Here’s why faith and obedience are twin pillars of the kind of life God blesses.
Throughout the Bible, God gives promises to His children. Whether promises of financial freedom, physical or emotional healing, or family reconciliation, God has made promises meant to give us hope amid our difficult circumstances.
However, often the Lord’s promises must be activated by a faith-filled offering or sacrifice, as we see in the life of Abraham. After promising Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, God asked Abraham to do something unthinkable: to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:1-18 NLT).
Abraham trusted God with his only son through Sarah, even though Isaac was the only possible means to fulfilling the Lord’s promise about multiplying his descendants. Little did Abraham know at the time, but his obedience to the voice of the Lord was the key to unlocking incredible blessings, both for himself and for his offspring. God told him:
Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed – all because you have obeyed me (vs. 16-18).
Notice that twice in this short passage God uses the phrase, “because you have obeyed me.” In another pivotal moment in Abraham’s life, we’re told that he BELIEVED God, and it was counted as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). But in this story in Genesis 22, the focus is on the blessings Abraham received because he OBEYED God.
What a beautiful illustration of how faith and obedience work together to unleash God’s favor and His blessings in our lives.
Lessons for Us
As a later parallel to the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, God willingly sacrificed His only Son to unlock the gift of salvation for all who would believe. You see, God will never ask you to do something He has not already done Himself.
Consider this: If God had simply asked one of the disciples instead of Jesus to die for our sins, it would have never sufficed. Both Abraham and God literally sowed their sons as seeds to activate their promises…and both Isaac and Jesus were given new life instead of death!
The Bible clearly states, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). When you act in obedience to God’s prompting to give Him something He requests, He sees your faith and rewards you for it. That’s why the apostle Paul wrote, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
What kind of bountiful harvest has God promised YOU in response to your acts of faith and obedience? Often God is waiting for you to release what you’ve been holding on to, in order for Him to replace it with something far better.
Today, I encourage you to listen to God’s voice and be willing to step out in BIG faith to give Him your offering. When you do, He will fulfill His promises to you in BIG ways. As He did with Abraham in Genesis 22:14, He will reveal Himself to you as Jehovah Jireh, your faithful provider.
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