To fully follow God, we must leave the past behind, look ahead with anticipation and finally…live today trusting God.
Abraham and Sarah faced a series of defining moments which included obstacles that had to be overcome. Two of these are shared in Hebrews. The first was related to God’s promise in Genesis for a nation to come from Abraham. He was 75 when they left home. Now he’s 99, Sarah is 90 and they have no kids. Suddenly, they find out they’re going to have a child. We discover that when they found out, they laughed (Genesis 17:17; 18:12). Yet the promise maker became a promise keeper. “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” (Hebrews 11:11)
The second obstacle to overcome was related to this child. God now requested Isaac to be sacrificed. What!?! Isaac, their only hope and dream, was being tied up and placed on an altar by Abraham. The Hebrews author writes, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Abraham was willing to obey and sacrifice Isaac, believing God would raise him from the dead. He was willing to give everything to God. What a humbling thought. In the story’s original account in Genesis, we learn that, just when Abraham raises his hand, an angel appears and stops him. He provides a lamb to be sacrificed. Thousands of years before Jesus died on the cross, we see God painting a picture of it for us. Just like God provided a sacrificial lamb in Isaac’s place, He provided Jesus, His only Son, in our place. God is a promise maker and He is a promise keeper. Fully following God means trusting God in the moment.
There are only two ways to live – by faith or by sight. To fully follow God, you must live by faith. When we do, it changes our lives and countless others. Hebrews 11:12 says, “And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:12)
Remember great opportunity rests inside great uncertainty. What is seen is temporary and uncertain. What is unseen is eternal and certain. God, His Word, and people will last forever. Nothing else is certain. So how will your defining moments be defined? By what is certain or by what is uncertain? What does it look like for you to fully follow God today? What do you need to leave behind? Do you need to focus on what is ahead? Where do you struggle to trust God right now? Wrestle with these questions. Invite someone you trust to give you feedback on what they would write about you.