If we seek to understand better what it means to put faith into action and to take God at His word, then we need look no further than the life of Abraham. He’s described in the book of Romans as the father of all who have faith (Romans 4:16). He was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (v 21), and this was the conviction that spurred him on to obedience and action.
God’s call to Abraham was costly and radical: “The LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1). Abraham was asked to leave his country, his friends, and his extended family—essentially, all that he knew and held dear. God did not stop at the command, though. He promised to bless Abraham in the new land, to make him “a great nation” and to make his name great (v 2).
And Abraham obeyed and went.
Why would anybody ever do that? Abraham had nothing to go on save the command of God and the accompanying promises. But that was enough for him! That is faith in action. That is faith in every day and in every generation: taking God at His word and stepping out in obedience.
“The callings of God,” I remember once hearing the Scottish minister Graham Scroggie say, “seldom leave a man or a woman where the calling finds them. Indeed, if we fail to go forward when God says ‘Go,’ we cannot remain stationary.” Refusing to step out and act in faith results in backward movement even as we never take a step.
Abraham, though, walked forward. He departed in obedience, “not knowing where he was going.” It was sufficient for him that God had told him to go, and so he did not need to be told where he would end up. And by stepping out in faith, Abraham stepped into the heart of God’s plan to save His people and bring blessing to His world. Abraham would discover that the only place to be is where God wants you, and the only purpose that you should ever seek to fulfill is that which God has made known to you.
Has God been speaking to you through His word about stepping out in faith and obedience to His leading? Then “today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). God’s command may run absolutely contrary to everything you have been planning and thinking about, and it may require you to leave behind everything that represents security to you—but if He is calling, you must go.