The Faith of Abraham-PART 7

Part 7: Don’t Overlook God’s Standards, Have Faith in His Plan

John 10:10 tells us that Jesus Christ came to the earth to make a more than abundant life available. Before he came, a more than abundant life was not available; it could not be attained. Jesus Christ was born after Old Testament times, but way before he came to the earth, we know from the records in the Old Testament that some people were very rich. There were kings, queens, and pharaohs who lived and lavished themselves in the very best. They had every luxury the times would afford, but by God’s standard, their riches and wealth did not constitute a more than abundant life. This allows us to know that the life Jesus Christ made available can’t be limited to material things. It’s not about the extravagance of the house we live in or the cars we drive. It’s about life in the Spirit. Jesus Christ said in John 6:63(NIV), “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”

Looking at other people and the lavish lifestyles they may have, some of us wonder why all believers don’t have this kind of lifestyle. Afterall, we are God’s children, and He wants us to have the best. Well, there are two things we should consider. The first is that God’s standards are not the same as the standards in the world. There are two kingdoms that we should know about, and the first thing we should know about them is that they are eons apart. One is the Kingdom of God, and the other is the kingdom of darkness. One of the reasons that the earth experience is given to human beings is to present us with the opportunity to choose what kingdom we will serve and to also choose.

In John 8:44(NLT), Jesus Christ said of those who were vehemently against him, “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” They made their choice. They chose to serve the kingdom of darkness, and the father of the kingdom of darkness is satan. Jesus Christ said in John 8:32 that his followers must know the truth and the truth will make us free. Every human being is not a child of God. This is the truth. There are some people who will never make Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives. Even though they know about him, they will reject his love and remain in the darkness.

Those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and accept his love in their hearts belong to the Kingdom of God. Colossians 1:13-14(NLT) tells us, “13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” By giving us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sins, God gave us the very best that could be given for all eternity. God’s plan is that all His children will live and behave just as His only begotten Son did when he walked the earth. So, God’s standard is the example of Christ.

The world tries to place its standards of riches, influence, success, and convenience before God’s standard of abundance, authority, grace, and power. This is an exercise in futility. We will either choose God’s way or the world’s way. The first will lift us up and the second will drag us down. We must be wise enough to know that satan will try to outsmart us the way he did Adam and Eve. The choice can look like the right one, but it can be all wrong.

Our Heavenly Father has a very specific plan and purpose for our individual lives. We can see this so plainly in the life of Abraham. Heavenly Father didn’t just choose Abraham out of the blue. It was Abraham’s destiny to be the father of many nations, but when Abraham and Sarah concocted a plan for him to get Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden pregnant, they thought this would be fine with God. They figured God’s plan and purpose could be fulfilled their way instead of His way. God’s way pressed them to walk in faith, and His purpose could not be fulfilled without meeting His standard.

Ismael, the son Abraham had with Hagar, could not meet the standard of fulfilling God’s plan. He was conceived from Abraham’s and Sarah’s unbelief. They thought themselves too old to conceive a child even though God had told them they would. He didn’t abandon them but helped strengthen them in faith. This is what is important to God. He tells us in Hebrews 11:6(NIV), “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” We must have a heart that trusts and believes God’s Word; without this, we can’t please Him.

Those who love what the world offers will often use whatever tricks, plots, and manipulations they can muster in order to get ahead. God’s way and standard is the exact opposite. He tells us in Galatians 5:6(NIV), “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” The faith of Jesus Christ can’t be expressed through worldly ideals and societal standards. That stuff will not pass the sniff test with God. Only the sweet aroma of offerings from hearts that are pure will please Heavenly Father.

Ishmael was Abraham’s son, and he loved him very much, but God was very specific. His standards could not be overlooked or bypassed. They had to be adhered so that His plan could be fulfilled and His relationship with Abraham would deepen. This is what Father God desires with us. He desires that our relationship grows as our faith in Him deepens. In Genesis 17:18, Abraham asked God if Ishmael could receive the special blessing God planned to give them. God said in Genesis 17:19(NLT), “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.”

Some of us complain that life isn’t fair or that it seems more challenging for believers than it is for those who don’t have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We must shift our minds and see this in a totally different way. God tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that He is a Rewarder to those that diligently seek Him. As God’s children, we must remember when life seems challenging, if we hold on to God’s standard, like Abraham, our faith will bring about a great reward.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“The Faith of Abraham, Part 7: Don’t Overlook God’s Standards, Have Faith in His Plan”, written by Vince Mack. Blessing Beads and More© 2021. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“The Faith of Abraham, Part 7: Don’t Overlook God’s Standards, Have Faith in His Plan”, written by JMack,© 2022. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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