‘By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.’ (Hebrews 11:8)
In Hebrews 11:8 we read about the call of Abraham to leave his home town and head off into the dusty distance to a promised place. Let’s just pause for a moment and try and get into Abraham’s shoes …
At the time he was living in Ur, a highly developed city, and as far as we can tell was a pretty wealthy guy. Today he would be living in Chelsea or Knightsbridge in London, and the owner of large investment bank. This is where the story begins, but notice that it doesn’t end there. This verse shows that God broke into this picture, turned everything upside down and he did so by speaking: ‘when he was called to go’. God spoke, God promised …
Here we can clearly see active faith as a response to the voice of God.Had God not spoken to Abraham, none of us would have known his name or his desert excursion. Faith is always a response to when God speaks to us. To us, as New Testament Christians, he speaks in various ways (prophecy, pictures) but primarily through scripture.
So here’s the challenge
If we’re going to live active lives of faith, we need to saturate ourselves in the words of scripture, which will release faith in our hearts (Romans 10:17). How can you, this week, ensure that you’re hearing the voice of God through scripture? Why not start reading Luke’s gospel and ask the following questions:
- What is the passage actually saying? (Try to summarise the passage in a few simple bullet points.)
- How would the people originally hearing or reading this gospel have understood the text?
- Are there any timeless promises in the text that can encourage you?
- Are there any commands in the text that you need to respond to?
- How is Jesus shown to be the hero?
- So what …? What do you need to do to move from being a hearer of the word to a doer?
Then … pray through all that you have learnt and allow faith to arise in your heart!