Madness or Faith

Take your son, your only son — yes, Isaac, whom you love so much — and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). If God had not come through and stayed Abraham’s hand, would we consider Abraham to have been a madman or a man of faith? It was not solely Abraham’s action that confirmed his faith; it was also God’s response to Abraham’s faith. 

Fifteen years ago, we were at the edge of being “mad”. In obedience to what my wife and i believed was a word from God, i had, three months earlier, resigned my position from the church staff where i had served for eleven years, but now found myself with no prospects of another position. i had no leads, no money, and bills that were piling up. The only work before me was a writing project that i believed God was directing me to undertake, but it had little prospect of being published. Three months into our journey through this unknown, people were beginning to look at us as if we were mad; and i must confess, i was questioning that as well. Did i really hear God? Was this really what He had told us to do? How far would He let us go? 

i found myself wondering if Abraham asked himself those same questions? As he climbed the mountain with Isaac, as he built the altar, as he bound Isaac’s hands and feet, or as he raised the knife to cut Isaac’s throat, what was going through his mind? But at the very last moment, God stayed his hand and provided the sacrifice.

As i considered what it was like for Abraham, i believe God said to me: “You must continue in what I have told you to do, trusting that at the last moment, I will ‘stay your hand’”. God reminded me that He was using this journey not only in my own life, but also in my wife’s life, in our children’s lives, in our extended family’s lives and in our friends’ lives. Imagine what was going through Sarah’s mind, as she watched Abraham leave with their only son!

Today, i read in my quiet time about Ananias. God told him to go to a man by the name of Saul to lay “hands on him so that he might regain his sight” (Acts 9:12). Ananias knew this man was arresting and stoning Christians and rightfully was in fear for his own life. But nonetheless, he went to Saul in obedience to God’s direction. What would we have thought of Ananias if Saul had arrested and stoned him? As Ananias walked to find Saul, would it be madness, or would it be faith? Then at the moment of truth, God used him to help set Saul’s feet on the journey that God had prepared for him. It was a journey of faith, and not madness, that has impacted all of our lives.

This past Sunday, we sang the song, Do It Again (lyrics below), in worship. The song begins with the reminder of how God directed Joshua to lead the Israelites in a walk around the walls of Jericho – the fortified city – each day for seven days (Joshua 6). Imagine how the Jerichoites must have mocked those “silly” Israelites. Imagine how the Israelites felt by the sixth or seventh day. Was this madness… or was it faith? And then, God came through and the walls fell in response to their faithful obedience!

For us, fifteen years ago, God used that journey of faith to lead us on an adventure that was exceeding abundantly beyond anything that we ever expected, to serve with a global mission organization. And yes, through it all, He showed Himself to be more than faithful!

What has God told you to do? What steps are you taking by faith in obedience to Him that if He doesn’t come through will look like madness? Time and again He has proven that He who promises is faithful. He will move mountains.

Many are probably watching; many are likely waiting to see what God is going to do. He will not forsake you. He will not fail to follow through on His promise. But He will often accomplish it at the very last moment; that moment when everything appears the bleakest. Trust Him. This journey is not madness. He will stay your hand. He will protect you. He will cause the walls to fall. He will prove Himself to be faithful – for His glory! Yes, He will do it again!

Portion excerpted from Possessing The Promise

Do It Again

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they'd fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle's won
For You have never failed me yet

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You've never failed me yet

I know the night won't last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You're still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I've seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I'll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I'll see You do it again (Repeat 2x)

I'll see You do it again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed (Repeat 2x)

And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget.

Songwriters: George Veikoso / Michael Stevenson / Nicholas Matthew Balding / Christopher Maurice Brown / Mark Kragen / Marc Randolph Griffin / Pia Mia Perez / Jerry Afemata

Do It Again lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management