In a previous study about what life, we choose for ourselves I wrote “Christ calls and ask that we lay our lives, our dreams, our passions at his feet. In return he will give us lives, dreams, and passions that will glorify God both now and in eternity. Lives that are greater than anything we could have secured for ourselves.” In this devotional I am going to provide some examples of what this looks like to move forward in faith.
Don’t Go Back
6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. Genesis 24:6 ESV
Sarah has died and Abraham knows that his promised son Isaac needs a wife. There are many women who live with his household that Isaac could marry. And there are kings of the neighboring towns with daughters that Isaac could marry but Abraham knows that Isaac needs a wife from a family that fears the one true God. Isaac needs a wife from Abraham’s home that he left years ago. The problem Abraham has is that neither he nor Isaac should be tempted to return and stay in the place he left.
So, Abraham sends a servant back to his home with the challenge to bring a wife back for Isaac. Problem solved… if you like arranged marriages. But in this case the marriage is arranged by God himself as recounted in Chapter 24.
Abraham’s the father of faith puts his faith is on display here once again. He knows that God will care for him and for the promised son Isaac. Abraham is always moving forward in faith.
Forward to God’s Kingdom
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 ESV
Jesus when he was collecting disciples ran off many who wanted to follow him. There is a desire to follow but the things of this world capture us and delay what God wants to accomplish. Jesus issued a challenge that if we follow him, we can’t go back. Abraham moving to an unknown land and trusting God in this place lived out the never look back mentality as an act of faith. To follow Jesus is to follow God where he leads when he leads.
Elisha Cutting of the Past
Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place … So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him … And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. 1 Kings 19:16;19;21 ESV
Jesus in his example of putting the hand to the plow reminds me of Elisha the prophet that followed Elijah. When Elisha meets Elijah he does something extraordinary. He is described as plowing a field with 12 Oxen. He kills the Oxen and burns the yoke as a sacrifice. This is like having a personal business and setting all of the inventory on fire. Elijah removed his hand from a physical plow, burned the bridges, and then followed God into an unknown life.
Peter Loves God First
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:15 ESV
Another example is Peter. After his resurrection Jesus finds Peter returned to his vocation as a fisherman. Jesus meets him on the beach where they share a breakfast of fish. I heard a preacher speaking on this verse describe Jesus asking Peter “do you love me more than these?” And the “these” that Jesus motioned to is the boats, the nets, and the work of being a fisherman. Jesus is asking Peter are you going to look back or are you going to move forward?
Rebekah’s Faith is Forward
And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” Genesis 24:58 ESV
Abraham’s servant wanted to return the next morning after meeting Rebekah. Rebekah’s mother wanted her to say for a few weeks because after all this opportunity came as a surprise. To Rebekah’s credit she is ready to put her hand to the plow and not look back. She is displaying the kind of forward moving faith that is foundational to the Kingdom that God is preparing. Dear reader where is God calling you and are you going to press forward into that unknown?
Thank you for reading. I pray this is helpful to your devotional time or small group Bible study. If so please click the like button or leave a comment.