“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23)
One of the foundations of Christian faith is that we need to believe God.
Believing God is not about learning and accepting facts about Him. Believing God is so much more than just knowing things about God.
The Bible points to Abraham as our model of how we should believe. Three different New Testament authors quote the same exact Old Testament passage when they are instructing us about true belief. They all draw our attention to Abraham’s interaction with God, in the very beginning of their covenant relationship together.
The story goes like this… Abraham receives a visitation from the Almighty (a vision!). In the vision, God makes some promises to Abraham (about protection and about receiving God’s “great reward.”) Abraham says: “Cool!” (A Hebrew idiom) “But, God, there’s only one problem… I don’t have any heir to receive my “great reward” when I’m gone.” (Abraham, as you know, is childless at this time).
Here’s where the story gets really exciting… The Bible says that God takes Abraham outside his tent and invites him to gaze up into the night sky. It is here that God tells a childless man that he will have more descendants than the stars!
How did Abraham react to this unbelievable information? The Bible tells us: “He believed the LORD, and He counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
Abraham considered his situation… He was childless, had no heir, and (because of his age) there was not much chance of ever having one. But he also considered the Source of the One making promises to him. And he chose to… BELIEVE GOD!
What Abraham believed was impossible (a certainty, considering the facts) he also believed was possible — with the God Who could make the impossible possible. Abraham placed His trust in the trustworthiness of God – and, as a result, God said of him: “That is righteous!”
Sometimes we can all get caught up in our endless trying to live righteously. We think we accomplish this by doing a lot of things we think God likes (Bible reading, prayer, doing good things for others, avoiding bad habits, giving up things for God, etc.) Now, there’s nothing wrong with these types of things. But, we tend to think by doing these types of things that God considers us righteous. We tend to think that God is pleased with us by the number of good things we do + the number of bad things we don’t do.
But what God is really looking for in each of us is a very simple thing. Abraham did not impress God with his plethora of righteous actions – He impressed God simply by trusting Him at His Word.
BELIEVING GOD means taking God at His Word… and resting in what He has promised us (all the “action” is on God’s part!).
True righteousness is not found in all our “right” actions, but in the simple, child-like trust in the One Who has made such amazing promises to us, through Jesus. God is seeking our trust in Him. Once He has our complete trust, He also gets our right actions as well – in a way that truly pleases Him.
Prayer Focus: God, I need to lay aside all my thoughts about doing righteous things to please You… Help me to see that You are pleased when I simply trust You at Your Word.