In this Heroes series, we have been studying the lives of those God considers the greatest heroes of all time—the heroes of faith. These heroes are people we can look up to, be inspired by, and hopefully emulate. We all want to live a faith-filled life of meaning and purpose, but if we’re honest, we wrestle with what that kind of life actually requires of us. Living by faith will produce a life with no regrets—a life of holy adventure!
Read Romans 1.16–17.
We will only be able to live a life without regret when we choose to live by faith in God and His Word, and not by sight. When we make decisions according to our circumstances, judging by what we feel and see and understand by our own logic, we are living by sight. Until we can put the promises of God above all of that, there will be an emptiness inside us that will drive us to search for satisfaction. We won’t be able to fill that place apart from faith.
Read Hebrews 11.1–3, 6, 8–10.
Faith is the confident expectation that the things God promised will be accomplished, whether we understand how or not. Without the ingredient of faith in our lives, we will be incapable of maintaining a right relationship with God. We won’t see His promises become a reality in our lives or live a life beyond our own ability and limitations. A believer’s job is to believe and act upon those beliefs. It’s what we are supposed to do, and Abraham is our model.
Question: How does a lack of faith keep you from a right relationship with God? Have you seen this play out in your own life? Think about some of your own limitations that could be expanded through faith.
In Genesis 12.1–4a, God tells Abraham to leave his home and his country and go to “the land I will show you.” He promises to make Abraham into a great nation, to bless him and make his name great. So Abraham went, just as the Lord had told him. While God’s promise was very great, Abraham still had to pay a high price in obedience before those promises came to pass.
He had to abandon his identity in leaving his country. He severed emotional attachments by leaving his people. He left all of his material goods behind when he left his household. If we want to live a life of holy adventure and fulfill God’s plan for our lives, it will always require us to leave something behind. It could be a thing, a place, a relationship, a mindset, or a belief that limits our faith. It is not always geographical. We can leave spiritually, relationally, or emotionally. We can leave a comfort zone or put fear and doubt behind us. This calling is not a punishment. God wants to mature us.
Question: What has God called you to leave in the past (or present)? Did you leave it successfully? Are you still walking that out? Have you gone back to what He called you to leave? What makes the leaving difficult?
Leaving can be a difficult thing. There are three reasons why we don’t like to leave where we are.
We prefer a plan we can see and control.
Abraham became the father of faith because he was willing to leave where he was and become uncomfortable. Most of us like to say, “Lord, show me, and I will go.” But the God we serve is a God of faith. He is a God who says, “Go, and I will show you.” Faith requires us to step out on nothing but a word from God and trust Him with the results. The life of faith is not lived by perfect people who have all the answers. It is lived by people who listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who are willing to leave and go where and when God says.
We fear failure (and other people’s opinion) more than we fear God.
Abraham had every reason to stay where he was. He had a position in the community based on his family’s heritage and his own life’s work. He had grown up in Ur. He knew what was expected of him and how to succeed there. Leaving was a big risk into the unknown. If he hadn’t left, though, he would never have seen God’s (huge) plans come to pass. Fear can paralyze us and rob us from God’s greatest plans.
We don’t trust God with our future.
There was a lot Abraham didn’t know. Ultimately, he knew that God could do something greater with his future than he could, so he trusted God with his future. When we don’t trust God with our future, we limit ourselves to what we can accomplish with our own wisdom and ability.
When we are willing to leave what God calls us to leave—in faith, we are laying down the tracks upon which the train of God’s promises will enter and become manifest. A life of holy adventure is a life of no regrets. There are a few keys to walking this out over time.
Choose God’s plan over our own.
Choose God’s plan for our career, marriage, kids, finances, and daily needs. God’s way might not always be comfortable, but it will take us to a life of fulfillment and eternal impact. In Jeremiah 29.11 we read of God’s good plans for our lives—plans for good and not for disaster, plans to give us a hope and a future. Satan has a plan for us too—to steal from us, kill us, and destroy our lives (John 10.10). We are the tiebreaker. Whose plan will we choose?
Remember God’s promises.
When God asks us to “leave”, He always provides a promise we can hold onto. In Genesis 12, God gave Abraham one command (leave and go), and seven promises: legacy, provision, honor, influence, favor, protection, and joy. If we are not living a life of holy adventure, it’s because we either don’t know God’s promises or we have forgotten them. We can’t know or grow in faith without digging into the mountain-moving power of God’s Word.
Live with an eternal perspective. Don’t make earth our home.
Read Hebrews 11.9–10.
Even though Abraham had reached the Promised Land, he did not hold onto it tightly as if it were his final destination. He knew there was something greater ahead. IF earth is not our home and our greatest hope is to spend eternity with God, THEN we can believe God for great things. When things in life don’t go the way we’d like, it doesn’t ruin our day, or our life, because we have a greater hope!
Question: How do you make eternity your heart’s desire? What does living like a pilgrim really look like? How do you posture your heart and govern your lifestyle unto that end?
Go ahead. Dare to obey! We can leave where we are and go where God wants us to be. Let’s place our trust in what He has said and what He has promised. Let’s live a life of holy adventure. Let’s live a life of faith.