The God who chose us, called us, redeemed us, saved us, justified us, and who daily renews us, transforms us, and will eventually glorify us is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
He called us to be a particular kind of people, His peculiar possession, His personal treasure, and for us to be such ones we need to know and experience God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We follow in their steps, and their experience becomes ours.
What we read in the book of Genesis about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not “history” – it is something that we also today need to experience in spirit. God gave Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – to each one – some specific experiences of Himself, and these experiences need to also be ours as the real Israel of God.
As the God of Abraham, we need to know and experience God the Father as the source, the One who gives life to the dead, and who calls things not being as being (see Rom. 4:17). As the God of Isaac, we need to enjoy Christ the Son, receiving everything from God and simply enjoying what God is in the all-inclusive Christ. As the God of Jacob, we need to know and experience God as the Holy Spirit dealing with our natural life and constituting Christ into us to make us a blessing for all those around us.
There are many things that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob experienced in their life with God, and in this blog post the focus is on knowing and experiencing the God of Abraham – experiencing God the Father as the source.
Are you still the source and the initiator? Even in doing things for God and in the church life, are you free to suggest things, give your opinion, initiate things, and do things? Are you a Father-less brother or sister? Who is the source and the initiator? We need to know God as the God of Abraham, the One who is the source, the Father, the initiator, and the origin of all things.
Knowing and Experiencing the God of Abraham as the Father, the Source, and the Initiator
Abraham was a regular person just like us, but he had God appearing to Him again and again. Abraham’s faith was not of himself; the God who calls things not being as being and who gives life to the dead appeared to Abraham and faith was originated in him. Rom. 4:17 Footnote 1 in the Recovery Version Study Bible says,
Abraham believed God regarding two things: (1) the birth of Isaac, which is related to the God who “calls the things not being as being,” and (2) the offering up and the gaining back of Isaac, which is related to the God who “gives life to the dead.” Abraham believed such a God and applied Him to his situation.
As sons of Abraham, we today walk in the footsteps of our father Abraham, and his experiences are and must be repeated among us in the church life today. He had many experiences with God, but the one we focus on today is experiencing God as the source.
God promised Abraham a son, a seed, of whom God would be the source; however, Abraham tried in his natural man to produce this seed. First, he suggested that his oldest and most trusted servant Eliezer would be the heir, but God clearly told him that it will be his seed.
Then, Abraham tried to “produce a seed” by his natural efforts, his flesh, and thus Ishmael was born of his servant Hagar. However, God rejected Ishmael, and even up to today the Arab nations are a big trouble to their brothers the Jews.
What God desires is not that we would produce something for Him or try to do what He wants us to do; He wants us to experience Him as the source. We need to learn that God is not interested in what we have or can do in our natural man, and He rejects anything that we do in the flesh by the natural life.
As Abraham our father did, we may even have to pass through a lengthy period of time with the Lord in which we learn that only God the Father is the source. We focus not on the correctness of the results or on producing something for God but on the source.
God is more concerned with where something comes from and who is doing it. Is God the source? Does it issue from God? Did God initiate this? Was this done in God’s timing? Before Abraham could be a father of many nations he had to experience God the Father as the source. Only by experiencing God the Father as the source, the initiator, and the origin, can we allow God in us to produce something for His purpose.
On page 54 of his book, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Watchman Nee wrote,
God was the Initiator of everything for him; he had nothing to do with it. If you know that God is the Father, you will not be so confident and will not say that you can do whatever you want. You will only say, “If the Lord is willing, I will do this and that. Whatever the Lord says, I will do.” This does not mean that you should be indecisive. It means that you truly do not know what to do and that you only know after the Father has revealed His will.
Do You Know God the Father as the Source? Is God Your Source?
Are we ready to offer suggestions and opinions when it comes to doing something in the church life? Do we know God the Father as our source? Is God the source of what you are about to suggest the saints to do? Are you ready to initiate something and then later “ask God for His blessing”?
As sons of Abraham, we need to know and experience God as our source. God is our Father, He is our source, and we should never initiate things without consulting Him first. We need to bring every feeling and thought in the light and ask, Father, are You the source of this? I only want what is of You as the source!
Also, if God is the source, there is also a specific time when He wants to do something. He had to wait until Abraham was 99 years old so that it would be humanly impossible for him to have a son, and then God came in to produce something for His purpose.
God has a will and He has a timing. He may put us in a waiting period which seems forever to us, and in this time we need to let the Lord terminate us, our natural man with its issues, our opinions and suggestions, etc. Don’t repeat Abraham’s sad history of failure by doing things in your own power and ability! Allow God to do His special work in you to show you what it means for God to be the Father (Eph. 4:6).
When we truly experience God as the Father, the source, we will worship Him in spirit and truthfulness as He desires (John 4:24), and we will honor Him in reality, offering Him a drink from the depths of our being to satisfy Him with the truthfulness constituted into us.
To know God as the Father is to know that He is the source, the unique Initiator, and that everything originates not from us but from Him (Matt. 15:13; Eph. 3:14-16). It is out of Him, through Him, and unto Him are all things – and to Him be glory forever, Amen (Rom. 11:36)!
To us there is one God, the Father, out from whom are all things, and we are unto Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we are through Him (1 Cor. 8:6).
Lord, cause us to know You as the Father. Give us the experiences that we need for us to know You as the source. May this be settled in our being: God is the source! We are not the source. We are not the origin. We cannot initiate anything. Father, we are Your many sons, and You are the source of life and the origin of everything. Save us from initiating things and doing things for You from our natural man. Train us to live by the Father as the unique source. We want to know You and experience You as the God of Abraham!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ speaking in the message for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 35, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” chs. 6-7, as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (2), week 1 / msg 1, Knowing and Experiencing the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob to Become the Israel of God (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Further reading: recommending msg. 38 in, Life-Study of Genesis (by Witness Lee).
- Hymns on this topic:
# O God, Thou art the source of life, / Divine, and rich and free! / As living water flowing out / Unto eternity! (Hymns #12)
# Praise the Lord! The God of glory / Who appeared to Abraham / Has appeared to us in spirit / For His purpose and His plan! / God of glory, God of glory, / Do appear to us today, / Saturate and permeate us / Till You fully have Your way. (New song on God’s appearing to Abraham)
# Pray to labor with the Lord; / Let the Lord initiate / All the plan and all the work; / Then thru us He’ll operate. (Hymns #786)
# My soul, be silent, wait upon the Lord! / First let Him speak to thee, then speak to Him; / True prayer in thee the Lord initiates, / Thou but a channel art expressing Him. (Hymns #793)