We all have dreams BIGGER than ourselves. Aspirations that go far beyond the skies. Hope that is never-ending because of the God we trust in.
YET most often we surrender our thinking to this one little thought that hinders and handicaps us from stepping forward and stepping out
‘I am just a normal person, trying to live my life ‘or ‘I am just a normal person who has a normal life of going to work to earn my living, supporting my family and just trying to live a calm life ‘
And in the midst of living our ‘NORM’ al lives, we get side tracked from the very purpose that God created us. There is a potential risk of missing out on the calling of God and wondering ‘WHY, ‘WHAT HAPPENED ‘ and ‘ MY LIFE IS RIGHT WHERE I STARTED ‘
There are many characters in the Bible who were ‘ NORMAL’ men and women just like one of us. They are no different from us in that they also faced the hardest and toughest battles of life. They were also faced with giants in their life that we all have to deal with. For some it is idolatry, for some it is adultery, for some it is unexpected life incidents like miscarriages, divorce, loss of loved ones, for some it’s life transitions like moving from their home country or changing jobs to a totally new area , for some it is finding life partner or becoming a parent.
What made them stand out in their lives is the choices that made in their ‘NORMAL’ life when they were faced with situations. They were obedient to the Word of God and willing to break the ‘NORM’ in the ‘NORMAL’ so they can live their faith out in a way that glorifies God. They trusted God , relied on Him and waited on Him to fulfil all their heart’s desires.
NORM is defined as something that is usual, typical, or standard.
In the coming weeks, we will be looking at some of the Biblical characters in this context on how they overcame the NORM in the NORMAL. Let’s keep in mind that these were just NORMAL people in their day and age, just like us in this modern age.
FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM
The very first thing that makes all the difference to start off with is to realize and understand where your faith is, who do you trust in.
I love Abraham’s unwavering trust and faith in God, unreserved obedience for God and His patience in God to fulfil all His promises
Abraham’s faith was very profound. When God told Him to do something out of the NORM, he just obeyed. No logical reasoning , no questioning out with God on ‘ Are you kidding me God ? ‘ ‘ Where will I go with my children ? ‘ How will I provide them’ . He just did what God told Him to do , believing God’s word and trusting Him to lead Him in the unknown territory
Read Genesis 12 : 2-3
12 God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.
2-3 I’ll make you a great nation
and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;
you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you;
those who curse you I’ll curse.
All the families of the Earth
will be blessed through you.”
4-6 So Abram left just as God said
Hebrews 11:8 talks about his profound faith and unreserved obedience
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Wow ! just Wow ! Abraham went not knowing where He was going, I would call that unshakable faith in the God He worshipped and trusted. He simply had childlike faith and trust in God that He would fulfill all His promises.
So because Abraham obeyed God unreservedly, did he not have any challenges in life ? Was his life a bed of roses ? Of course not, Abraham had to face giants in His life too
Abraham and Sarah were childless. God gave Abraham a promise regarding their offspring.
Read Genesis 15:4-6:
“And behold, the word of the LORD came to him [Abraham], saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”
When God gave this promise, Abraham was almost 100 years old, Yes that’s right, 100 years old. But because Abraham had unwavering faith in God and His promises, He simply believed. He knew nothing is impossible for the Lord and when the Lord says it He does it . God did fulfill His promise buy blessing them with Isaac.
There is another instance of Abraham’s faith tested when God told Him to offer up his son Isaac, who they had prayed for so long as a sacrifice to the Lord. What did Abraham do ?
The answer is in Hebrews 11:17
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.”
Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead, if God had not spared Isaac’s life (Genesis 22).
Abraham’s life and the challenges he faced in his time on earth are no different from the challenges we face in this time. The same God of Abraham is our God too and the Bible says our God never changes and His Word is true
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever
2 Cor 1:20
For all God’s promises are “Yes” in him. And so through him we can say “Amen,” to the glory of God.
Abraham from start to finish trusted God. He never compared himself to the world or got side – tracked by pleasing people than God. Even if his NORM made no sense to people around him, He chose to step out of the NORM only becoz he heard God’s voice and discerned His spirit. We can make choices like Abraham only when we are close to God’s heart so we can hear His voice wither by a whisper or by a sign.
I love the quote from Charles Addams
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
Whilst there is nothing wrong in living a normal life, one should be careful on what ‘NORMAL’ means to them. Your ‘ NORMAL’ might not be my ‘ NORMAL . Likewise my ‘NORMAL’ might not be someone else’s ‘NORMAL’. The scale of normalcy is set wrong in our lives when it is being compared to some else’s life , be it our friend or a family member. Comparison steals away the unique identity that God has gifted each one of us. By trying to be someone else we are just rejecting the way God created us to be.
When you are in the biggest transition of your life, remember what Abraham did .
Abraham listened to God’s voice as He was close to God and was in God’s territory. When he heard what God told him to do, he did not wait for acceptance from his people. He trusted God and took an action. Faith and Works go hand in hand.
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Join me in this prayer to break the NORM in your NORMAL life and transition into the GOD given territory
Dear Lord Jesus ,
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for understanding the normalcy in my life. Help me to hear your voice in this time of transition. Help me to make the right choices, choices that will honor your name. As I step out into the unknown territory you are calling me to, I pray that you go before me and make the crooked paths straight. I pray that I will not be led by acceptance from the society to take a leap forward but I will be lead only by your spirit.
In Jesus Name
May God Bless you as you take a leap for Jesus into the NORMAL He has for you