If you remember, the first principle to dive deeper with God was taught to us by the story of Noah. His story taught us is that it is all by God’s grace that we can have this relationship with God. Now let’s take a look at another hero of the bible who went deeper, and that would be Abraham. Beginning in Genesis 12:1:
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father’s house to a land I will show you. And I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. And I will make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you. And I will curse him who curses you. And that all that you do, all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as Lord has spoken to him, and lot went with him. And Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai, his wife, and lot his brother and son, and all their possession that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. And so they came to the land of Canaan, and Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem. As far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Caananites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared unto him. And he moved on from there to the mountain East of the Bethel, and he pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”
So here we have God telling Abram, “go to a land I will show you”. Now that’s an instruction from God, coupled with a blessing, for doing what God called him to do, and there’s always a blessing when we do what God calls us to do.
Now there’s no explanation given here in this passage as to why Abraham was supposed to leave Haran where he was living and had lived for many years with his family. I mean, Abraham could have said, “Isn’t this a nice place? Why should I leave?” There’s no necessary answer given here by God and often times when God calls us to do something He’s simply calling us to do it and He doesn’t give us an explanation.
Now if we read further on in Genesis, we find in chapter 15 more concerning Abram. Genesis 15:1 reads:
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield. Your exceeding great reward.’ But Abram said, ‘Lord, what will you give me seeing I go childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ and Abram said, ‘Look Lord, you have given me no offspring. Indeed, one born to someone else in my house is my heir.’ And behold the word of the Lord came to him saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir. But one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ And then He brought him outside and said to Abram, ‘Look now towards heaven. And count the stars if you’re able to number them.’ And God said to Abram, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord counted it for righteousness.”
Now, the Bible says that Abraham believed God, and God counted it as if it was righteousness. Let me point out to you that believing God is not actually righteousness, but God counts it that way. Now I am not, and you are not, and no one who’s ever walked the Earth except for Jesus, none of us has been fully righteous people. We all fall short. And sometimes others see our shortcomings and sometimes they don’t, but God sees them all.
There is only one righteousness that God accepts, and that comes from believing Him, accepting what He says. For example, believing what the Bible teaches us to be true. And so, here we have the second principle for someone who wants to go deeper with God and that is it has to live by faith. It has to be by believing God, so that God can count you as a righteous person.
I hope you hold this principle at the front of your mind this week. What are you doing today to live by faith?
There is certainly more we can get into when it comes to living by faith, but for now, let’s move on to the third principle that with allow you to dive deeper into your relationship with God. For Part 3 of this series, click here.