Hebrews 11: 13 The second step in the progression of faith is developing the mind of faith. The mind is the greatest battlefield in the world. More spiritual battles are won or lost here than any other place. The Bible warns us about being “double minded.” James 1 :6-8 The person who is double minded is fickle and wavering “like a wave of the sea.” God says his wavering faith will not be rewarded because “without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).” Hebrews 11 :6
After God had helped Abram to “see the promise,” He began to help him develop the mind of faith. Genesis 15:7-18 God told Abram this was the land He had promised to give him, and Abram responded by asking God a question, “How shall I know that I shall inherit it?” He wanted to know for sure, to be fully convinced in his mind. God answered Abram by saying, “If you want to know, then we should make a covenant.” It is only by entering into covenant with God that we can settle our doubts and win the battle of unbelief in our minds. There are several things we should note in making a covenant with God.
First, we bring and sacrifice whatever God asks of us. We are not trying to bargain with God, but we are making a covenant with Him and must bring as a gift whatever He asks us to bring. We are to be irrevocably bound to God by the blood of our sacrifice. The Hebrews called this “cutting a covenant” because the animals of the sacrifice were cut into two pieces.
Secondly, we must understand that the devil will do everything in his power to stop us from making a covenant with God. The devil understands if we enter into covenant with God and develop a mind of faith, we will become a great threat to his kingdom. Like Abram we must drive the fowls away from our sacrifice and not allow them to devour what we have given to God.
Finally, realize we are making a covenant with God who is far superior to us. You are not equal with God and the only way a covenant like this can be made is by grace. Abram was placed in a deep sleep and a great horror of darkness came upon him. It is an awesome thing to come into God’s presence. But while Abram rested, God went to work. That is grace! A flaming torch of God’s presence passed between the pieces of the sacrifice that Abram had made. Grace had enabled God to accept him as he was, and their covenant was made.
Why did God make a covenant with Abram? Because God wanted him to know without a doubt that the promises, He had made to him would surely come to pass. “Know of a surety,” God says in verse 13. God wanted him to know for certain.
Then God began to give Abram a word of prophecy. “Your children are going to become slaves in a strange land and serve them four hundred years.” Why would God tell him about something that was going to happen four hundred years in the future? Not because he was going to live another four hundred years, but because Abram’s children would, and he must tell his children about God’s promise. This prophecy was so his children could know for certain. In the same way God has given us a “more sure word of prophecy.” II Peter 1: 19 Only God can tell us what is going to take place before it ever happens, and He gives us a word of prophecy so we can know of a surety. It is important to note that we do not live by prophecy, but by the Word of God. Prophecy is a supernatural sign given to settle any doubts you may have about the promise of God’s word so “that by them you may wage the good warfare.” I Timothy 1: 18
In the Greek language we have different words that are translated “know.” We can know by the things we have experienced. But we can also know by a knowledge we call intuition. Jesus used these two types of knowledge in John 8:55. When Jesus said to the Jews, “You have not known Him,” the word He used was “experienced.” Then He used a completely different Greek word when He said, “But I know Him.” This word was not the word for experience but the word for intuition. You find the same Greek words in I John 5:13, 19 and 20.
In Romans 8:28 Paul says, “And we know that all things work for good.” We have not experienced all things, so how can we know them? We know by intuition because of the covenant relationship we have made with God. We have a God we can trust. What Abram experienced when he made a covenant with God was so real to him that his doubts were settled. Look at Abraham in Romans 4:18-21.