The Royalty of Immediate Action

Abraham was considered a prince.

However, he was not royalty. No blue blood, just the hot blood of a nomad coursing through his veins.  He was literally a professional wanderer, wandering at the call of God. When his wife Sarah died, he went to the land of the Hittites who graciously allowed him to bury his wife in their land, saying, “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us” (Gen. 23:5). Would to God people may say that about us. All accolades aside, what if those around us sensed that we were divinely set apart? What made this man so princely? Easy, really: he was a good follower.

We have no account of Abraham making a host of good strategic decisions, although he did some. He was not a great military fighter, though he did some. He did not have great land to begin with nor was he at any familial advantage. What Abraham did that caused outsiders to recognize him as royalty was he followed God immediately. When God called Abraham, he simply went (Gen 12:4). When Lot was captured, he immediately did the right thing and rescued him (Gen 14:14). When God called him to be circumcised he did so that day (Gen 17:22). This pattern of immediate obedience is typified in Genesis 15:6 where it is said of Abraham that he simply believed God. This makes one think that faith is synonymous with immediacy. This is where my faith waivers. I want to believe without acting. But that’s impossible. The opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite of faith is inaction. In other words, if God is going to act as He promised, then we must act immediately in faith.

Perhaps this is why persistence is the attending virtue of prayer. Prayer is the discipline, and persistence is the virtue that stokes the fire of prayer. Immediacy is to faith what persistence is to prayer; it’s the virtue that sustains the discipline. Immediacy in action demonstrates that we believe God, and persistence in prayer demonstrates that we still believe God. Faith is always action. Prayer is always active.

This really is royal behavior. If our Father has all resources we act like it. Or rather, we act on it. This confidence in the attendant hand of God on our lives can surely be seen by others who will, prayerfully, will be able to trace the Royal Line back to the one and only Sovereign.

Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Vice President for Student Services at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Smith teaches in the School of Preaching and serves as Vice President for Student Services. He is married to Ashley and they have three children - Jewell, Sydney, and Shepherd.
Twitter: @StevenWSmith
Website: stevenwsmith.net
Steven Smith

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