If you want to grow spiritually, if you are thirsty for the miraculous and the divine in your daily life, you absolutely must pay close and passionate attention to Abraham. He’s not an ordinary Old Testament character, or just a name on a list. The apostle Paul called him the “father of faith,” the example, the model, the plumb line, the standard and the father of all believers (see Romans 4:12).
Isaiah, the prophet, issues this vibrant call to us: “Listen to
Me, you who follow after righteousness and thirst for the living God.
Fasten your eyes on the rock from which you were cut. Give your
attention to Abraham, your father. For I called him when he was alone
and unknown; I blessed him and multiplied him. For the Lord shall
restore all the wasted places and make wells of living water spring
forth in the desert. Joy and voices of thanksgiving and gladness can be
heard again. Give me your attention, My people! Set your eyes on
Abraham” (see Isaiah 51:1-4).
Do you get the impression from reading these lines that Abraham has
something to say to us? Well, you’re right. Paul, the scholar, apostle
and world changer whose remarkable and inspired writings have marked the
history of mankind, tells us that “there is a promise that is assured
for those who will walk in the faith of Abraham” (see Romans 4:16).
Dear reader, let’s lift up a veil and discover a treasure. Let’s
plunge into the Book of Beginnings—the Genesis of Abraham’s faith—to dig
up a spiritual gold mine of eternal value: faith with a refusal.
“The Lord said to Abram, Come out of your country and out of your
father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a source
nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you will
become a source of blessing unto the ends of the earth for generations
to come” (see Genesis 12:1-3).
Dear friends, this faith with a refusal that characterized and
defined the personality and life of Abraham touched the heart of God and
became a key to the perfect fulfillment of the astonishing promise you
just read. In biblical terms and in the global perspective of
Scriptures, Abraham is not only the father of the millions of Jewish
people through history, but also the spiritual father of every believer
who has placed his faith in Christ, from across the centuries to our
present day. There are over one billion followers of Christ on the
earth. We are the fastest growing religious movement in the world, and
according to Scriptures each one of these precious Christians is a son
or daughter of Abraham!
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise
Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent
speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World
Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has
grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada
with few successful Protestant churches.