Last night my husband and I went to see the movie Amazing Grace. It tells the story of William Wilberforce’s campaign to abolish slavery in Britain. This crusade took twenty years. It’s amazing that one would stand firm for so long to stand up for what’s right and finally get to see the victorious outcome.
Sometimes Christians find themselves asking God the question, “Oh Lord, how long?” In our microwave society it seems absurd to most to wait on the Lord for something that is either a long time coming, or something that we could’ve gotten by ourselves long ago. Society, and even to some extent the church, has stopped looking to God and waiting on him for all things. They think they don’t need God.
Wilberforce was a man of faith who persevered even when the entire House of Lords was laughing at him. He listened to God and continued in his task, not because he was stupid or foolish, but because God said so. And in the end, the promised freedom came to pass.
I am reminded of another man of faith, one found in the Word of God. “By faith Abraham, when 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 of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10). Abraham “considered him faithful who had made the promise” (v. 11b).
How long are we willing to wait in obedience for God? Abraham was still living by faith when he died, even though he did not receive the things promised, but only saw them and welcomed them from a distance (v. 13). Are we willing to wait for God, even if he does not fulfill the promise in the way we think we will? God indeed fulfilled his promise, and gave the land to Abraham’s descendents, and from them came the Blessing to the nations. Abraham knew that God was faithful to keep his promise.
Are we willing to fight the crusades the Lord sends us on, namely the one found in the Great Commission? Are we willing to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it costs us our very lives? Indeed if we belong to Christ our lives are no longer our own anyways. Are we willing to live in obedience to God’s will, or turn and go our own ways, wanting to gain our own treasures in our own ways?