by: Donald Curtis
Hebrews 11:8-12 (ESV)
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
The initial verse 8 lays out the reason for verses 9 through 11. Abraham was first called by the Lord. If the calling was not clear then all the rest of these verses and Abraham’s faithfulness would not have been fulfilled. Abraham had to know that it was God who called him and that’s why the obedience followed. If Abraham doubted the call then he would have doubted his mission. It’s important for us all to make sure that we are called not by someone or by even our own desires but that we are called by the Lord Himself. I loved Reggie’s quote if “we are sure of our calling then we would charge hell with a water pistol.” That is absolutely the truth, because we know that we are not doing this alone. There is support, help and divine intervention that will get us through every step of the way.
It is obvious to me that Abraham’s obedience is directly related to the confidence of his call. Once he was assured of the call then he was ready to conquer the world. This goes deeper than a call to “ministry” it goes to the very core of our Christian walk. We must be assured that our relationship is truly standing on the solid rock of Truth. If that is the case then we will be able to face every challenge that is brought upon us.
In my humble opinion this word faith is not a noun but an action verb. Faith should propel us into action. Abraham had faith and then obeyed. It’s the faith that was the fuel for the obedience. If our faith is weak then our obedience will not be strong. The ministry and churches of today many times seem weak in their faith evidenced through their obedience to the Lord. Church attendance is sporadic, Sunday mornings high then lower on Sunday nights then even lower on Wednesday. Witnessing isn’t a priority. Reading the Bible too many times is something to do only at church when the pastor reads it. Praying is only implemented when we sit down at the table to say grace or if something goes wrong in our family. Our priorities are not focused on God too many times which shows that our call is not sure or is forgotten and that our faith is not strong enough to call us to action.
God has called me to the ministry to preach the gospel to the world! I have been sure of that calling and have been reassured of that calling throughout the years. Because of that assured calling it makes it easier to go out to a place that I don’t know so that one day I can receive my inheritance!