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F a i t h   M a t t e r s  with Dr. Ken Lovelace


A Question of Logistics
Hebrews 11:9-10

NOTE: This devotional is a continuation of that which was introduced
in the previous devotionals entitled: The Effect of Faith on the Home and
Home-Making in the Promised Land




The next phrase, "made his home in the promised land," is hugely impacting for us. Abraham's faith had everything to do with God leading him to settle in the land of promise. You see, the Bible says that when Abraham set out from his homeland to go where God led him, to some land of promise somewhere, all he had to go on was his faith. God just said, "Go." There was no mapsco, no mapquest, no atlas, no directions, no travel agent, and no safari guide. He walked by faith and stopped by faith, all at the word of the Lord.


I mean, there were probably times when God said, "Just keep walking, just keep walking…" and he did. The question, "Are we there yet?" probably seemed like a perpetual question because Abraham couldn't answer it. He didn't know where "there" was. But when he got "there" by faith, he made his home.


Now here's where his faith was really tested. God told him to make his home there, right there. Just like you didn't know your neighbors when you moved into your new neighborhood, neither did Abraham know his new neighbors. I mean, they could have been cannibals for all he knew. They could've attacked him and carried-off his wives and daughters. Or worse.


But Abraham's worst fears would come true during his neighbor's time of sacrifice. He could have lived with cannibals; he could have endured a lot. He might have even been successful fighting off attackers. But his home and his faith were never more tested than when they heard the awful, shrill cries of children being sacrificed to their parents' false gods. He must have asked, "Why, God? Why did you lead me here? When will it all stop? How long do I have to listen to the cries of children? Oh, I'm so glad I serve You, God. I mean, I know You." And then perhaps he muttered under his breath, "At least I know God would never ask me to sacrifice Isaac to Him like all these other families are sacrificing their children to their gods. If he did, I don't know if I could do it. Do I love God that much?"


The important lesson we learn about our homes here is that our homes are not God's homes until we answer this question…in the affirmative. They are just our homes. The kicker here is that it applies to the home just as much as it is does to the church. Our homes just produce what we can produce, but God's homes produce what God can produce. I don't know about you, but if my home was not God's home, I'd be scared to death.


Friend, understand that the leader of every home is, at one time or another, at least once in his or her life, faced with life's ultimate question: "Do I love God that much?" It may not be in relation to sacrificing your son on an altar to God, but it will test your faith equally so. And, like Abraham, your answer must be, "Yes!" if you are to please God.


You might balk and say, "Hey, wait a minute! That's easy for you to say, you're a preacher." My response to that is twofold: first, yes I am a preacher, but I'm first a husband and a father and I face the same trials, tribulations, heartaches, and doubts as do you. Second, it's not me saying it, it's God. You see, the leader of every home is faced with this question at least once. If you've never faced it, you will. You must.


Someday I'll tell you about my time. Right now I want to tell you about Lygia's. It was a little more than four years ago. We had gotten Grayson from Romania in October and were moving excitedly toward the January birth of Jonah. The day finally arrived. We were so excited. We arrived early at Medical City in Dallas and got Lygia all hooked up to be induced. When Jonah was born, we were elated. We gently held him and cuddled him for nearly an hour. The nurse said it was time to take him to the nursery to weigh and measure him and that we could see him again soon. A very long time went by. They never brought our baby back. Lygia's motherly instincts kicked in and I was quickly dispatched to the nursery to see if there was a problem. There was.


One of Jonah's lungs had filled with fluid during delivery. He was breathing so hard that he punctured the inner lining of the fluid-filled lung and an ever growing bubble of air was filling the space between the inner lining and outer lining. In the meantime, he collapsed the other lung. It didn't look good for the little guy. In fact, it looked very badly for him. Jonah was rushed into NICU and every conceivable place on his body had a tube or something sticking out of it.


When the pediatrician came to visit with Lygia, he told her Jonah had about a 50/50 chance at best. To add to her trauma, in the days that followed, her doctor discharged her and instructed her to go home. "Without my baby?" she asked through the tears. We couldn't afford a room for her to stay in until the baby was alright, so we prayed and God, who is so good, provided a room in which she stayed for the next several days so that she could be near our son. We prayed, our church prayed, many of you prayed that Jonah would pull through. They needed to do a very invasive procedure to try to fix the punctured lung. They wanted to stick a needle through his side and into that part of the lung that had the air bubble and suck out that air. They thought that when the inner lining went back into place, it would naturally heal and be alright. It worked. Still, Jonah's future was very unsure. Lygia and I felt that since there was nothing I could do that I'd fill my pulpit on Sunday morning and that she'd just stay at the hospital and pray. It was on that morning that God brought her to her Abraham-and-Isaac moment.


During an extended time in the Word and in prayer, she was finally able to totally give Jonah to the Lord, to do with as He wanted, to not assume ownership but to acknowledge that he was a gift from the Lord and that if God wanted to take him home, it was really okay. Lygia and God had a sweet time together and when it was over, she felt impressed to go back into the NICU to check on the boy. When she walked in, she couldn't find him. She feared that God had chosen to take him and that was so sad, but okay. And then the nurse came over and asked if she wanted to see her baby. She said, "Yes, but I can't find him." He was right there all the time. She just hadn't recognized him because God had healed him so completely that they had removed all the tubes. She hadn't seen him without the tubes but now her heart was overjoyed at the goodness of God.


You see, in the end, Abraham's response was, "Yes, I do love God that much. Whether or not I understand it, I will walk in obedience to the God that I wholly and completely trust. If I don't follow Him wholeheartedly, how can I truly be the leader of my home? How can I lead my wife and children where I've not walked? How can I tell them to go by faith where I wasn't willing to go?"


The impact of faith on home and family is more powerful than I know how to express. Some of you have already been faced with the question that was to determine the usefulness of your life and home. Some of you answered God negatively and need to repent of that today. Some of you have refused to answer God, hoping against hope that He'd go away. He won't. He's patiently waiting, but His patience has a limit.


It's time to decide, and it's time to decide for God! Some of you try to distract God by starting a ministry or by doing something for Him. He just wants your heart. He's not interested in all that, in all the things you try to do for Him, especially if you're doing them to distract Him from the real issue at hand. He wants your heart because, without your heart, your home will never be all God wants it to be. Abraham said yes, and his faith and his home were made complete. What will your answer be today?


Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.

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