Thursday, July 17, 2014
July 17 – Instant credit with God
For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3 NET)
This is actually Paul quoting the book of Genesis, explaining that this is what God is looking for in us – true belief, not perfection, and not a holiness attained by our own strength. We become cleansed and right with Him, the moment we choose to believe and obey.
“I don’t think God will answer me because I’m not good/strong/spiritual/perfect enough,” is a common excuse people give as to why they couldn’t possibly expect a miracle. False spirits teach us that God only rewards the “super holy,” those who have built up a credit account of super holy acts of faith and denial of the flesh, who never think an evil thought, never raise their voices, and constantly read their Bibles with utmost reverence. We fall for that lie and make God out to be so picky and legalistic. We look at our track record of failures and figure that we’ve pretty much ruined all our chances to ever make it into that elite group of Christians who deserve answered prayers.
But look at what the Bible says – that teaching is all hogwash. What gave Abraham credit before God as righteous and holy? It was because the moment that God spoke, he immediately acted on his belief. God said, “leave the land of your father and travel to a place that I will show you.” Abraham packed all his belongings, said good-bye to the father he would never see again, and walked off into the desert with just a promise of “I will show you.” God said, “Sacrifice your son, your only son, the one you love, Isaac…” and with a heavy heart but full of faith, Abraham packed wood and fire and took the long hike with his child up Mt. Moriah to kill and burn him according to God’s command. If you don’t know the amazing details of this story, read Genesis 22. (Spoiler alert: Isaac ends up just fine.)
So what if you’ve done things you are ashamed of, have deliberately sinned even in your recent past? Then choose to live for God today, and act your faith right now! Obey His commands radically and fully despite how scary they may seem. Your faith will make you righteous, not a résumé of perfect church attendance or a world record for fasting or scripture memory. Even if you feel unworthy of God’s blessings, take the leap of faith to just believe right here and right now. You would not only see a miracle, but would start becoming transformed from within. That is how God has chosen to purify each of us – by daily living out a faith in Him.
In Hebrews 12, God tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Remember that in the Bible, faith and belief mean action, not just agreeing to an idea. Without acting your faith, you can’t please Him. Without acting your faith, you can’t become right with Him. And without that living active faith, there is no salvation. Isn’t it time to start acting your faith now and watch Him graciously credit you as righteous, without deserving it? Your eternity depends on it.