Weekly Commentaries

This is Sunday Chronicle's weekly commentaries on various issues of interest affecting the country. All individual commentators are done by elite Papua New Guineans from diverse educational backgrounds.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Travelling the journey of faith (Part II)

LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES

PETER BARNABAS PAMULA

LAST week, we saw that God promised Abraham four things. 

First, God promised to make him a great nation.  Second, God promised to bless him. Third, God promised that he would make his name great in all the earth. Finally, God promised through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12: 1-3)

Besides, I have clearly discussed that when God promised Abraham to make him a great nation, it was God's choice for Abraham to become a visionary leader. Thus the conviction to follow God led him to make a radical decision. He made a decision to travel an uncharted path based on the will and plan of God not on natural human inclination or was compelled by friends. In fact, Abraham did not see the reality at present but he foresaw the future and stepped out of faith and followed the instructions carefully.

A visionary leader looks beyond the present and sees the future in spite of insurmountable difficulties or incredible success. A visionary leader not only knows how to communicate his vision but also knows how to act even in the face of adversity and opposition. Again, visionary leaders know their strength and weaknesses and seize the opportunity to grow and expand. Abraham took that opportunity! This was all done for the advantage of the future generations....generations that would be the custodian of the truths of God.

Radically, when he made that incredible decision; he was prepared to live with the consequences of his decisions. Surely, at the initial stages of the journey of faith, he was faced with a great challenge...a great famine in Canaan. (Genesis 12: 10) It was a great test for him. Apparently, his survival and future depended on his departure to Egypt. God was still with him even in the decision to leave for Egypt. In Egypt, he made a mockery out of himself! In fear of his life, he advised Sarah not to call him her husband but his sister. It is one of the blunders from the man of God... hard to reconcile and measure!

I still grapple with this decision he undertook. If God was leading him, why deny his right to call Sarah his wife? However, despite this irresponsible decision, God was working extreme good out of this situation. Sometimes, when our lives are in tatters or completely broken into pieces, God is still at work to put the broken pieces together. He works extremely hard to remake us and fulfill His plan in our lives...a deep theological concept I have never grasped before...even  I am a pilgrim in the journey of faith.

Amazingly, in (Hebrews 11: 8, 9) Abraham is described by Paul as a hero of faith. "By faith when Abraham was called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country. He lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him on the same promise. (To be cont'd)

The writer is a Papua New Guinean student studying Masters in Religion at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), Silang, Cavite, Philippines. For comments I can be contacted on email: pamulap@aiias.edu or cell phone +639391773655.

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