October 4, 2012
Is God Really Enough? Part 2
So Abraham calledthat place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14, NIV).
Friend to Friend
We all have faith. We go to a doctor we hardly know. He hands us a prescription we cannot read. We take that prescription to a pharmacist we have never met. He gives us a medication we do not recognize or understand and we take it ... all in faith. Faith in God does not come all at once. Faith is a step-by-step process that begins with one small step and increases as we go, a truth that is powerfully illustrated in the life of Abraham.
God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham walked through his fear, set aside his doubt and chose to walk in obedience to his God. Just as Abraham drew back the knife that would end the life of his son, the angel of the Lord called out to him and stilled his arm. Isaac would live! Why? Abraham had proven his obedience to God, even when he did not understand God’s plan and even when he could not explain the seemingly appalling command of a loving God. Abraham continued to obey God even though his heart was surely breaking. Abraham must have been terrified and felt completely alone. God gently nudged my heart and I knew. I, too, needed to lay my “Isaac” on the altar of faith, knowing I could trust my Jehovah Jireh.
Abraham suddenly spotted a ram caught in the thicket by his horns and offered the ram as a sacrifice in place of Isaac. Abraham then worshipped God, praising Him for His perfect provision. Abraham’s obedience led to God’s provision – the provision of Jehovah Jireh.
Genesis 22:14 (NLT) “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the Lord will provide’). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’”
Wow! Talk about a faith story! Jehovah Jireh indeed!
“But Lord, Abraham is the man when it comes to faith. I don’t have the kind of faith Abraham had. What do I do?” I cried out to God. God is so sweet and so kind – and so very patient as His Spirit nudged my heart once again. ”Mary think about the Israelites.” Now we’re talking because I can so relate to the Israelites. I turned to Joshua 3 and found myself in very familiar territory.
The Israelites are camped on the bank of the Jordan River. Forty years earlier, they had escaped from Egypt and have been wandering around in the wilderness ever since. All of their needs have been met by God. They have seen miracle after miracle and now they can see Canaan, the Promised Land. However, there is a problem.
A huge river stands between the Israelites and the Promised Land and there is no way around it. To make things worse, it is flood season and the usual places to cross are covered with deep, rushing water. The Israelites knew God could stop the river right before their eyes or He could throw a bridge across it, but He doesn’t. Instead, He gives Joshua some very strange orders.
· First order
The people are to keep an eye on the Ark of the Covenant.
God told His people that He would make a dry path through the river, but the priests had never seen that happen. In fact, they hadn’t even been born when the Red Sea was parted and there were no reruns of the Ten Commandments at the local Wilderness Theatre. The Israelites had spent their entire adult lives in the wilderness and finally, they could see a way out. Oh, and one more problem -- the priests couldn’t swim. This was probably the first river they had even been close to in their lives. I can imagine their fear and questions. God was asking them to step out in faith as never before.
I don’t imagine the Israelites had a great deal of faith in God at that moment, but they had just enough faith to take that first step. And that was enough.
Joshua 3:15-17 (NCV) During harvest the Jordan overflows its banks. When the priests carrying the Ark came to the edge of the river and stepped into the water, the water upstream stopped flowing. It stood up in a heap. So the people crossed over.
Notice God did nothing until those toes touched the water. That first step was all God needed to see. Many times, we won’t take the first step because we’re afraid we won’t be able to make the whole journey.
Don’t wait until you believe it all.
Don’t wait until you can see it all.
Don’t wait until you understand it all.
Step out in childlike faith and put your trust in God.
He is Jehovah Jireh.
He will provide.
Father, I come to You today in faith. I want to know You. I want to follow You for the rest of my life. I am afraid because my faith is small, but I am placing the faith I do have in You, Lord. I trust You to strengthen and grow that faith and help me become a fully devoted follower that pleases and honors You. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Scripture tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Matthew 17:20 also tells us that even a tiny amount of faith pleases Him. (Jesus) replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
A mustard seed is tiny, but once planted, grows into a large tree. Jesus said a little faith can have incredible results. We don't need a lot of faith - just as much as a mustard seed to produce great results. Why? Because our God is an awesome God, and our faith depends on Him!
What is the greatest problem in your life today?
What step do you need to take to face that problem with faith instead of fear?
What is keeping you from trusting God and stepping out in faith?
More from the Girlfriends
You are not alone in your quest for a life of purpose and meaning. I am constantly evaluating my faith and seeking God for the next step He wants me to take. And I can tell you He is faithful and will keep every promise He has ever made. He is faithful … even when our faith is small.
Need help? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Study, Getting a Grip on Fear, and learn how to manage your fears, doubt your doubts and live a life of faith.
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