The Test of Faith
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. – Genesis 12:10.
THERE was a famine in the land of plenty, the land flowing with milk and honey, a famine in the land to which Abram had gone in faith and obedience to God’s own command and word. Certainly this was a severe test of faith. What an adventure in faith it became before Abram was through. In the previous lessons we saw Abram, the father of the faithful, believing God and leaving his country to go with the Lord to a new and a better land. It is the picture of the believer who trusts God and turns his back on the world to only follow after Jesus.
The tie with the flesh is finally broken, and the “old man” is left behind, and now Abram moves on to the promised land of Canaan. Along the way he has a few significant experiences. In Genesis 12:6 we learn that he first passes “through the land to the place of Shechem.” (Sichem is the same as Shechem and means shoulder.) The shoulder signifies strength and power and service, for on it the burdens were borne in ancient times. Obedience to God in separation will, therefore, bring power and service. Is your Christian life powerless, drab, and fruitless, my friend? Then ask yourself the question, What is there in my life which is displeasing to God, and must be surrendered and confessed and forsaken, even as in the life of Abram? God will not bless until we are willing to yield to His will. As we travel along the highway of the adventures of faith, we reach many stopping places. As we grow in grace, as we study His Word, we receive new light concerning things in our lives that are still wrong. Unless we face each one of these individually and confess them, we come to a standstill. The moment we are willing to yield to the new light that God gives us, He moves us on to the next test; and each one makes us stronger in the faith. Do not think that victory and sanctification is a single, isolated experience. It is a growth in grace and in knowledge. New light reveals new demands which must be met as we journey on.
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