Are we called to faith? To what degree? There was a man of God in the bible named Abraham; Abraham is called the father of all who believe (Romans 4:11).
God tested Abraham to see if he would be loyal to the point of offering his son to die (Genesis 22).
Our faith must be in the Truth. Abraham knew God in actuality, God communed and spoke with the man, he was a prophet. A ‘mad faith’ would be believing in something or someone who is unknown to you: ‘blind faith.’ Believe it or not, the bible does not endorse the concept of ‘blind faith.’
Biblical faith is to be based upon a living relationship with God. One CAN know God – this is the wonderful Truth of the Gospel. Biblical faith is more like relational Trust than any concept of ‘blind faith’. In a relationship mutual trust is developed between two people. The difficulty with humanity in this area is that sin exists, therefore the trust in any human relationship is based upon the integrity of each individual involved in said relationship.
Biblical Faith in God is not merely believing in His existence, but understanding that He is worthy of our complete full, and honest relational Trust (Heb 11:6). In fact, as the only entity we can relate to who exists entirely without sin – He is the ONLY person that we can give our full relational Trust to. That is bible faith. Trust in the only morally, and judicially flawless being that exists. In reality, if such a being exists, it is somewhat absurd for us NOT to trust Him for humanity is so unstable that you and I cannot even intrinsically trust ourselves (!!) (Jesus had to prove this point to Peter, who did not believe it, himself (Matt 26:33-35)).
So what was Abraham’s ‘mad faith’? Abraham knew God – he knew God not as a religious form, or amorphous entity, but as a person. (As Jesus would later declare: ‘Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.‘ (John 4:22)) God has made a way for all men to know Him as a person, in just the same way – which is the amazing story of Abraham’s ‘mad faith’ – God supplied the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ.
Abraham knew that God alone is without sin, that God alone could be fully, and intrinsically trusted – that even if he could not Trust himself, God was the stable one in the relationship who could ever be Trusted. A Sure Rock, and Pillar of Truth.
God then tested Abraham’s Trust in Him – He told Abraham to sacrifice his own son. Wow! Now you and I would, by such a commandment, assume that God is evil, would we not? We would receive an accusation against the only Just, and fully Trust-able being in existence, wouldn’t we?! Ah! But Abraham knew that God was altogether perfect morally – he knew that God was not evil. He knew that God was no murderer, he knew that God was no liar – though He appeared to be both of these things when He commanded Abraham thus.
Abraham’s RELATIONAL Trust in God (specifically, in this case God’s goodness) was the major element being tested. This is interesting because the first SIN in human history – the first rejection of God’s will – was based on an accusation of God’s goodness:
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
‘For God doth know…’ The serpent is here accusing God to mankind; his statement directly implies that God is intentionally holding back some good from man. Will we receive such an accusation? Therein is no faith! Though it believes in God, it believes bad of God, but within True, biblically defined faith is contained the belief that God is a REWARDER (see post God is a Rewarder).
Abraham knew that God was not evil – had he believed an accusation against God, He would not be in faith! (How often do we expect things from God, and yet believe an accusation against His goodwill for us?) He would not receive even the accusation of his own intellect, or emotions (which surely would be loudly declaring to him, that this was full wickedness) against God! He would not believe the allegations of the circumstance, itself, when those circumstances seemed to indict God! WOULD THAT WE HAD SUCH FAITH!
Abraham offered his son – so confident was he of the goodness of God that he ignored every counter thought and emotion which stood contrary to the Word of God. As the Apostle Paul declared we must do:
2 Cor 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Don’t you think that Abraham must have been in the throes of spiritual warfare?! Satan, always running contrary to the will of God must have been shouting in Abraham’s ear: ‘You have mis-heard God! If God has told you to kill your son, then God is but a murderer! You are a murderer! If you are hearing God right, then He is a god who ought not to be obeyed!’ I have no doubt that such struggles were waging war in the man’s mind, I’ve no doubt that the devil was doing his uttmost to deter him but yet… yet there is nothing spoken of on that wise in scripture.
Abraham heard the Word of the Lord, and he obeyed it. Simple as that.
We must be prepared to cast down every imagination, and every vain thing which exalts itself against the Word of the Lord. I am speaking to myself, here, as much as to anyone. Would that I simply locked on to what God said, and entertained no other voice, allowed no other thought in my mind – entertained no accusation against God.
That’s what it is, ladies and gentlemen. All doubt is, at its core, accusation against God. Can we trust God with our lives? With the lives of our children? Abraham had to face that question dead on – God wasn’t messing around, He gave him a very hard test. Is God really good? Is He really the rewarder of them that seek Him? Then why…? Then how come…? You see, these questions are but doubt (for more on doubt, see ‘Why Faith?‘.)
You, doubtless know the story: before Isaac was slain, God stopped Abraham; and God, Himself, provided the Perfect sacrifice. In addition to all this, Abraham had earned fellowship with God in an amazing way. God, Himself would offer HIS only begotten Son as a sacrifice for all mankind – only God’s sacrifice was not stopped at the last minute. God had to watch His Son tortured to death for real. His Son went to hell. This was the prophecy, and the instruction that Abraham received in the experience.
Was it ‘mad faith’? No, because Abraham knew God ACTUALLY as a Person. There are many today who ‘know God’ as a religious form, or exercise. Even Christians, who far too often settle for less than a living relationship, simply follow a form in ‘blind faith.’
But again: ‘Ye worship YE KNOW NOT WHAT; we know what we worship...‘ Thus our relationship must be based upon what – or rather WHO – we know. This is why faith is so important – it is about actually KNOWING GOD – which is the greatest need of all mankind.
God is good, and He is reaching out to you today; call on His name, friend. He is a real person, He will prove Himself to you, and has real help and love for you!