Article by Fr. Leo
We recently read in the Bible about God asking Abraham to look up in the night sky and count the stars. Genesis 15:5-6 – “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Realizing that Abraham was being asked to use his imagination to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of counting stars, reveals a profound example of what it would look like when Abraham sees the fulfillment of this promise. God uses the number of seemingly infinite stars to fuel Abraham’s imagination concerning the promises. We read that it is anything but possible when you are looking through the lens of the facts. In Genesis 15:7 – “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” What is so significant about this event that was going to occur through Abraham, was by this time he was up there in years and Sarah his wife, was no spring chicken herself, as well as she was barren, unable to have children.
For Abraham, not having a son meant that his heritage would not go on. Not having a son was paramount to him revealing a lifetime of unfulfilled desires that were continuously nagging at his heart and staring him in the face were the facts that told him this was IMPOSSIBLE. Even if it was just for a moment in time, something amazing takes place, a miracle of the heart. Genesis 15:6 – “And he believed in the LORD, and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
There is an incredible lesson to be learned here, teaching us about how God works in our lives. We must ask ourselves what was so pleasing to God. It was this very act of believing before it even happened. And what does God do? He accounts it to Abraham as fulfilling the law of righteousness, in turn, making him the father of faith. Abraham is an example to all those who are in Christ. We read in the Epistle to the Romans 4:17 – “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” A simple law was fulfilled as God was teaching Abraham to use his imagination and not to believe the facts nor depend on excuses like we all do in the face of impossible odds. Instead, Abraham teaches us to trust God, knowing that His ways are not our ways; with Christ as our foundation and living by faith in Jesus. We see evident in 2 Corinthians 4:18 – “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Abraham was learning to do what God is asking each of us to do, which is to exercise our faith with this incredible gift called our imagination that each one of has available to use. It says in Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that have received them, and ye shall have them.” Remembering God is fully able to fulfill his promises to us, Jesus reminds us when he says in Luke 12:32 – “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
As we learn to live by faith, Jesus promises us we will never be disappointed, that it is the father’s pleasure to give you and I the kingdom and that His kingdom is built on the foundation of faith. It is our small measure of faith in action that relies on HIS grace, through the renewing of our minds. Titus 3:5–7– “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”