God called Abraham from a pagan family background with the intention of blessing him. He went through unique experiences of test and trials by God, passed the tests and obtained the blessings God promised him. How Abraham achieved this feat is the focus of this article. This has implications for how those of us who desire uncommon blessings choose to live.
Abraham became a friend of God. This relationship gave him countless privileges like having a say in decisions God took including being consulted before the city of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. His was a story of faith and hope. We are told that he believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. About Abraham, it was also said that against hope, he believed in hope.
The exemplary life of Abraham is so impactful that believers, at least in my part of the globe, have a song they sing for the purpose of appropriating Abraham’s blessings into their lives. I had also joined at various times in singing the song. The fact remains that a lot of people are far from getting Abraham’s kind of blessing despite their countless efforts. The question then is: What was Abraham’s secret?
Attribute of Abraham’s blessings
Before discussing Abraham’s secret, it’s good to mention what makes his blessing desirable. The desirability of Abraham’s blessings for someone like me is not as much in the magnitude as it is in their generational dimension. His blessings simply went beyond him. When believers pray today, they call on the God of Abraham. I wouldn’t mind this kind of legacy.
Is Faith All There Is To Abraham’s Blessings?
There’s no doubting the fact that Abraham was the father of faith. He proved his faith (in God) when, in obedience to God, he left his father’s house to go to a place he didn’t know beforehand. First, Abraham held what God told him to be true (belief) then he acted on his belief (faith). This confirms that belief is the substrate upon which faith grows. Dr. Frederick K. C. Price defined faith as what we do because we believe.
Based on Dr. Price’s definition, I hold the view that everyone has faith. There’s nothing you and I can do without faith. When you enter your car in the morning, you believe it would take you to where you’re going. If, for any reasons, you doubt that your car would get to your destination, you would look for an alternative means of transportation. We can apply this principle to every aspect of life to prove that everything we do is based on our belief system.
Despite the fact that we all have faith, we achieve varying results when we act by faith. That brings to focus another critical factor for achieving the object of faith, which is our choice of who or what you believe in. Your belief could be in things or persons. Everyone believes in one thing / person or the other. Even atheists have faith in something – themselves. But there’s only one personality in whom we are guaranteed the certainty of our expectation. That personality is God.
Since some of us have faith in God, why is that when we act based on our faith in God, we still don’t get what we desire? If we can exercise unflinching faith in God and still not achieve what we believe God for, even when that object of faith is not outside His will for us, it means that faith couldn’t have been the main reason Abraham got what God promised him.
What’s beyond faith?
In the book of I Corinthians 13 verse 13, the Scripture says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” If love is greater than faith, it means calling Abraham the father of faith, though true, is not the whole truth. Moreover, for Abraham to qualify as a friend of God (2 Chronicles 20 verse 7), they must have something in common, and this could not possibly be faith because God has no need for faith. What they have in common is love because God is love.
The condition God gave Abraham for accessing His blessings, which was for him to be blameless, is a condition to love. To be blameless is to be free of guilt. In Proverbs 10 verse 12, we learn that love covers all sins. It’s only love that makes you blameless (guiltless) before God and qualifies you for His blessings.
Having established that Abraham’s received what God promised him not only by faith, the next challenge is to prove that he exhibited the kind of love that entitled him to all that God promised him.
What It Means To Love
In my book, Live the Significant Life, I explained loving your neighbour as yourself, (the second of the two greatest laws), to mean that if there is a precious thing (a diamond field, for instance) that can only be owned by one person, the proof that you love your neighbour as yourself is when you’re indifferent as to who gets to own the precious thing between you and your neighbour! Note that your indifference is not only determined by what you say but by the thought you entertain in your heart, which God sees.
Evidence of Abraham’s Love
When it was time for Abraham and Lot to be separated from each other in order to put an end to the ensuing strife between their servants, Abraham gave Lot the right to choose his own portion of the land first (read the story in Genesis 13). In the present day situation, this can be likened to a man (with the spirit of Abraham) telling his nephew to take his own share of US$10 million inheritance first! I mentioned this point whilst discussing with two men of God and one of them said what Abraham did will be hard to come by nowadays.
After Lot was separated from Abraham, news came to him that Lot had been taken captive by some kings that attacked his country of abode. Abraham with his trained three hundred and eighteen servants went in hot pursuit of the abductors and he (Abraham) rescued Lot and all his possessions! The risk of this exploit to Abraham’s life and his servants’ can be compared to what Jesus said in John 15 verse 13: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Abraham again demonstrated this unbelievable capacity to love when in Genesis He prayed for Abimelech (the man that took his wife!) thus fulfilling Jesus’ command for Christians to pray for their enemies and those people that despitefully use them.
This patriarch’s love got to the climax when in the choice of who gets to have Isaac between him and God, he (Abraham) opted to let God have the boy by ‘killing’ him as God instructed It was at this point that God said “…now I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Genesis 22 verse 12). God then rained all the blessings on him.
When you exhibit the kind of love attributed to Abraham in this article, you enter into a trust relationship with God, meaning God can begin to route other people’s blessings through you without doubting whether those blessings would get to the intended beneficiaries.
Faith is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for receiving all you desire from God. To your faith, you’ve got to add love. Until you show the kind of love that will make God say to you, “…now I know…” no amount of faith will deliver certain kind of blessings to you, no matter how desirous you are of such blessings.