Calling Things Into Existence—Romans 4:17
"As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were" (Romans 4:17)
The God Gives Who Gives Life To The Dead
No matter what the circumstances around you, when you have a promise from God from his written word, then that promise is as strong and faithful as the guarantor of that promise. Abraham knew this and that is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham believed God, even though, what he was believing for had not yet come to pass.
The amazing thing from this passage of scripture is that Paul reminds us that this was written. Psalms 138:2 says, "...thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." (KVJ) So the written word of God carries much weight. We know that everything in heaven, on earth and under the earth will one day bow down and confess that Jesus is Lord. He is given the name above every name. (Philippians 2:9-11). However, the Psalms said that God himself magnifies his word above his name. Why? Because His name rests on his word.
You have heard it say that a man is only as good as his word. Meaning that unless one does what they say the will do, they cannot be trusted. God holds himself to the same standard. In other words, if a promise has been spoken by him and has been recorded in his word, then that promise is as good as the name he bears and you can consider the promise fulfilled. The name to which one day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord.
Abraham believed God when he told him that he would be the father of many nations. No matter what the circumstances, he clung to that promise. It didn't matter that he was nearly one hundred years old. It didn't matter that Sarah was over ninety years old. No, didn't matter that she was barren. The scriptures tell us two things regarding this promise. First, God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Secondly the scriptures tell us that Abraham believed God.
In fact, Abraham believe God before he believed his circumstances. He knew that when God spoke and promised something that he would deliver it. He reasoned that God would do what he promised even when, in the physical it seemed impossible. And Abraham saw the fulfillment of part of that promise through Isaac and had glimpses of the rest of the fulfillment through Jesus. His faith was the catalyst to bring the promise to realization.
The second half of this verse is so powerful. '...God gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.' (Romans 4:17) We see this example in creation. Nothing existed before hand, but God spoke and believed that what he had spoke would come to pass. As he spoke, things that did not exist, came into existence. He called things that were not as though they were, and suddenly the were.
Abraham believed God in such a way. Even though in the present physical condition, there was no heir to the promise, he believed God. He knew that God was able to call things into existence. All of this steams out of a personal relationship with Him and knowing him. It also comes from knowing his word and the promises within. When we know God in an intimate way, then we know who he is and what he will do. The more we know about him, the more we look to him and forward to the outcome rather than the circumstances.
This is so important for us today, because no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what the doctor has said, no matter what we feel, we need to rest of what God has said about it. He is the one who 'gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.' (Romans 4:17) When we believe him in such a way, then, like Abraham we operate in unwavering faith. Also like Abraham, we see the promises of God that are done and complete, called to manifest into the physical realm where we can interact with them.
Today, I praise God, that He is the one who gives life to the dead and changes circumstances. I praise God that the more we know him, the more we are able to operate in the faith that Abraham had. Because of this, 'He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believe' (Romans 4:17) His faith has blessed us and will continue to do so for the many generations to come. Amen!
Original article published July 9, 2009.