When we talk about faith in God, most people tend to lean towards the religious side, towards a faith that is based on things that are seen or felt.
Religious faith is full of feelings and emotions. It is an empty faith, perhaps rich in biblical knowledge but without any practical results and obviously, brings no changes to the life of those who have it. This has been the main reason why many people have been disappointed with God, with the church and are lost and faithless.
This is not biblical faith, because if we analyse the Word of God well, we will find that true faith is totally free from sentimentality – it is fierce. It is never moved by what is seen or felt. It is based solely and exclusively on what is written in the Word of God. It reacts, works and unconditionally obeys what God says.
With true faith, there is no negotiation, no back-and-forth, no discussions. No! It does according to what is written and is guided by the voice of God. Full stop.
See what God says:
“Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” Isaiah 51:2
Why does God tell us to look to Abraham? It is because in him, we find the type of faith that catches God’s attention, that pleases Him and leads Him to reveal Himself to a person. It is a faith completely free from feelings of the heart and its emotions.
In Abraham we find true faith, which comes from God Himself - a pure and sincere faith willing to obey without question. This happened at Abraham’s calling in Genesis 12:1-3 when God, in His first encounter with him, tells him to leave his home and his family. In other words, detach himself from all sorts of feelings which could interfere in Abraham’s relationship with God.
If we really want to see God at work in our lives, we must separate ourselves from everything that stands between us and Him. There can be no attachment to anything or anyone. In other words: THERE MUST BE SACRIFICE.
Throughout Abraham’s lifetime, we observe that this was the type of faith he had. This led him to have such an intimacy with God that God called him ‘friend’. (Isaiah 41:8)
This reveals the depth of the relationship that Abraham developed with God. He learned to obey without question, without asking, without wanting to know the reason behind what God said to him. He simply obeyed. This is what elevates our level of trust and surrender and it is what makes the difference and still does, from one person to the next.
When we read Genesis 22:1-3, we can see the highest level of faith, without the influence of the heart and its feelings, without emotions. It is simply a pure and true faith, an absolute certainty and confidence in the Word of God. It reached the extent where Abraham was not hesitant in offering to God what he loved the most, what he most fought for and what he most desired in his life: his only son.
At this point, Abraham revealed who God was and represented to him. He showed how much he loved Him and how much he trusted His character and power. His love, devotion and faith were above his son, his wife, money and so forth. He did not allow anything to interfere in this relationship and that’s why he set aside all his human emotions and feelings.
There was no doubt in the father of faith’s mind, neither did he mistrust. This is the only thing that God wants from humanity: PURE FAITH! In the face of such an action, such a surrender and sacrifice, God Almighty had nothing else left to say to him:
“By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son – 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. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:16-18
In this regard, everyone should sincerely ask themselves: What kind of faith do I have? How far does my trust and dependence on God go? Am I willing to obey the Almighty at that level?
If you can answer this question sincerely, you will understand why your life is the way it is, and where it is!
Don’t forget – the quality of your life is the result of the faith you have!
Bishop Franklin Sanches