There have been moments in my life that have propelled my faith because of the way God moved in my circumstances. There have been times when I have seen immediate and direct answers to my prayers. There are other times when I don't see immediate results and my faith is grown because I learn to trust God's judgment and what He knows is best for me. There have been times when I have plateaued in my faith because I wasn't spending time in prayer and in the Bible. And there have been times when I experienced a steady growth as a result of spending more time in prayer and in the Bible. There is no specific formula to how our faith is grown and how fast it will grow; however, I can say with all confidence that the more we spend time with God and choosing to believe Him over the world the more our faith will grow. As I have been reading through Genesis, I have touched at the beginning of Abraham's story in the Bible and I have already been amazed at the belief he had in God. Today, I am looking at a pivotal moment in Abraham's walk with God; please read Genesis 15:1-6.
The first couple of words in this verse is "Some time later..." Just to set the scene, the last thing we read was Abram's victory over Kedolaomer and his rescue of Lot. He was blessed by Melchizedek and was told that his victory happened because God was working on his behalf. This was a high point in Abraham's faith walk; I'm sure this moment was powerful in growing his already great faith. We are not told about the time in between or how much time there was; we are just told that it was some time later. Have you ever felt that in your faith walk? Maybe you experienced a catharsis or a victory and then it is some time later before you have another amazing moment with God. In fact, some times we find ourselves feeling stuck in our walk and begin to question if our victory was as amazing as it seemed at the time. We begin to think that maybe what we experienced was more feeling than reality. But it is important to remember that our understanding of God and His ways is very limited and that He does not do what we expect; God's ways are not our ways. We can trust that God knows what is best for us and will give us what we need when we need it.
We read that even though it was some time later, God spoke to Abraham in a vision. The thing we sometimes forget as we read through the Bible is the amount of time that happens in between the moments that we read about. Abraham lived a long and full life, but we don't even begin to read about his life until he was in his seventies. We humans get impatient, don't we? We like to see instant results when God wants to see growth. In this moment God promised protection, and Abraham asked God for a son to inherit the blessings God had promised. Instead, God promised Abraham more descendants than he could count. Think about that for a minute...Abraham asked for one son and God promised enough descendants to make a nation. But the pivotal moment was the fact that Abraham believed God. Abraham didn't just believe in God - he believed God. This trust in God was huge because we are told in verse 6 that God counted him as righteous because of his faith. As we continue to read Abraham's story, we will see that it will be a long time before we see the results of this promise.
Just because we don't see instant results doesn't mean that God abandoned us. He knows the right time to roll out His plan and He also knows when we need encouragement. We can trust that God will do what He says He will do even if it doesn't happen right away. But our faith needs to be exactly this: not just belief in God, but a trust in God.
Do you need a little encouragement right now? Do you need to trust God in His plans for you?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesday and Soli Deo Gloria.