Does Faith Work Both Ways?
These are questions that all relate to one of the characteristics of being a disciple, someone that follows Jesus, here at Barnitz and Mt. Zion. We desire to see disciples Living out Spirit-led relationships with God and others. I am excited because throughout this year, this is going to be a focus of ours here at Barnitz and Mt. Zion.
Sarah’s “faith” is another reason to be excited about this too. Sarah is included in Hebrews 11 in the “all star” list of people who lived by faith.
By faith even Sarah received the ability to have a child, though she herself was barren and past the age for having children, because she believed that the one who promised was faithful. (Hebrews 11:11)
How do I recall what happened?
I recall Abraham and Sarai becoming impatient. Yes, God promised them a child. However, the child did not seem to come. Events did not take place exactly as they thought they were going to go. So what do they do? They take things into their own hands. Abraham has a child with Sarai’s servant. Nothing can go wrong with this idea, can it?
Even after this, God still tells Sarai, now Sarah, she is going to have a child. What is her response? She laughs. She is even called out on laughing at the idea, and then she lies about it too. From Genesis 18:
9 They said to him, “Where’s your wife Sarah?”And he said, “Right here in the tent.”10 Then one of the men said, “I will definitely return to you about this time next year. Then your wife Sarah will have a son!”Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was no longer menstruating. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, I’m no longer able to have children and my husband’s old.13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? When I return to you about this time next year, Sarah will have a son.”15 Sarah lied and said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was frightened.But he said, “No, you laughed.”
When we think of God having a plan for our lives, we often respond like Sarah by:
being impatient, trying to make it work like we think it should work
laugh and say, “not me”
lie, saying, “we never doubted”
give an excuse why it cannot be me
Does this sound familiar? Thankfully, this brings me back to Hebrews 11:11.
By faith even Sarah received the ability to have a child, though she herself was barren and past the age for having children, because she believed that the one who promised was faithful.
“By faith…” What if some of the faith mentioned here is God’s faith in Sarah. God has faith in Sarah because of who God created Sarah to be. God believes that Sarah is more than capable to live out the calling He has placed in her life because He knows Sarah even more than she knows herself.
I think this is true for us as well. God knows you are more than capable to live the life He calls you to live. Can we say God has faith in us too?
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)