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They Could Find No Charge

THEY COULD FINE NO CHARGE -Karina's thought

 

Hello my dear readers, it’s me again with “The Man of faith” series and this post will be the last series. This time I choose Daniel as the last figure. I choose Daniel because coincided with the problem I faced recently. Briefly, please allow me share to all of you.  My problem begins when some time ago, one of our companies won the tender of government’s project. (I am sorry couldn’t mention the country). Turned out this success made envy one of our business competitor then they tried to spoil my reputation by propagates a rumor that in order to win the tender; I gave bribery (In the business world more commonly known as gratification) to some of VIP government officers. To be honest, I am shocked!  Though I really know that the business world sometime is so cruel, I’m still shocked. In my whole life, there’s no one slandering me even in the business world. Since for the first time I get into the business world, I always try hard to not do things that contrary with God’s command and against the law, as well as my parents’ advice. Within a short time, it became a hot topic among the entrepreneurs and as the result I must face some authorities department of government to make a clarification. Many of friends who really know me didn’t believe it but many other believe and start to pout and cornered me. Even worse, they started to stigmatize me as a hypocrite Christian. It was really disturbing my heart and mind.  When I discussed this problem with my husband, with a gentle smile he just said, “Please remember to Daniel’s story. I do believe you surely know what should to do…”

My mind instantly drifted to figure of Daniel. Daniel was a successful man. He was said to be ten times better than all the magicians throughout his kingdom (Daniel 1:20) Daniel also well-known as an intelligence man that exceed 120 satraps of the king and two other governors. (Daniel 6:2 – 4) Above of all, Daniel was used to praying and praising God three times a day no matter he was busy or not. (Daniel 6:10)

Daniel’s successful made the administrators and satraps envy and they tried to find some charge against Daniel. But the Bible mentioned:

… But they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. (Daniel 6:4)

But because they’re too spiteful and were determined to destroy Daniel’s career, they’re working hard to find fault and trapping Daniel. Finally they found the way and then said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6: 5) The next plot was, they establish a royal statute and a firm decree with the content is: “whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except to the king, shall be cast into the den of lions.” (Daniel 6: 7) Then they immediately went to the king to ask him to sign the decree and finally the decree signed!

When Daniel heard about the new decree, was he afraid?  Was he stopping to pray? Not at all! Daniel didn’t flinch, didn’t worry! Daniel made no attempt to escape or pretend to not praying. Daniel didn’t pray furtively. What Daniel did was describing a remarkable step of faith.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)

Even when he cast down into the lion’s den, by strong faith he said:

My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” (Daniel 6: 22)

What was said by Daniel was right. It was proven when the king gave command to cast those who had accused Daniel into the den. Them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den. (Daniel 6:24)

Daniel survived because of his faith. In all respects, including when he was having problems, He didn’t rely on his own strength to overcome it. He didn’t choose to flee, or seek misguided completion alternatives. When the trouble comes, Daniel came to God. He remained calm, and prayed to God. When he was about being harmed, he remained believe with firm faith in God, even he gave a remarkable testimony on an awesome and amazing God’s power.

My dear friends, after I ponder again the Daniel’s story, I felt enlightened and make me even know how I should behave. First, I have to believe and keep rely on God. In the life and death situation, Daniel’s faith didn’t waver at all. Daniel still believes that God will save him. King Darius have seen even his great faith before he cast to the lion’s den. The king said: “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” (Daniel 6:17) Although I had a similiar problem with Daniel, we had a different situation. I will not get capital punishment like Daniel. So I think there’s no reason for me to be overly afraid and worry about the accusation and slander on me. My husband reconfirms,like a beautiful gem, though they being in the dirty mud hole they remains a beautiful gem. People may try to defame and ruin your reputation, but it is okay if you did nothing wrong. The truth is always being a winner. Daniel didn’t afraid because he believe God always be with him and he did nothing wrong”

The next important thing that I should to do is remain faithful. Daniel’s faith and believing in God shown by still pray and worship God faithfully. When he knew there was a new decree that hinder him to worship and pray to God, the first thing he did was went home and knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God. The last important thing I should to do is I shouldn’t grudge and returning evil for evil. Some of my friends suggested me to not just make a clarification but should to hit them back because they had arbitrarily tarnished my reputation. But once again my husband said,” Hit them back isn’t a wise act and not solve the problem instead will cause other problem. God’s word said: “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. (Romans 12:17) Vengeance is God’s authority. Even actually God said that we must love our enemies and pray for them.”

My beloved friends, the problem that happened to me could possibly occur to all of us. The question is when it happens, what should we do? Where should we go? Today, please allow me to encourage all of us to learn from Daniel. At least we could learn three valuable things from Daniel. First, through Daniel we can learn about the power of prayer. When because of the envy people try to malign, defame, or find fault on us, there’s no other better way than take it into prayer.  James 5:16 said:

“…. Effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

 Let us cry out to God through prayer. David said:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.” (2 Samuel 22:7)

The second, we must trust that the God’s power will help us. Daniel truly believes in God’s power, the king Darius saw God’s power by his own eyes, and miracles happened to save Daniel. Eventually, the king Darius honors God and made a decree that in every dominion of his kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. (Daniel 6:26) My problem hasn’t finish but I must remain lean to God, not lean not on my own understanding.  By faith, I strongly believe God will help me to reveal the truth. I know I will be in a very difficult situation and those who slandered me will not cease to looking for my fault, but once again, I don’t have to worry because:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

For God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37)

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverb 3:5)

The last, this’s about faithfulness. When Daniel knew that there was a new decree from the king, Daniel’s faithfulness didn’t shaky at all. He still faithful worship and pray three times a day as he usually did. In our daily lives, our faithfulness being tested when we face problems and tribulation severely. Are we remain faithful walk in the God’s way and not be tempted by worldly offers? Let Daniel’s faithfulness become a great example for us to be always faithful to God. God’s word said:

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

My dear friends, God can deliver us from anything, even the most impossible thing according to human logic. Our God is fearfully and wonderfully God. When faced with the problems, slander, and being framed by the people who controlled by envy, don’t be afraid and worry. Let’s come to the Lord and pray. Ask for wisdom. God will always hear His children that pray earnestly. God will give us strength to overcome our problems.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Cast our anxiety on Him because He cares us for us. (1 Peter 5:7)

Although we are slandered and harmed, we should not grudge and revenge, instead, as the Lord has commanded:

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 16:27-28)

Therefore, God’s love and greatness will be shows wherever we are and we could be the light that shine and bless many people even our enemies. Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: Ids.org

 

Speak To The Rock! (Man of Faith, Moses)

SPEAK TO THE ROCK -Karina's Thought

 

Hello dear readers! I am grateful to God could come back again with “Man of Faith” series. This time I’m not writing alone but I wrote this post with my dearest blog friend, Lauren Heiligenthal. Now I chose Moses as the 3rd figure. Like Abraham and Noah, Moses also mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament. After took study of Moses’ story, I conclude that Moses had two contradictory life sides i.e. side of successful and failure. Let’s have a look to the first side.

GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE

Moses was a great prophet with a winding life. He was born when Egypt felt threatened by the very high soaring population growth of Israelite and the threat made Pharaoh scared and issued an order to the all midwife to kill all of baby boy. (Exodus 1:16)  Because Moses’ mother think she no longer hid Moses, then she decided to took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. (Exodus 2:3) In short, the daughter of Pharaoh saw the baby and eventually took him as his son and called his name Moses. (Exodus 2: 5-8) Then Moses lived in luxury in the palace. But what happened? Turned out Moses didn’t forget his origin. Seeing his nation lived in oppression, his conscience revolted. He also acted and opting out of his enjoyment. He decided to get out of his comfort zone in the palace. Moses chose to fulfill God’s calling to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Although Moses had some doubts and fears (Exodus 4:1), eventually he chose to trust and obey to God, leaving his comfort and willing to suffer just for God’s calling. This was Moses’ great faith step. He moved from the comfort zone to the faith zone. Was written in Hebrews 11:24-25:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Moses used by God amazingly to bring the Israelite to the Promise Land though he had to suffer in the wilderness for 40 years together with the people who never grew up, never stop complaining, never be grateful, and never satisfied. By faith, Moses successfully made it out of the comfort zone that he fully realized it all came from sin.

In our daily lives, there are times we must be willing to leave our comfort zone. We have to decide to leave all the pleasures and choose God’s calling to bear the cross to follow Jesus. We would probably suffer. But in the bigger “frame”, it would be much more beneficial for our future later. God never reneged on his promises. God will never abandon us. Though In distress and difficulty God remains with us, guided us who obedient to bear His cross. Life is full of choices and we have full of authority to decide it. But God said:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Moses was choosing to leave his comfort zone to obey God’s voice and cling to Him to live in the Promise Land. What about us? Whether we’ve been dare to come out of our comfort zone? If we dare to pay the price to leave all of worldly pleasant things that will bring us into the sin? Do we believe though there may be suffering and there’s something must be sacrificed but at the end we will receive all of God’s promise? The world offer temporary comfort and pleasure but God promises the “Eternal Land”. Today let’s learn from Moses who dares to leave worldly pleasure follow God’s call to get into the Promise Land.

MOSES’ ERROR

Now we come to the second side of Moses, a contradict with his first side. Why I say contradict? Let’s take look. This time Moses did some fatal errors and made him got a very bitter consequence. Has been nearly 40 years Moses led a big, complicated and obstinate nation to keep on the right path. Turned out the Israelite attitude made Moses frustrated and affects his emotional state. Moses’ frustration and emotional peaks occurred when the Israelite angered and complained about the lack of water when they came into the wilderness of Zin and stayed in Kadesh. (Numbers 20:1-13) After he faced the Israelite’s anger then he spoke to God in the door of tabernacle of meeting and God said to Moses:

 ““Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” (Numbers 20:8)

At this point Moses couldn’t hold back his emotion, he cannot control his temper and made some fatal errors! Let’s have a look what Moses said in the front of Israelites:

“Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. (Number 20:10-11)

Let’s pay attention to the word “Must we…”  This was the first fatal mistake carried out by Moses. He didn’t suppose said “we…” Moses was supposed to say “God…” This showed that in his annoyance to the Israelites he spoke rashly. Was written in Psalm 106:3,

For they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.

 Beside his rash word, Moses had wrong motive, stolen God’s holiness and glory by Mentioned “We…”  Make a miracle is God’s work but Moses took credit of miracle himself, instead of attributing to God.

The second error of Moses was his disobedience. This is what I mean about contradictive side of Moses. When for the first time he decided to leave Egypt, he totally trust and obey to God’s calling but this time Moses stumbled and slipped disobeyed to God’s command. God clearly commanded to speak to the rock but Moses struck the rock twice. This was disobedience form of Moses and even worse, Moses showed his disobedience before the Israelites. His has done intolerant thing by as if disparaged God in the front of Israelites. (Numbers 27:14) God not pleased and then He punished Moses:

“Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

My dear friends, what we could take as a lesson from Moses’ errors? The first important thing we could learn from is, if a great prophet like Moses even called as very humble man more than all men on the earth (Numbers 12:3) can be stumbled and slipped into the sin, what about us? Moses’ error is a warning for all of us that anytime what happened with Moses could be happen anytime to us as well.

The second is about self-control. Because of frustrated and temper, then Moses loss of his self-control and it made him fall into the sin. It’s very important for Christians especially for  Christian leaders. Self-control is a part of fruits of Spirit and wraps the other fruits. Without self-control then the other fruits will be in vain and we will be fall into the sin. It’s written in Proverbs 16:32: Better a patient person than a warrior,   one with self-control than one who takes a city. And: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)  As a great leader Moses stumbled not hallows God caused of his lack of self-control. This should be an important lesson for many Christian leaders though have full authority but must take control ourselves, control each statement and command that come out from our mouth so that always uphold God’s holiness above of all and reflect His glory to others.

The last, we have to trust and obey to every God’s given tasks and have the right motivation behind our actions. Trust that God will always provide the way to complete the task though the task seems impossible to do and we doubt with our own ability. Obey to every God’s command because God never gives wrong command. Although it may give the same outcome, don’t do anything other than God’s command because it would make God not pleased and we will get the bad consequence.

My dear friends, last but not least, although Moses stumbled and got the consequence, yet he stayed faithful until the end. Accompanied by formidable signs and miracles he remains led the Israelites get into the Promise Land. His failure didn’t diminish the greatness of his name. Moses still known as a great prophet throughout the ages and he still received the honor of “entry” into the Promise Land when he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and talk with Jesus. (Matthew 17:3) Let’s learn from Moses’ life both about his faith also his failure. Life is always full of choices and because God really loves us, He gives us a chance to make a choice freely. But we’ve to realize that there’s always a consequence of what we choose. As clearly written in Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives us some option but He wants us to choose life and we will have live. Let’s keep our heart diligently, keep learning to control ourselves, trust and obey to God’s voice and always cling to Him so we aren’t easily stumbling and slip into the sin. God said: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Amen

Karina – Lauren Heiligenthal

My great honor to Lauren Heiligenthal who willing to be co – writer on this post.

Image source: howgodprovides.com

So He Did (Noah, Man of Faith)

 

 

SO HE DID -Karina's thought

 

Hello my beloved readers, I am grateful to God could continue the second post of “Man of Faith” series. In my previous post we have learned from “The Father of Faith”, Abraham. Now I love to choose Noah as the 2nd figure of “Main of faith”

“Obedience” This is the similarity between Abraham and Noah.  Both of them had great faith and obedience to God. The difference is about what happened and what they did at the time. Now let’s take a look deeper to the Noah’s story.

In his old age, one day, Noah got commandment from God to do something very strange. Why it was very strange? God commanded him to build a super big ark that can contain the entire of his family and also pair of specific animal.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Genesis 6: 14 -16)

 Dear readers, after I read this story carefully I found some unreasonable things related with Noah’s assignment. First, he never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. The second, put together the whole (Without in the water animals), manage them all into the ark weren’t an easy job.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. (Genesis 6: 19-20)

The last, Noah wasn’t a ship maker. He didn’t have any experience at all in making a ship. Based on those facts, it is normal if we think that Noah’s assignment was very strange and I think it is very normal as well if at the time Noah refused the task that has been commanded by God. Noah wasn’t able to imagine how the shape of the ark. Noah didn’t have any references at all about how to build an ark because there wasn’t an ark ever made before.  He just had the detail of dimension, interior design and the used material. My dear readers, in order to get an idea how difficult Noah made the ark at that time, I spent time for awhile to discuss with one of my Father’s friend who accidentally works as a ship architect. He said, “Noah’s ark was unbelievable “masterpiece” of the ship in his generation.  It is not a difficult thing to build a ship that even maybe two times bigger than Noah’s ark in this super modern technology. Though just floating, but it was still totally so difficult to built super big ark with “a primitive” technology, without any knowledge at all in building the ship, and the all of the ark construction just made by wood.  The ark had a perfect ratio between length, width, and Height. It was the great God’s work through Noah”

Then what Noah did? At the time his faith begins to work. Was written in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 Without many questions and complaining Noah obediently did the God’s command. He did every single detail of the ark in accordance with God’s command. Noah believed that something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it will never happen. Noah chose to obey. Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:22) After completed, God said to Noah:

“Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1)

 We all know what comes next and the end of Noah’s story.  And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)   Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. (Genesis 7:23)

Why God only saved Noah and his family? Whether Noah was a good man? Bible didn’t record it but the Bible notes that: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6: 8 -9)

Noah lived in the corrupt, wicked and full of evil era. But he was able to remain faithfully lived in the Holiness and walked with God. He remains loves and pleases God more than anything and he had great faith to God. Throughout the long delay of the coming judgment, Noah continues to faithfully obey to God and even he preached to the people to repent before God destroy the earth. Another evidence that Noah always walk with God and pleases God was, after the flood, he built an altar and offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 8:20). Worship to God was a central part of his life. That’s why he saved by God from the flood.

My dear friends, I end this post with some questions to ponder. How our lives today?  Have we live not only as good person but as the righteous before God? Can we remain steadfast to hold God’s promise although maybe this time we haven’t seen the answer of what we ask for? Shall we continue to believe in God and continue to be grateful despite the difficulties continues hit our lives? Shall we, by faith, remain obey to do God’s command although we think it’s so strange and impossible? Whether we will continue to uphold our faith when we are in the situation that isn’t only difficult but even may be very wicked?

Like all of us right now, Noah was living in a sin nature but he has proved was able to remain lived in faith and obedience. Let us learn from Noah who have firm faith, let us learn to continue to believe even when we haven’t seen anything.  Noah didn’t need to test God before he built the ark. God commanded, he obeyed and he did it.  Noah remained faithful, trust, and upholds his faith to God even though he had to wait for 120 years before God fulfilled His word. Noah made faith as a believing. He didn’t know when God will fulfill His word, but he really believed it will happen.

Faith isn’t a feeling but it’s a choice to trust God even when our way ahead seems uncertain. Faith will make us able to see things before they happen and make us have foundation of all that we hope. Let’s face all of problems, trials, and challenges with faith. Let is open our eyes of faith and put it as strong foundation as written in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 By strong faith we wouldn’t worry about everything happen in our future. And we will see the fulfillment of God’s promises. We just need to have faith as small as mustard seed like Jesus said in Matthew 17:20:

Truly I tell you, 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.”

We also need to maintain our faith getting bigger and stronger.  Faith is like a baby who always needs the best nutrition to keep growing. The best nutrition for the growth of our faith is God’s words. Let us continue feed our faith to grow by reading and comprehend God’s word every day and implementing it by works. God’s word said:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Roman 10:17)

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Noah not only had a great faith but his faith worked together with action. By faith he did very well God’s commandment. If Noah was using the very strong gopher wood as the the material, let’s build our spiritual “ark” by using the very strong and unwavering faitt, with one door which is mean only The Lord Jesus Christ is one and only way for our salvation and the door into Heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

 Also a door that we can knock to hand over all of our problems, fear, anxiety, and everything we ask for.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

 Our spiritual ‘ark” just have one window above which is mean we have to always focus to look up only to God not look down or to the world around us and have three decks: Faith, Hope, and Love.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Learn to have faith like Noah’s faith by more strengthens our relationship with God through prayer, Involving God in every step of our lives, ask for the strength and wisdom, and let His Holy Spirit anoint our lives so ultimately we will have faith as a mustard seed and we will be able sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.* Amen

Karina – Living by faith

*Faith quotes by Corrie Ten Boom

Image source: christianitymalaysia.com

 

Man of Faith, ABRAHAM

Abraham Man of Faith -Karina's Thought

 

Hello my dear friends, sometimes ago I have wrote a series of “Woman of faith” Few days ago my husband said that seems incomplete if I don’t write about “The Man of faith” So this post and the following posts will talk about some bible figures who known as “Man of faith” Anyway, all of you have to know that this post isn’t a bible commentary, bible study or something.  It is just my thought based on what I have learned. So, if you find some wrong perception or misinterpretation, I am so honor you give me critics or suggestion.

When we talk about faith, I strongly believe our mind will directed to one of great bible figure named Abraham. As we all know Abraham called “The father of faith” I knew and learned this great figure when I was teen. At the first time, I was so curious how Abraham could be called as “The Father of faith” If his faith not experienced ups and downs at all throughout his life? After I read and learn seriously about His life, although the Bible explains that there were times Abraham experienced faith struggling like us, at least I found two big things happened along his life so he deserved to be called as “Father of faith” I prefer to call these big things as two big test of Abraham’s faith. Now I would love to take all of us to look at the first test. God said to Abraham:

‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2)

When I read these verses, my mind focused to the word “That I will show you” God didn’t says, “That I showed you before” This means that Abraham totally didn’t know where he will go. There was no certainty and Abraham hasn’t received any further explanation from God. It also means that Abraham had to wait. Dear friends, I imagine one day my father give me an order to go to a place that I never know before and my father don’t tell me any description and direction about that place. Well, I will definitely refuse and I don’t have big courage to go. But what was Abraham do? The author of Hebrews tells us:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

At that time Abraham certainly didn’t know what will be happen but he remained obey to follow God’s command and set out according to God’s command. Abraham did it because he looked by the eyes of faith. Abraham trusted and believed that God will guide him into the uncharted territory. There was no questioning and no wavering! He still went and dwelt in the foreign land that God promised to him.

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; (Hebrews 11:9)

What a great and profound example of faith! What underlies Abraham‘s faith? What is the vision that he saw through his faith? Let us take a look to the following verse:

For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

(Hebrews 11:10)

It turned out, Abraham had a vision about the future, something that he hadn’t seen in real but he had a proof through his faith. Others may not see it but Abraham was able to saw it with his eyes of faith.

Now we come to the hardest test of Abraham’s faith (In my opinion).  I remembered one of my friends who were really disappointed and angry to God because God called home her one and only daughter. Thing that made him upset and angry was, she had wait for 7 years to have her daughter and the doctor have stated that she will very difficult to have a child again and not recommended for some reasons. She once said to me, “I have been waiting for 7 years to get the answer of my prayer to have a child. God gave but God himself took my daughter back. What is actually God wants from me? It would be better He didn’t give me a child at all if eventually He took my daughter back!”  My dear friends, now let’s compare my friend’s story and Abraham’s story.

We all know that God promised Abraham to have a child at the impossible time because they had become grandparents. The story wasn’t ended up there, evidently there was another thing. Turned out, Abraham needs time for 25 years to get the fulfillment of God’s promise. But again Abraham was using his eyes of faith. He truly believed that God will fulfill His promise though seems impossible. Then was born Isaac. Was it the happy ending? Not really. One day, God commanded Abraham: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2) What was Abraham reaction? If he complained, disappointed, and angry to God like my friend? Yes maybe! Although not mentioned in the bible, I do believe as a human Abraham could feel sad, disappointed, and even angry to God like my friend. But the fact was, he remain obey and he did what has commanded by God. I found one important thing that shows how great Abraham’s faith at the time. Let’s pay attention to this verse:

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5)

I outlined to the word “We will come back to you” Wasn’t Abraham should have come back alone because Isaac will be offered as a burnt offering? This is what I mean how great Abraham’s faith. He knew that God was faithful, God can make miracles. Abraham believed so strongly in God, even though at the time he hadn’t seen what will happen in the next. Seeing or not, Abraham believed and obeyed God wholeheartedly, without protest, without complaining, without a doubt. Was written in Hebrews 11:19:

Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Abraham believed that God had a very good reason for asking him to sacrifice Isaac, and that somehow Isaac would have to be raised from the dead to fulfill the promises God had made concerning him.

My beloved readers, what about us now? How far we put our faith as a substance of our lives, how far can we believe in something that not seen as written in Hebrews 11:1:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

How far we are able to obey to do the God’s command though we haven’t seen the results? How far we are willing to do all of God’s will though seem unreasonable? If we say we have faith, whether our faith has been accompanied by deed? Because:

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)

This evening I encourage all of us to learn from Abraham’s life as “Father of faith” Abraham chose to obey when God commanded him to go out from his country and when God asked him to handed his one and only son as a burnt offering. Abraham chose to believe when God promised him a child in his very old age. Abraham can did all of that because he put his faith as a substance. Let’s do the same thing like Abraham. By having unwavering faith then we will be able to obey without any doubt, and questions. By having a strong faith we will be able to believe the fulfillment of God’s promises. Maybe this time we are waiting for God’s answer, let us wait it with the strong faith. Maybe right now God commanded us to do something impossible, let us do it faithfully because all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) and for with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

Maybe right now we are in the very hard time. We are hit by so many hard troubles and challenges and we are in the uncertain situation. Once again allow me to encourage all of us face it all by strong and unwavering faith. Let’s learn to have great faith, faithful, and obey like Abraham. By faith let us completely believe that God already has beautiful plan for all us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

And by strong faith let us totally believe that God will never leave us as He said:

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Let’s keep hold God’s promises with the unwavering faith. By great faith Abraham received all the God’s blessing right in His time.

Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22:17) Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: jamespoitras.com