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The Lives of the Tried and Tested

Individuals don’t become a finished product after graduating from college or receiving a master’s degree. You need real life experiences to apply what you’ve learned before you can become tried and tested. As a former athlete, I learned more from my failures than any victory. Humility has a way of exposing your weaknesses, making it painfully obvious where you need to improve before you mature into the person God that wants you to become, James 1:2-4.

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others], Genesis 12:2.

Such is the case of Abraham who initially went by Abram. While Abram immediately departed from his homeland to pursue God’s calling for his life, his actions were far from perfect. Instead of trusting in the God who promised that he would become the father of a great nation, Abram lied to Pharaoh, saying he was Sarai’s sister rather than tell the truth. This sinful tendency was passed down to Isaac. Yet, it was following through with God’s call to sacrifice his one and only son which enabled Abraham to be tried and tested.

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God, Hebrews 11:8-10.

The author of Hebrews places Abraham in the Hall of Faith along with several other godly candidates of the Old Testament. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis refers to success as the process of arriving. Based upon the passage above, Abraham took little steps of faith, not always in the correct direction, but developed into a man of God gradually. Not everyone will have an immediate transformation like Saul who become Paul following his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Most start off like lowly shepherd boys before ascending with God’s help to the lives of the spiritual rich and famous.

by Jay Mankus


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