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The Effect of Faith

June 4th, 2014

Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Genesis 13:9

Those of us with Calvinistic leanings, like myself, tend to place our emphasis on God’s work in our lives through our faith, where it rightfully belongs, and not on the achievements of our faith. Some speak of faith as a power all its own, but the biblical understanding of faith is an investment in God’s power. We trust in Him to work, and not in some power that is created by our faith alone.

Yet we do well to consider also the effect that our faith has on our own lives. When we believe in God, we see life differently. If we would trust God for thirty minutes, and see our normal life through that trust, how would our perspective be changed? Our life consists of what we believe. It is not just what we see with our eyes, but what we believe in our hearts that will determine our actions.

Abram (soon to become Abraham) in the conflict between his herdsmen and nephew Lot’s herdsmen was gracious and fearless. Faith had left its impact on his soul and he was a man on a mission for an unstoppable God, so it did not call for him to be selfish. They had to separate but he let Lot choose which way to go. Abram and his people would go the other. Lot chose the plush and fertile Jordan Valley, along with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And Lot’s selfish choice led to personal disaster for him and his family, as selfishness usually does, and even when disaster does not overtake us, sooner or later there is dissatisfaction, a bitter taste to whatever we claim in selfishness.

Abram accepted the remaining land, but immediately afterward God blessed him again and promised to give to him and his descendants the land he had accepted as the less desirable of the two from Lot’s greedy hand. Unselfishness that arose from his faith in God and his compassion toward Lot, God blessed, as He always does. Faith and unselfishness blesses us as much as it does others. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

We are tested daily in our relationships. Will we be selfish and claim the best for ourselves? Or will we be unselfish and out of our trust in God seek to help others? What we believe about God will determine our actions. Part of God’s original blessing to Abram was not only that he would be blessed, but that he would be a blessing to others, so he went about that mission sincerely and immediately in dealing with Lot. He, as our Lord would be as a mere child in the temple, was about his Father’s business. God’s call is always for the purpose of instant obedience.

Can you exercise complete trust in God for thirty minutes? If you did, what burdens would be lifted from your shoulders? What types of decisions would you make? How would you relate to others? Unselfishness and graciousness, seeking to help others and not claiming the best for ourselves, is evidence of deep faith in our Great God.

Gleanings from Genesis ,