The Lord is willing….Are You?
An examination of what it means to be the Bride of Christ in light of Genesis 24
In part one of this series on serving God with a willing attitude, I wrote about Genesis 24 and the story of how Abraham’s servant found Rebekah willing to lay aside her own agenda and serve his needs. If you have not read part one yet, take 5 minutes and go read it. It is important!
In continuing to advance the idea that Genesis 24 provides an example of what serving God as the Bride of Christ – the Church – looks like in real, human terms, this article will investigate how Rebekah (as the type or example of the church) believed the words of the servant. You can see how in Genesis 24:30, Rebekah went and reported the words of Abraham’s servant to her mother and the other members of her household. She reported his words as truth. She had not simply dismissed the man or his claims but had believed what he said. What a leap of faith for Rebekah! Think about it like this: She had never seen this man before, she had never seen Abraham, she had never seen Isaac, she had never seen the wealth of Abraham, and she had never seen the place where Abraham and Isaac lived! Yet she was willing to believe the servant.
People today are generally distrustful. We have been trained through hardship and difficulty to not believe what people say. There is an old saying, “Seeing is believing.” But even still, the eye can be tricked and deceived into seeing things that are not real, or distracted from seeing things that are real (such as illusions or sleight-of-hand tricks). In God’s kingdom, we must believe before we see. Rebekah heard the words of the servant, believed him, and then she saw the reality of what he had spoken to her. It is the same way with us as the bride of Christ! First, we must believe what God says to us – in the Bible, in prayer, through the witness of the Holy Spirit. This belief will manifest itself in the reality of the thing spoken of by God. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:5 that we must live by faith in God and His word and not by our natural sense of sight. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that faith is the substance of our hopes and the evidence of things that we cannot yet see. So, first, we must hear from God if we are to be servants of God – the Bride of Christ – the Church. How? Reading your Bible meditatively – reading and thinking and praying through a verse or a short passage of Scripture so that we give ourselves time to think it over and also give the Holy Spirit a chance to speak to us. We also hear from God as we pray. Structure your prayer moments with quiet time. It is ok to stop and just listen in prayer. We also hear from God in worship and in listening to Bible-based teaching and preaching. I will promise you – if you will read the Bible, pray, listen, worship, and receive preaching and teaching, you will hear from God for yourself!
After you hear, you have to be willing to obey what God says. The Kingdom of God operates on the currency of faithful obedience. It is not enough for you to hear God’s Word and agree that it is true. You must act on what you hear! Rebekah in Genesis 24 took action on what she heard from the servant. Are you acting on what you have heard from God?
· Trusting in Christ alone for your salvation?
· Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus in Matthew 28 and delivered in Acts 2?
· Trusting that divine, miraculous healing has been provided for you by Jesus?
· Giving at least 10% of your income and trusting that God will take care of you?
· Sharing the Good News about Jesus with other people?
· Attending worship services with other believers as often as possible?
If you are actively listening for the Word of God, and if you are willing to put the word into practice in your life, you will begin to see the reality of the things that God has promised you. After Rebekah believed Abraham’s servant and began to take action on what he said to her, she eventually saw all the things and all the people that she had taken on faith previously.
God’s word to you is true. What God has said, you can believe. Why not trust Him today?