Abraham is the most honored religious figure of all time. Abraham is looked to by the Jews as their father, by the Muslims as their great prophet, and by Christians as the father of all who believe. So when you put together 17 million Jews, about 1.8 billion Muslims, about 2.4 billion Christians, basically half of the world’s population looks to Abraham as an exceptional role model of faith. (Fred Hartley, senior pastor of Lilburn Alliance Church)
When I studied for a talk about Abraham that I gave at church recently, I paid attention to what characteristics produced the life that has turned the heads of so many. On one end of the spectrum, I noticed his mistakes. On the other, I noticed his magnificent level of faith. And I also noticed something else that I don’t hear many people saying.
Abraham lived facedown.
This hero of the faith consistently took a physical posture of submission before the Lord, and when he got up, he immediately did what God had asked, even if it didn’t make sense.
17:3-5: Abram fell facedown and God said to him, “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
17:17: Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?”
18:1-2: Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre [MAMree] in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent. And Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
So I have been trying something lately.
I have been rolling out of bed in the morning and immediately going face down on the floor by my nightstand. After some focused silence, things like this have been uttered: Father God, you are the Creator and I am the created. I surrender this day to you. You are in charge and I trust you. May I live facedown even as I am busy living the day. May I remain facedown on the inside all day long, trusting you to use all I do and say for your glory.
I don’t know how long I will keep it up, but starting the day this way has been keeping me keenly aware of Who is in charge and Who deserves my rightful submission. When God speaks, I aim to listen, not because He is a dictator, but because He is God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth.
God the Father is the perfect Father.
In a post about submission, Neil Anderson, founder of Freedom in Christ Ministries, writes, There are two types of people who will never live up to their potential in Christ: those who can’t do what they are told to do and those who won’t do anything unless they are told.
I am gripped. (Go ahead. Read it again.)
Living facedown means I operate from a surrendered heart. Have you ever told a child to go pick up “your stuff.” At completion, there is still a pair of shoes left in the middle of the room. When questioned, the child responds with, “Those aren’t mine. You just asked me to pick up my stuff.” (Grrrr) Such behavior indicates living by the letter of the law. Ideal submission would be a child who picks up their stuff, but also operates from a submissive heart and grabs the stray pair of shoes as well.
I want to live facedown like Abraham.
Picture Explanation: He will always be the dog that I paid for by passing cash through a car window to a woman sitting in a Suburban while parked at a gas pump. I will never live it down, but today my husband said, “You finally got your cuddler.” Yes, I did. I love my dog, Griffin. And so does everyone else.
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