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Benjamin Sheu
September 18, 2020
This entry is part [part not set] of 18 in the series A Real Romantic Journey: The Life of Abraham
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1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

– Genesis 15:1-6

The New Testament tells us to follow in the footsteps of Abraham, our father of faith, and mentions that he is a friend of God (cf. Romans 4:12, 16, James 2:23). “And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” is referenced in three New Testament books—Romans, Galatians, and James. But when you look at Abraham’s life journey of following the Lord in faith, it isn’t what you may expect. He did build an altar at Shechem, but he also pitched his tent halfway to Ai; he sold his wife in Egypt, but he also rescued Lot and was blessed by Melchizedek. Faith isn’t just overcoming obstacles or moving mountains. It isn’t just a miraculous ability to stand for Christ when called upon. It’s a journey with ups and downs, humiliation and weakness. Below is a compilation of some message notes from brother Titus’s speaking regarding this matter: 

I don’t know what kind of belief this is. Abram would say, “God, I am so old. Humanly, this is impossible. But God, I believe.” You know what is belief? It is not a clear sense of declaration. Many times, belief is, “I don’t know what’s happening, but I can’t deny it.” Are you serving the Lord? “Yes.” Are you sure you’re serving the Lord all your life? “Well, brother, I don’t know, but I cannot deny the Lord. I want to serve the Lord all my life.” Do you think the Lord can provide you all your life for all your needs? “I don’t know, but I cannot deny it.” Faith is an infusion. When God told Abram to look at the stars, wasn’t there a divine infusion? Then Abram would take it and say, “Yes, I believe You. God says, “Now, you are righteous.”

I’m approaching 90. You know, brothers, I still have a life to live. How long, I don’t know, but my prayer still is, “Lord Jesus, I’m very limited now.” Do you believe you still can serve? You can say two possibilities. One is, it all depends on my health and span of life. Another possibility, yes. When I say yes, how do I know how long I will live? How do I know how long I can serve?…But within me, there is just a feelingLord, under Your hand, these are not important. I have You. I have You as life, I have You as the Deciding One. Whatever You have left to me, Lord, it is for You.

There is something within you called faith. Do you love the Lord? “I love Him.” Are you for the Lord? “I am for Him.” Are you going to serve the Lord all your life? You can’t say yes. Can you stand up and declare “I am NOT going to serve the Lord all my life”? You can’t. This is faith. Faith is you having some contact with God. There’s a transfer, and you have a feeling, “Lord, there’s something of You. I would like to live this kind of life.” Faith is something you cannot deny. You cannot give up. Even though you cannot shout loudly with emotion, within you there’s a deep sense—I am of Christ. I belong to Christ. I am the Lord’s. That is faith. 

Oftentimes I try too hard to “have faith,” but get discouraged when I don’t match that expectation. I subconsciously make benchmarks for what following the Lord by faith looks like—being more bold in the gospel, trying more “difficult” things, avoiding what the world says is “essential,” or not having a retirement fund. What I’ve realized is that these benchmarks can often be arbitrary and quickly lead to judgement both of myself and of others.

However, Brother Titus mentions that faith is an infusion. It’s a dispensing of the Lord’s trustworthiness into us, and a realization that “Lord, there’s something of You. I would like to live this kind of life.” It’s something that is solid throughout every season, a deep sense beyond just emotion, mind, and will. And as we follow the Lord more, as we give more room for His infusing, He will dispense more of His trustworthiness into us and we will be able to say “yes, I will follow You” more and more. That is the life of faith that our father Abraham lived, and the footsteps in which we are called to follow.

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