Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.
Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.
This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.
Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.
But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.
Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.
We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Romans 4:19-22]
The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous.
If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.
Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.
IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.
“…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]
The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]
When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.
The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]
If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.
The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.
As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.
WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.
Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]
Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.
He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith
The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.
WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.
Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.
But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]
The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.
What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.
For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:
ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.
When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:38]
ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.
If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).
Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.
And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] 
Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.
Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).
IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.
He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.
He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.
They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:20-23]
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]
We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.
For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.
The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]
So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:17]
REIGN IN LIFE?
Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:
Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]
Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.
Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:
Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.
This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.
Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.
Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.
Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.
The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.
He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.
However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.
Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.
As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.
Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]