By Pastor Toyin Olugbemi
Text: Romans 4:1-25, Hebrews 11:1-40
The Bible is replete with examples of just men who lived by faith in the Lord and His unfailing living word. The patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – all lived exemplary lives of faith. We thank God for their righteous living, but all glory be to God that their accomplishments in life were really not by works but by the grace of God through faith. It is quite encouraging that the life they lived, we can also live by faith (Romans 4:2-6).
Hallelujah! The Lord Jesus Christ made the blessedness of living by faith and not works or our own righteousness quite clear when the people came to ask Him what was required of them to work the works of God. He told them that they only needed to live by faith and believe in Him that the Father had sent! (John 6:28-29).
The answer given by Jesus Christ to the inquiring people shows clearly that faith is perhaps the most crucial thing in walking with God. Indeed, faith is indispensable for anyone seeking to please God. The word of God says that it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is the Lord who justifies whoever, so no one is just or righteous except by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Hence it takes faith for one to be justified and to remain so. Living the kingdom life is from faith to faith (Romans 1:17). Your faith shall not give way at the critical time of need when you are faced with one challenge or the other in Jesus’ name.
Let us see how this was reflected in the lives of certain men that the word of God has declared as just or righteous:
Traditionally and by scriptural description, Abraham has come to be known as a friend of God and the father of faith. Why? He walked by faith. He took God at His word in total obedience. Abraham believed God and unswervingly obeyed the Lord to get out of his country, out of his kindred and out of his father’s house into a land that he would be shown. It was a novel call, a challenging and revealing encounter he had with the Lord, perhaps for the first time!
Yet Abraham did not delay or hesitate in answering to the call of God on him. He did not consult with flesh and blood in answering the call of God. He rather took the bold step of faith and left his father’s house and kindred for an unknown place that God promised to show him. He went out not knowing where he was going but depended wholly on the promise of God (Genesis 12:1-6). He was a man of vision who walked by faith, as seeing the invisible with the eyes of his inner man or his eyes of understanding. No wonder, the word of God describes him as one looking for a city that the builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10)
Thus minded, Abraham was equipped to pay attention to things of the Spirit and could set his eyes on things above, the essential things of the Spirit, God being Spirit. He thus satisfied God’s craving for those who would worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
He was able to successfully pass through trials and temptations without succumbing to the dictates of the flesh. Even when the Lord tested him by asking for the sacrifice of the long-awaited son that He gave him at very critical old age, Abraham did not draw back. He made ready to offer Isaac, trusting that God was able to quicken the dead and give him back his son! His walk by faith was outstanding.
Now, Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law and has placed us in like stead as Abraham that the blessings of Abraham may be ours also (Galatians 3:29).
You are blessed. Every curse in your life is converted to blessings in Jesus name. I cover you and all yours with the blood of Jesus. You will live and will not die in the mighty name of Jesus. Your ways shall be pleasing to God in Jesus name.
Isaac also walked by faith, and all the blessings of Abraham devolved to him. He walked in strict obedience to God, and his life received the tremendous blessings of God because he obeyed the Lord. There was a time that there was famine in which Isaac wanted to go down to Egypt to safeguard himself from the terrible effects, but the Lord instructed him not to go to Egypt as he had planned. He obeyed the voice of the Lord and the result was stupendous wealth heaped on him in that same year. Genesis 26:1-4 bears the testimony. The trouble with many Christians today is lack of faith resulting in disobedience of the word of God and lack of trust in God. Yet His word is very certain that He is ever faithful. Be obedient and you shall be blessed. Obedience is an indispensable key to enjoying the blessings of God (Isaiah 1:19).
It was also by faith that Isaac blessed Jacob with the blessing of the firstborn and held that it was irreversible (Genesis 27:33, 35, 37).
It takes faith in availing yourself of the blessings of God through any fortuitous encounter with the Lord. Jacob, as cunning as he appeared, knew that he could not amount to anything without the blessing of the father and of God, our heavenly Father. He outsmarted Esau, whose belly or stomach was his god, and he (Jacob) got the blessing of the firstborn from their father.
He recognized that it was a lifetime opportunity when he wrestled with a man in prayer, and he promptly insisted that he would not let the man go unless he blessed him. The man turned out to be the Lord who alone could change his destiny. That night, his name and destiny changed! Faithful men see beyond the ordinary or the apparent. Jacob walked by faith and his life was transformed. It pays to always walk by faith (Genesis 32:26-28).
You will not miss the appointed encounter with your divine helpers for your esteemed destiny turnaround and fulfilment in Jesus name.