"The Lord appeared to Abraham, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will multiply thee exceedingly' " (Genesis 16:1-2)
In Abraham we see how God not only asks for faith and rewards faith, but also how He works faith by the gracious training that He gives. When God first called him, He at once gave the great promise, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). When he reached the land, God met him with the promise that the land should be his (Genesis 12:7). When Abraham returned from the battle against the kings, God again met him to renew the promise (Genesis 15:5). Before the birth of Isaac, in the words of our text, He sought to strengthen his faith (Genesis 17). And once more in the plains of Mamre, He spoke: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Step by step God led him until his faith was perfected for full obedience in the sacrifice of Isaac. As "by faith Abraham obeyed to go out," so by faith at the close of forty years he was able, without any promise, in fact in apparent conflict with all the promises, to obey God's will to the very uttermost.
Children of Abraham, children of God, the Father makes great demands on your faith. If you are to follow in Abraham's footsteps, you too are to forsake all to live in the land of spiritual promise with nothing but His Word, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to depend upon, separated unto God. For this you will need a deep and clear insight that the God who is working in you is the Almighty who will work all His good pleasure. Do not thing that it is a little thing and easy to live the life of faith. It needs a life that seeks to abide in His presence all the day. Bow before God in humble worship until He speaks to you too: "I am God Almighty: walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will multiply thee exceedingly." When Abraham heard this, he "fell on his face: and God talked with him." Thee you have the secret birthplace of the power to trust God for everything that He promises.
So only can we go out like Abraham when we are called to a life of true consecration to God and of the obedience of faith to the very uttermost. Walk in the footsteps of Abraham. Hide deep in your heart the testimony of God's Word: "He was strong in faith, giving glory to God; being fully persuaded, that what He had promised, He was able to perform."