As His bride, we are (or should be) standing on a promise God has made to us. Sometimes it’s exciting to ponder and at other times it’s the only thing we have to get us through the tough times.
This hit home again the other day as I was thinking about our spiritual father, Abraham. God made him an awesome promise and then took him through a long period of tests and trials that seemed to negate His promise. We’ve all been there and, like Abraham, we had a choice to make in the middle of whatever it was that was challenging the promise God made to us. As Paul reminds us, that’s right where Abraham was…
Rom 4:18-21 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
It was the very next morning that God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac, the son of promise. We know from his life up to that point that Abraham was not weak in faith. And as he went up the mountain with Isaac he was fully persuaded. But what caught my attention was that he staggered not.
When you look at the word stagger in the Greek as used in this verses it means “waver.” There is a big difference between staggering and wavering. When we see someone begin to stagger it indicates that they are about to fall. On the other hand, if they are wavering we see it as a milder form of weakness. That is what we see with Abraham. He did not even show a bit of doubt, he didn’t doubt for a minute, he didn’t waver. Remember what he said before climbing up the hill to make the sacrifice…
Gen 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you…
Either God was going to stop the sacrifice or He was going to raise Isaac from the dead. As far a Abraham was concerned, God would not revoke the promise he had made. And so we see him head up that mountain without a “doubt” that God would provide.
What does that mean for us? The one who never wavers will never stagger. Or another way of looking at it is that if we meet any temptation to doubt God’s Word with faith at the moment we are first tempted, we will never waver. That is the only place for our faith; absolute confidence in God every moment. If we once begin to question God (waver) we will give place to doubt and find ourselves on the verge of falling (stagger).
It’s true that the faintest question or doubt in the face of temptation can be fatal to our ability to stand in peace; His peace. And the key to that is not to look at the obstacles. Once again, Abraham; he considered not his own body. If we have to see God doing something with respect to His promise in order to believe Him, we will begin to stagger. Abraham looked at the difficulty of what God was commanding him to do but he did not get discouraged.
I found this statement from A B Simpson about standing in the face of doubt… It is a great thing to be able to look at the adverse side without being weakened in faith, to take in the full situation, to let Satan make out his inventory completely, to admit all his resources, and then say, “Yes, this is all true – but God – God is equal to it, notwithstanding all.
Finally, look at verse 21. God was able to do. We think of able as “having the ability,” but it means more than that here; dunatos (power). God was not only able to keep His promise, He had the power to do it against all opposition. Our God is “Omnipotent” – unlimited in His power to keep His promises to us.
The bottom line for me is the fact that Abraham did not stagger, did not even waver because he was the friend of God. He had a longstanding relationship with God that had been built up over time; trial after trial, challenge after challenge, faith after faith. That is why he took God at His word and stepped out in faith, because of all that had gone on before when he had leaned on God and God had been faithful to His promises.
Are we trusting not only in the Word of God, but have we learned to fully lean on Him, the God of power and love.? The One who has made (cut) a covenant with us by the blood of His only Son.
It’s easier to stand firm and not waver in the face of those big challenges than it is in the face of the little ones. Let’s be like Abraham, all he wanted to know is that “God said it” and no matter how small or big the challenge, it will come to pass!