdom of God comes forth as a result of His Words being planted in hearts, and growing in faith. Everything God does He does through the agency of His Word. Somewhere, at the edge of the universe, is the original Word of creation, traveling at 186 thousand miles per second: “Let there be light!”  Abraham realized that God speaks of things that are, as yet unseen, as though they already existed before us.

…God …Who …speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.  Rom. 4:17

Abraham had many opportunities to throw in the towel during that 25-year span. With every passing year, the Word of God to Him became more unreasonable. Yet as Abraham neared 100 years old his faith had remained undefeated. He decisively refused every occasion of doubt and anger, praising God for the eventual outcome of what he knew He had promised.

Rom. 4:20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,

Tomorrow we will look at step two in “WHAT TO DO BETWEEN BELIEVING AND RECEIVING”. Until then……

Stay On The Path!