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Missions: Bigger

Have you ever been faced with a circumstance someone told you about and it involved something so unbelievably big you said to yourself – or maybe even audibly out loud – “Are you sure about that?”

At least three different times prior to his own “Are you sure about that,” moment, Abraham was told by the Lord in a variety of ways that his descendants would be too many to count. In fact, they are compared to being as numerous as the sand on the shore or even the stars in the sky, which, in case you haven’t tried to count, is a rather large number. You could even say it’s countless. At that point in time, though, Abraham was a ripe old man at the age of 99, and there were no children to be seen, let alone grandchildren or great grandchildren which would contribute to the idea of his descendants being countless. That’s when Abraham had his “are you sure” moment.

In Genesis 17:17, we see Abraham’s response to the Lord once again telling him about how countless his descendants would be and how he would be made into a great nation.  Abraham, after a muffled chuckle under his breath, said, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” Or if we could paraphrase that into modern English, it might sound something like, “Are you sure about that Lord? Because I’m looking around, and it sure doesn’t feel like that is even possible at this point in time. In fact, I’m beginning to think that ship has sailed already.”

In the midst of Abraham’s doubts, God was preparing to do something bigger. Something bigger than Abraham could understand. Something bigger than anyone could even imagine. Something bigger than what anyone deemed possible, including those who had previously heard the plans.

Abraham eventually came around, and his faith was “credited to him as righteousness” and he was considered a friend of God because of it, but I have a feeling the end result was even bigger than Abraham could comprehend or dream of.

Fast forward almost 600 years to the time of the Exodus out of Egypt. God has just miraculously delivered the Hebrews, Abraham’s descendants, out of the hand of Pharaoh after more than 400 years of slavery. The children of Abraham, also known by his grandson’s God-ordained name, Israel, were free to move out and create their own nation. Exodus 12:37 tells us, “There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.” Even liberal scholars will admit this number was more likely to be closer to 1.2 to 1.5 million people, while others will say it could have reached upwards of two million. So, basically…countless.

So, let’s sum up. God says to Abraham you will be a great nation and your descendants will be countless.  Abraham laughs and says, “Are you sure about that?”  Abraham has one son, Isaac. Are you sure about this, Lord?

Isaac has two sons. Jacob and Easu. Are you sure about this, Lord?

Jacob has twelve. Joseph eventually leads them to Egypt. They thrive and increase. They serve as slaves. Are you sure about this, Lord?

God does something bigger. Bigger than anything anyone could have ever imagined. Bigger to the tune of 1.5 million descendants of Abraham. They were countless. They were numerous. They were soon to become a great nation. God did something bigger.

In a few weeks, we will embark on the 59th annual Faith Promise Missions Conference here at Englewood Christian Church. For 59 years, God has done something bigger every single time. Countless times people have prayed about what God is calling them to do, and many times their response has been, “Are you sure about this, Lord?” And countless times, God has done something even bigger with what they were able to give.

He’s done it before. He’ll do it again.

Begin praying now for God to stretch your faith far enough for you to say, “Are you sure about this, Lord?” Because when you do, I promise you, He will do something bigger than you could ever imagine.