Are you trusting in the Father in every aspect of your life? Do you have confidence that God—the Sovereign Lord of the universe—will do exactly what He says and fulfill every promise He’s made? Your answers to these questions will greatly affect your life. In fact, if you refuse to trust God, you will undoubtedly miss important blessings He has for you.
From the moment you become a Christian, God enrolls you in His classroom of faith because He desires to develop your relationship with Him and show you life at its very best. Dr. Stanley teaches you the five indispensable requirements of living in full reliance and submission to the Father.
WALKING IN FAITH
KEY PASSAGE: Genesis 12:1-10
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Genesis 16:1-5 | Genesis 22:1-5 | Joshua 24:2-3 | Isaiah 64:4 | Matthew 7:7 | Matthew 28:19 | Mark 16:15 | John 3:36 | Ephesians 2:8-9
The Christian life is a walk of faith.
From the moment you become a believer, you enter the school of faith because, from that point on, the Father’s goal is to teach you to trust in Him. Therefore, in order to live effectively and grow in your relationship with Him, you must have confidence that God—the Sovereign Lord of the universe—will do exactly what He says and fulfill every single promise He’s made to you.
This is why Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). The Father has awesome blessings for
you, but you must know that He cares for you enough to provide them.
Unfortunately, believers will sometimes miss God’s best in life simply because they do not trust Him. We get caught up in our circumstances and wonder why difficulties occur. However, when we realize that ups and downs are a natural part of maturing as Christians, we will continue to grow and progress in our faith.
The Father of Our Faith
Abraham is known by this title because of his inspiring and historic trust in God. Although he grew up in a pagan land and knew nothing about Yahweh, he obeyed when the Lord called him (Josh. 24:2-3). God said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you” (Gen. 12:1-2).
It was an incredibly difficult command—Abraham was to leave his family and everything he had ever known to go to a place he had never seen.
Although Abraham’s faith was severely tried, we know that he remained devoted to God even when everything appeared contrary to the Lord’s covenant with him. And the Father blessed him beyond measure—fulfilling every promise.
Yes, Abraham failed at times and had doubts like we do. He wasn’t perfect. This is the reason he is an excellent example of what it means to live a vibrant life of faith. We all experience faith failures, but if we pick ourselves up and renew our trust in the Lord, we will see God’s promises to us fulfilled as this patriarch did.
Thankfully, Abraham also demonstrates what is necessary for remaining confident in the Father’s provision. These five requirements are as follows:
Requirement 1: Learn to Listen to God
The Lord is speaking to each of us individually—just as He did with Abraham. But if we do not learn to listen to Him, how will we ever have a relationship with Him?
The first question we should ask is, “How does the Father communicate with us?” He does so primarily through His Word and prayer. As we read the Bible daily, He shows us how to handle the issues that concern us. However, He may also communicate through other people, sermons, Christian books, songs, and circumstances. In fact, He will move heaven and earth to show us His will when we seek His face. The key is to begin each day by praying, “Father, if You have anything to say to me, please speak—I’m listening.” Though there may be times when God’s directions do not make sense to us, be assured that He would never tell us to do anything that contradicts Scripture.
Requirement 2: Learn to Obey God
As you and I grow in our relationships with the Father, we learn by trial and error how crucial it is for us to do exactly as He tells us. In fact, once we hear the Lord’s direction, our best course of action is to submit to His commands fully and immediately—no matter what it costs us—because obedience to God always brings blessings.
As we mature, we also discover that when we attempt to take shortcuts or circumvent God’s plan, we get ourselves into trouble. This is because partial obedience is disobedience, which always brings terrible consequences.
Requirement 3: Learn to Depend on God
The more closely we walk with the Father, the more we understand how perfectly He leads us. This is why God will sometimes only show us where to go one step at a time—so we will rely upon Him completely. When this happens, we may become frustrated or impatient with our progress and begin to doubt. However, when we do so, we show that we don’t truly trust and depend on God.
As a result, we begin to feel we must handle things on our own and pull away from Him. This is always a mistake. Instead, we must constantly remain in complete dependence upon the Father, which is the position of ultimate safety.
Requirement 4: Learn to Wait Upon God
Time is a tool in God’s hand, and its passing will either strengthen our faith or undermine it, depending on how we respond. Scripture is clear: “God . . . acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isa. 64:4). No matter how many days, weeks, months, or years pass, the Lord will still keep His promises to you. Trust is required of His children.
Requirement 5: Learn to Acknowledge, Repent, and Profit from Faith Failures
We all make mistakes and fail to rely on God at times. We run ahead of His timing, trying to invent our own solutions to the problems we face, or achieve the desires of our hearts in our own ways. Although there are certainly consequences for this, we must never imagine that the Father gives up on us. The Lord never turned His back on Abraham, and He will not forsake us either.
However, God will continue to try our faith until we are able to trust Him with everything we love in life. Therefore, instead of merely regretting our failures, we should acknowledge them, repent of our unbelief, and make every effort to avoid such mistakes in the future.
Do you have confidence that God will fulfill every promise He’s made to you? Do you trust Him to lead you in the best possible path for your life? Are you willing to put those you love most in His capable hands?
I hope you can answer “yes” to these questions because when you became a believer, you entered the school of faith for this very purpose—to trust Him more.
Friend, don’t miss God’s best in your life because of fear. Grow in your relationship with the Father by listening to, depending on, waiting on, and obeying Him. At times when you fail, learn from your mistakes. Remain devoted to the Lord even when everything appears contrary to what He has promised you. You can rest assured that He is trustworthy and will keep His promises to you. You cannot lose by trusting Him, and there is no substitute for faith in the life of a believer.
- What makes waiting on God’s timing so difficult?
- Do you take an active role in the waiting process by praying, reading God’s Word, and counting on His promises with expectation? Would these make the waiting process easier to handle? If so, how?