Then Abram believed the LORD, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the LORD.
Genesis 15:6 GW
We lose faith when we become preoccupied with our performance. When we begin to measure our faith by our “perfect moral record”, belief leaves our hearts. Burned out by the exhaustion of our human efforts, we will soon leave the church, and in time, leave God as well.
Faith is not a destination. We don’t arrive. Faith is a journey, and if done correctly each day, the journey will be fascinating. Yes, faith is a fascinating journey, which is how Abram learned to live. This is why God places such emphasis on this man whom the Scriptures call “the father of faith” (Romans 4:9-12) and “friend of God” (James 2:20-23).
Practically speaking, what we can learn from Genesis 15:6 is Abram received God’s approval simply because he believed. Read his story beginning in Genesis 11 and you will learn about a man whose sins and weaknesses were clear to God and people, yet none of those prevented God from approving of his life. God approved of his life because Abraham kept believing. He believed when God wouldn’t tell him where he was going (Genesis 12:1-8). He believed even while relying on deceit instead of God (Genesis 12:10-20). He believed when he had conflict with his nephew and close friend (Genesis 13:1-18). Perhaps most chillingly, he believed after debating God’s judgment to destroy Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33).
What makes the journey of faith fascinating is that whether we are on top spiritually or on the bottom, if we keep believing, God approves. He will be with us, and in time will lift us up (I Peter 5:6-7). We may not be a success, crowds may not applaud, promotions may not come, and our sins may continually defeat and limit us, but know this: Walking with God is about the strong determination to believe. This “believing through all circumstances” leads to a fascinating journey through life, and in the end – victory as well.
Reflect on these questions to begin your work of seeing faith as a fascinating journey.
Explore areas where you find it easier to perform than believe. Why do you think you find it easier in those instances to perform rather than believe?
Reflect on and remember a time in your life when you took a leap of faith without concern for performance. How did you overcome the temptation to perform? How did you handle the potential disapproval of people? How did you handle your fears of failure? Can you apply lessons from that time to areas of weakness at present so you can take another leap of faith?
How can you use this study to help someone else? Remember, we increase our own faith by sharing it to strengthen and encourage others (Philemon 1:4-7).
This study is part one in a study series called “Believe.” View the others in the series: