8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.
Hebrews 11:8 (NLT)
Welcome to the eight installment of my study on faith from Hebrews 11. In this installment we will look at the story of Abraham. The above verse tells us that Abraham obeyed God out of faith. In the previous installment, we find that Noah did the same. This means faith precedes obedience. God wants us to have faith first before we can obey him. This is opposite from what I learned in my previous religious church. My ex-religious pastors told me I have to obey God and proceeded to give me a list of things to do. They never told me about faith. So, I felt like I was threatened to obey. Surely this is not how God wants us to obey him.
God wants us to obey him willingly. The only way for us to obey him willingly is through faith. In the above verse, God told Abraham to leave his home and go another land that God promised him. Abraham obeyed without knowing the exact details of this land. Hebrews 11:8 calls it faith. If we look from the natural perspective, Abraham was taking a huge risk. There were a lot of “what-ifs” to consider. What if he got robbed along the way? What if the land God promised him is barren and has no economic value? These “what-ifs” will hinder Abraham’s obedience if he did not have faith. Through faith, Abraham was able to overcome his doubts and obey God because he believed that as long as he is in the path God wants him to be in, he will be better off than before.
Was his faith in God justified? Let us take a look at his ending.
1And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
34And he said, I am Abraham’s servant.
35And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
He was blessed in all things. It is totally impossible for anyone who obeys God out of faith and not be blessed. When God blessed you, he will bless you in all things, bless you greatly and you will become great. The idea of God wants you to be poor is not found in the Bible. The Bible also tells us that we are the seed of Abraham. So, we share in his blessings as well.
Do you know how powerful is the effect of Abraham’s faith? All you have to do is to look at his natural seed, the Jews. The Jews are the most persecuted race in history. People just hate them for no reason but that does not stop them for being rich and successful. They became famous bankers, scientists, investors musicians, artists, lawyers and in other professions. Some of them are even atheists. Yet this does not stop the blessings of Abraham to flow into their lives. Their success had risen far beyond their small numbers. Do you think they can be so successful if they believe their God wants them poor? Of course, not. Even atheist can achieve greater success and prosperity than the ones under the bondage of religion that believes God wants him/her poor.
The Old Testament has a clear-cut distinction that says if you obey God, you will be rich and if you disobey God you will be poor. The Jews are not as confused as the religious churches we see today. They know it is good to be rich and they go for it. They know poverty is bad and they avoid it. Only those in the deep bondage of religion will have doubts on this and tell us that we should not be rich.
“That was the Old Testament. Does the New Testament guarantee riches too?”
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NLT)
Our guarantee is even better. Let us do a comparison between the Jews and Christians. The Jews are the natural seed of Abraham but we are the spiritual seed. The Jews have the Law Of Moses but we have the Blood Of Jesus. Jesus died poor for us to live rich. If the Jews can be so rich and successful, we christians must be as rich and successful, if not more. Yet we are not.
Why not? We got religious. We allowed the religious leaders to tell us that being rich is evil. Rich people are greedy, selfish and they love money. They twisted the Scriptures and used the story of the rich young ruler to deceive us into thinking that it is a sin to be rich. As a result of their lies, we were kept under the bondage of poverty.
Satan loves it. As long as christians are kept poor, Satan will have the access to the riches of the world to finance his evil schemes. Thank God, he has opened our eyes to the lies of religion. This is the time for us to take back what is ours. As the sons and daughters of God, it is our right and obligation to take back the riches of the world and channel them to their proper applications. God wants us to be so rich that we are not only able to live the lifestyle we wanted, there would be excessive wealth in our bank accounts for us to finance the Gospel to the world.
This is not the time for us to be selfish, irresponsible and religious. This is the time for action. This is the time for us to take back all the riches of this world and do what God wants us to do. The riches of this world is ours for the taking. Billions of souls are at stake here. We need faith to take them. We have to start building our faith. We have to take our faith seriously.