Take a moment to read James 2:21-26 before reading the devotional below.
To illustrate his point about action being essential to faith, James offers a couple of examples that would be very familiar to a Jewish audience: Abraham and Rahab. (In case you are not familiar, the links on each name will take you to the stories referenced.)
Honestly, each of these stories represent how weird faith is. Unorthodox orthodoxy. In the first one, Abraham is seemingly told to participate in child sacrifice, something God was clearly against. His faith leads him to act on this, and God saves the child at the last minute. The second story has some pretty key leaders of God’s people staying overnight at the house of a prostitute who is then honored by God for lying when authorities come looking for them. American evangelicals (and perhaps other Christian groups) would never, ever say that these ideas were from God if he asked them to do the very same things today. So that makes me wonder, how much are we getting wrong about the way God thinks? (A lot.)
Here’s your freedom for today: faith enables you to set aside your sensibilities. Sometimes, to do the right thing, you need to lie. Our brothers and sisters who were part of the Underground Railroad or those who protected Jews from the Nazis offer us tremendous examples of faith. Sometimes, to do the right thing, you have to trust that God’s character will not change when he asks you to do something that sounds off. God was testing Abraham, and his faith that God would come through enabled him to follow. Challenge your assumptions, biases, and sensibilities today. God might just ask you to break them all for the sake of his Kingdom.
You can find more of Kristen’s devotionals at FreedomForToday.com.