In Step with Abraham ( Romans 4)

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“If you were Abraham’s children you would be doing the works Abraham did”. Jesus

John 8:39

“You said that we are going somewhere special sis” the boy said to the girl as they looked down a rugged winding dirt trail that stretched before them . Squinting the boy continued ” and I can’t see nothin but an old man and an old dog following him.. Looks like a huge tree at the end of the trail but no mansion like you promised sis.”

“That’s him. . .” the girl exclaimed pointing to a distant figure in front of them. ” Daddy says we are supposed to follow him.  That’s Father Abraham.  He will take us to the mansion brother. ” the girl said as she put her foot forward into a large footprint left by the old man.

“okay sis ” the boy said tip toeing  in the the footprints of the dog “I’m right there with you”

“Boy  don’t follow that dog, he looks like he is fixin to die. I told you , follow the old man!!”

“What’s the difference sis, that old man looks like he is fixin to die too”

“well he aint.” the girl said

” How do you know. . .

“Cause Daddy says. “The girl began to walk and sing “Father Abraham had many sons. . ..”

FATHER ABRAHAM

It was in December when we entered Romans 4.  It was cold and raining and It was two days before Christmas. Less than a dozen brothers and sisters came to Bible Study on that night. The packages and pageantry  of the Christmas season were set aside for the evening.  All was abandoned to hear the Word. Tired , hungry folks sat before their open Bibles entering a story that foreshadowed the nativity of our Lord Jesus. A story of birth and redemption. A story of our faith. Leaving all the wrappings and bows of the season ,we sat ready to receive.  It was as if the Lord Himself was there speaking  to the few folks “Get thee out of thy house and from thy kindred and from thy many duties and go unto a land I will show you” Genesis 12:1. The very words spoke to Abraham became the words spoken to our spirits.

Pastor sat and , as many Tuesdays before, he opened saying “we are going somewhere.”  Somehow we were certain of his declaration.  We were certain that , while the world frantically moved towards the celebration of Christmas, the Word would gently put us to the scene  of the Lord’s birth in our hearts. He would put us there as we set out in the steps of our very old Father, father Abraham

Pastor introduced Abraham singing ” Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham and I am one of them and so are you so lets just praise the Lord , right foot, left foot, right arm, left arm , spin around” . Like children again, we laughed as pastor demonstrated the motions of the song he learned in his youth. https://myoutube.com/watch?v=UbLvpd9bUL4

HAD MANY SONS

Though many sons were promised to Abraham, he actually had only two sons starring in his life story.  The firstborn was Ismael, son of  Haagar, the slave woman.  The second was Issac, son of Sarah. the free woman.  One child was obtained by the the flesh .  The Second obtained by the Spirit . According to Galatians 4, one was a striving of man to obtain the promise of God .  The later was a miracle of God to fulfill the promise of God.

God does not look at flesh except to command its banishment. Much like he did the slave woman Haagar into the wilderness with Ishmeal, On its own, the flesh will have no life without The Spirit. The Spirit of God enables the promise of God to be birthed from the Word inside vessels of flesh.  So it was was with Issac. Brought forth by the Word of promise and kept by the Spirit of God, He , Issac,  is the brother of all who believe. As Paul so rightly rejoices in Galatians 4:31 ” And so brothers we are not the cildren of the slave woman but of the free woman!”  For it was said to him as to us “the Lord will provide the sacrifice”.

Beginning with Abraham’s son,Issac, we see the  genealogy of this faith recorded in Matthew . It includes both men and women, both royal and rejected, kings and prostitutes, thoughtful and simple, respected and outcast. Many sons , many daughters: all from a Word spoken. These are  the bloodline promised children linked to the very “word made flesh”. . .   Jesus.

“Everything of God is obtained through His promises” Pastor stated.  A dozen “amens” chorused in the room.  ” Them two were as good as dead.  Sarah, an old woman and Abraham an old man.  But that don’t matter cause don’t you know ,.everything birthed of God is from the word of God!!!!”. Pastor explained. Pastor then showed us from scripture to scripture, in Genesis,  the story of how Abraham received the child promised him through the word spoken to him.

The promise of a child came.  A child of God, Issac to birth Jacob to birth . . . .families of children of God and nations of children of God. Birth upon birth recorded until  it it looks as if as many  as the stars of the sky.  All from a word of God.

AND I AM ONE OF THEM

It is now March and Easter draws near. I have thought of Abraham every day for three months. The Lord has kept me in Romans 4 for His purpose. From December , I stumbled into January as I looked back at a year of failed promises I had made to the Lord in 2014.  February awakened me to look forward but had me working hard to make happen all that did not happen in 2014 .

I longed for the faith of Father Abraham  wanting all the promises from God that I had forfeited in unbelief last year.” Maybe if I pray more, fast more, work more , serve more, I will see a move of God? “I thought. Weeks of  working hard to  make promises  on my own, I birthed nothing but an Ismael of exhaustion. A “wavering “wild purposeless  child in the wilderness.  A faith dead , dry, dangerously religious.

“What makes Abraham so great?” “how can he be great when he lied about his wife ?” “How can he be so great when he tried to obtain the promise pimping through Haagar?!! ” And Look at Ismael, how do I know I am not an Ismael ?”  Frantically,  I  ask.  Pastor replies ““Abraham is the Father of our Faith because He believed in  God and in the promise made. . . . is your faith in your self and your efforts toward the promise OR in God and His promise?”

 Suddenly, Romans 4:16 began to set my feet rightly. That is why it DEPENDS ON FAITH, in order that THE PROMISE may REST on GRACE and be GUARANTEED to ALL HIS OFFSPRING- not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the FAITH OF ABRAHAM WHO IS THE FATHER OF US ALL.. The promise of all my obedience and vision rest on the Grace “undeserved Love ” of the Father and Author of the promise. It depends ALL on God.!!!   A child birthed in me by GOD. . . . That is, the birth of CHRIST IN ME. Not an Ishmeal but a CHILD OF GOD.  Three months later, it felt like Christmas! A gift from Daddy igniting my walk of faith.

RIGHT FOOT LEFT FOOT, RIGHT HAND LEFT HAND

The child’s song “Father Abraham” continues with words commanding motions.  As a child of God , I love motion. Yet, motion without purpose is a return to slavery.  It is rebellion at its worst and dull religious ritual at its best.  Either way, it is a wavering of Faith in God.  It is said that Father Abraham “did not waver.” The song declares we are to walk as he did.”  Right foot, left foot, right arm left arm. . .

The scene of sacrifice in Genesis 22 is the manifested walk of a inward faith in the man Abraham.  Here Abraham declares ” i and the boy will go over there and worship and again come to you” to a young man attending him. From that declaration he proceeds to walk in obedience to the call to sacrifice his son. From a purpose to worship, he walks.  He walks saying “God will provide the sacrifice my son”.

That is why it is said “his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness. . . ” because “no unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised”.  Romans 4:20. Words about promise gave me a promise!!. Every Word that had quickened in my heart I suddenly knew would be done.  Every word,  and every layer of meaning as God intended in every word written in the Bible He would do as he had promised!!  As many as there are stars in the sky would be born in His time.  So . . .

LETS JUST PRAISE THE LORD   

 When Abraham learned to take both the promise of God and the provision of God , He became the father of our faith. This is the footsteps we follow.  Knowing  this:   footsteps are always the evidence of faith not the means of faith , I walk now , resurrected by the Lord and His work , ready for Easter, I walk unwavering in worship. And I  call brothers and sisters to come walk in these steps of Father Abraham in a life of worship. . . . Let’s just praise the Lord, right foot , left foot, . . .. . .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A16XTnzAf18&sns=em

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