Faith is an easy thing to claim to possess. Most people say they “believe in God.” Many would say they “believe in Jesus.” The words are easy to say, what is difficult is to have them be true.
God tests people’s faith. One of the reasons life drags on is so God can tell just who we are. Words prove nothing; how we live proves everything.
When Abraham did get his son, after 25 years of waiting, God tells him to sacrifice his only son, the son he waited 25 years to get. The son who would carry on his line to produce a great nation.
So, and this still amazes me, Abraham went ahead to sacrifice his son! We’ve heard the story so much it has lost its remarkableness. Imagine that morning.
What did Abraham tell his wife? Did he tell her anything? Did he just leave the house with the boy? What did they talk about on the way? What sorts of “daddy issues” did Isaac carry with him after all this?
Another amazing aspect of this story, besides the story itself, is when Abraham is about to sacrifice his boy, God says:
“Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”
Notice God doesn’t say “Now you know you fear me.” God says “Now I know you fear me.” What a statement!
Explanations of this tend to throw it back on “Well, God just said that so Abraham knew he feared God” but that’s not at all what it says. God wasn’t sure before this whether Abraham really feared him or not.
I don’t think this puts a shot to God’s omniscience, I think this shows that God uses what we do to determine what we believe.
It’s why every single future judgment in the Bible is based on works, it’s not based on words you said.
Yes, God knows the heart. Yes, God hears your words. And out of the heart springs everything. What in your life right now is a test to see if you truly believe? I bet there’s something!