Principles of Faith From the Life of Abraham – Part 8


In Genesis 16, unfortunately, we see Abram and Sarai trying to help God with the promise.  Abram was 75 years old when he first heard the voice of God.  Now he has dwelt in the land of Canaan for 10 years and still, he does not have a son.  How many of us are guilty of trying to help God or lean to our own understanding and try to fix it or make the promise happen in our own strength and in our own efforts?  But you will notice that Abram builds no altars in Genesis 16.  He does not call on the name of the Lord or seek Him for direction and guidance. When we fail to stay in constant communication with God, we get discouraged and lose faith and do as Abram and Sarai did:  try to find our own way.

So Sarai comes up with what she thought was a great idea. She says to her husband Abram, “How about you sleep with my Egyptian handmaid Hagar and I can have a son through her.” Hagar would be more than a surrogate mother, she would be a surrogate wife, a concubine. They did not have test-tube babies or the ability to implant sperm into eggs back then. The scripture says that when Hagar, realized that she was pregnant, she held Sarai in contempt. In other words, she looked down on Sarai thinking she was better than her, despising her with an attitude of “look I have done something with your husband that you could not do.” — Oooo Weee!! Hold the phone! How many wives can relate to Sarai at this moment?! You have prayed, fasted, and believed God for your husband but it seems like some other woman is able to bring out of your husband what you desperately want to see….! For whatever reason, your efforts are fruitless and barren when the other woman’s efforts are seemingly not. Sarai marches into Abram and tells him what is going on, demanding that God would judge between her and her husband because she felt that she had been wronged.

What Sarai and Abram thought was a great idea turned out to be a big mess! Now there is hurt and conflict and awkwardness in the home. Now they are responsible for bringing into the world a son that God did not ordain. But God speaks to Abram in Genesis 17:1-8. He is now 99 years old, 24 years after God first spoke to him.  God reestablishes the covenant He has made with him and redefines the promise He made to Abram and his descendants.

However, God does something else very profound.  He changes Abram’s name from Abram which means “high, exalted father” to Abraham meaning “father of a multitude,” “for I have made you the father of many nations.”  Consequently, every time someone calls Abraham’s name they are speaking forth the promise.  They call him what God says:  “father of many nations.” When someone forgets and calls him Abram, he has to remind them, “No, my name is no longer Abram, high exalted father, but Abraham, father of many nations.” God even changed Sarai’s name to Sarah meaning “Princess.” For she shall be a mother of nations and kings of peoples shall come from her.  So God was clarifying the promise that he would give Abraham a son, a seed from his wife Sarah and not from someone else.  She who was barren and is now old and well past the age of childbearing.  But God says to Abraham and Sarah and he says to you and I today:

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  Genesis 18:14

In one year, Abraham was holding the son of promise, Isaac, who his wife Sarah bore him. What solidified Abram’s faith was when God changed his name to Abraham, “father of many nations.” Now every time someone called his name or every time he had to tell someone what his name had been changed to, he was speaking forth what God had promised him. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and by hearing the word of God. The word hearing in this scripture in the Greek is in the present continual tense. In other words, it should read, faith comes by hearing and by hearing and hearing and hearing… the Word of God. Every time you hear the promise spoken with your own ears, faith is birthed and rises in your heart, even greater when it is you yourself that is saying and speaking what God has spoken and promised over your life.

Just as Abraham had to walk out all 7 principles in order to receive after 25 years what God had promised him, likewise, we too must walk out these principles in order to receive the manifestation of what God has promised us.


Began to speak out loud what God has promised to do in your life. Speak it out loud like you would take a prescription of medicine: in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, and at bedtime. The more you speak it and believe in your heart that you have received it, the quicker you will see the manifestation.


Mark 11:22-25 KJV

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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