What could you do that would make you righteous in the sight of God? Have you done it? Have you done it good enough? Have you done it often enough? If you died today and stood in judgement before God, would you have done enough? Are you sure?

And if there’s something you could do that makes you righteous, doesn’t that also mean there are things you could do that cancel your right standing with God? Oh my gosh, what if you’ve done those things? What if God has done cancelled you out, girl? Now what will come of your life? What will come after your life?

What could you and I possibly do that would make us good enough for a perfect God? What would make him want to bless us? What would make him smile upon us?

I don’t know about you, but I continually and consistently have a way of screwing up. Like a lot. It’s not intentional, but I get tripped up, I get distracted, and I chase squirrels. All while I have this great big, powerful, loving, faithful God who is saying, “Pamela, keep your eye on me. Me. Focus on me. Seek me. Talk to me.” And I do, but then I don’t.

So, is God mad at me? Has he cancelled his good plans for my life? Has he dismissed me from my calling because I haven’t passed the test? Don’t you wonder the same thing? Have you failed to be good enough? Is God giving you the side eye? Shaking his head? Disappointed? Slamming doors because he’s mad? Cancelling plans because of your failure?

I read a scripture this morning that sure brought this flawed girl some peace. I want to share it with you, just in case you’re sporting a dose of the “less than perfects” too. The scripture is found in the middle of Abraham’s story. But, it was before he was Abraham. Before he became known as the “Father of the Faithful”, before miracles unfolded in his life, he was Abram. He was a man who had great wealth and great success, but he and his wife Sarai had no children. But God made him a ridiculous promise. A promise that even though he had no children in his already old age, his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. He would be unable to count them all.

This was ridiculous. This was impossible. But what happened next is what changed everything. If you’re rushing through scripture, you might miss it. Just like if you’re rushing through life, you may miss the moment everything changes. Often the biggest changes don’t happen in grand events that take your breath away. They’re often silent. They’re often secret. They’re often hidden from everyone but you and God.

Here’s that moment for Abram. Genesis 15:6, “And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

Abram was counted as righteous solely because he BELIEVED God. He believed the unbelievable. He believed what was too late would still happen. He believed what had never happened before would happen, and it would happen only because God said so. And this made him righteous.

Nothing Abram had ever done before had made him righteous. He had done a lot of good in his life. He had great success and many victories. None of that made him righteous. He had been fair, he had been generous, he had been brave, he had been bold, but none of that made him righteous. Only his faith made him righteous. Only his trust in God brought him in right standing with a perfect God.

Did this mean that Abram understood God? Did it mean he agreed with his timeline? Did it mean he was given a behind the scenes peak at the 10 year plan and then it all made sense? No, the reality was still the same. He was an old man with an old wife, and they had no children. But if God told him his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky, he was simply going to believe it. And because he believed, God counted him as righteous.

This is what God is asking of you here in the middle of your impossible. Surrounded by the reality of your hardship. Overwhelmed by the odds that have stacked up against you. Holding the short end of the stick, with a clock that ran out of time a long time ago. With a paycheck that will never be enough. With a relationship that is beyond repair. With a heart that will never be okay again. With a home that has been ripped apart. With a prognosis that is fearful. God is asking you to believe him. Believe what doesn’t make sense.

Can you do that? Can you dare to believe if God says it will be, then it will be. Can you dare to believe if God says there is a way, then the way will be made. Can you dare to believe that God doesn’t need your wild heroics or your bright ideas, he only needs your faith. You believing in God is what makes you righteous of his ridiculously good plans for your life. And this means the only thing that could cancel his ridiculously good plans for your life is you choosing not to believe.

The very next chapter after Abram believed God and he was counted as righteous because of his faith, Abram goes and screws things up massively. In his impatience, he gets tired of waiting on God, and he and his wife, Sarai, come up with cock-a-mamey idea of their own. They will have Sarai’s servant, Hagar, sleep with Abram and then they will have their baby. Whew, we can be so stupid when we wait!

Girl, don’t be stupid while you wait. God will do what God said he will do. He will do it no matter what your timeline is. He will do it no matter what the doctor says. He will do it, and you rushing him is only going to cause a mess. What is required here? BELIEVING GOD WILL DO IT! What’s not required here? Your own bright ideas and pushing to make things happen the way you think they have to happen.

If you know the story, you know this whole baby with the servant thing ends up being a total mess. There’s jealousy. There’s bitterness. And finally, they end up kicking out Hagar and her baby.

Was Abram wrong? Yes! Did he mess up? Yes! But, this is how amazing God is. God never cancelled his good plans for Abram in all of this. He never took away his righteousness and said, “opppps, Abram, you’ve gone and messed this up so you’re no longer considered right with me.”

This is great news for flawed girls like me and you. For impatient girls like me and you. For girls who get bright ideas and make big messes. That’s me and you, isn’t it? We’re never considered not right with God. He hasn’t cancelled his good plans for us. His dreams and desires over our life remain. All he ever required of us was our belief in him. Our faith makes our righteous, not our works. We can screw things up for 20 straight years, but our God still counts us righteous because of of faith.

Galatians 3: 3-7, “How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.”

This scripture was written hundreds of years after Abram believed God. Hundreds of years after Abram became stupid in his wait and screwed up. Hundreds of years after God fulfilled his promise and gave him and his wife their long awaited baby boy, then changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. And the children of Abraham … well that’s us. We’re among the count God told him of in the stars. He is the “Father of the Faithful” because he believed. He believed when it didn’t make sense. He believed when it was impossible. He believed when it was totally ridiculously. All that was required of him was to believe.

Because he believed, he was counted as righteous. Now, God reminds us to get over our own human effort and remember it is his power at work that will make things possible in our lives. It is his Holy Spirit living within us that will do impossible things. Our role in this is to believe.

Will we mess up? Unfortunately, yes. But, we are covered in our faith. We are made right because we believe God and we trust him.

Remember, Abraham’s life didn’t change when he was given his long awaited baby. It didn’t change when he stepped into wild success. It didn’t change when he overcame battles and walked away with victory. Abraham’s life changed in a silent, secret moment hidden from everyone but him and God. It was in a moment where he chose to simply believe what God said. Even when it didn’t make sense. Even when it was too late. He believed. And in that moment, he was counted as righteous.

Will you believe now? This is the moment that changes everything. No one else will see it or know it. But your belief in God’s involvement in the details of your life and his unshakable good plans for your life, along with your trust in his timing and ways, this is what changes everything. This makes your righteous.

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