When Abraham was 75-years-old, God told him to leave his home country, and go to a place that would be revealed to him. He didn’t give him any other details. He just said go. The bible doesn’t record Abraham making extensive plans, or fretting about the next step, or even taking an inventory of what he might need. It simply says, “So Abram went (Genesis 12:4 ESV, NIV, CSB).” This isn’t to say that planning or taking inventories are bad, or that they should be neglected. But it does say something about not fretting. Abraham’s lack of worry was evidence of his level of faith. Trust is an analog of faith, and Abraham’s trust in God was very high. So high was his trust that Abraham did not worry about leaving the safety and security of his homeland without knowing a single thing about where he was going. He just went! It’s for this high level of trust that Abraham is included in the bible’s Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:1-40).
This lesson applies to all people who share the name Christian. You may not have heard some audible voice from on high, but you have heard, felt, or sensed some kind of stimulus that has told you to follow a certain spiritual path. That’s likely why you are sitting in a sanctuary reading this bulletin, or sitting in front of a screen reading this blog. Your faith and trust in what you believe God has called you to (or nudged you toward) has kept you on a path to fulfill that calling or obey that nudge. Faith is always, always, always measured by behavior. It always produces behavioral results. It is never a collection of just uttered words, but always action and doing. Faith reaches its zenith in a quality called perseverance. Perseverance means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. It is a highly prized quality that proclaims the worthiness of a faithful servant – which the bible contrasts against those who are not faithful or worthy (Hebrews 11:36-38). This is why it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Because without it, it is impossible to persevere toward any future to which he is calling you. If you don’t believe in the calling, you won’t live it out.
The truth is that God is always calling us to places that we do not know. In doing this, our faith and trust are being tested, and refined, and transformed from words to practice. How is God calling you to a future place? Do you trust him? Will you persevere?