Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
I find that in life a leap of faith is much easier than walking by faith. It requires one big jump rather than all the steps it takes to get through a single day. Yet the longer I spend following Jesus, the more that I discover His Desire for me to walk by faith and not continually keep throwing myself off mountains. Faith is confidence. It is the underlying belief in all things that hope is the primary focus of our life. It is assurance in nothing that we see but everything we cannot see. It is the thing that carries us from the natural connecting us to the supernatural. Obedience is marked out by our faith in God rather than following the customs of man. Faith is a commitment to live for the Kingdom of God though we cannot see it tangibly honoring its reality as much as we do everyday life.
When the Lord speaks to us, we want the full picture. Don’t leave any blanks. My own personal revelation is that the closer we move to the Lord and the more connected by faith we become the vaguer the details, but instead God says, “Trust me.” We want to trust the Lord. I believe that those who come to Him do so with the full intention of turning their messed up and broken life over to Him for restoration, revival and renewal. As dead dreams are resurrected and the newness wears off, when the vehicle of faith loses that “new car” smell then what? Everyone likes the goosebumps felt in an awesome church service. They like the way they feel when a friend comes to church and finds a waiting Savior. The exhilaration of taking a leap of faith that makes our heart beat wildly as Jesus catches us midair is matchless but this is not the life we are to live. If our relationship with Jesus is based more on how we feel rather than what we know, we are headed down a dangerous path.
I John 3:19-22 (NLT) Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
God is greater than our feelings. Again…God is greater than our feelings. He knows everything and yet still chose to love us and give His Only Son for us. If we are confident in this Truth, we can live with bold confidence and faith in each step. Every detail of our life is important to God. Each moment is filled with purpose and potential if offered to the Lord for fullness and completion. However, most of the time people only exercise faith when tragedy strikes or they are overwhelmed. Our inability to accept the grace of God freely and unconditionally allows our feelings to get in the way. Accept lies rather than holding on to the Truth. Compromising rather than persevering. Allowing substitutions to take the place of fulfillment. We need to live a life of faith manifested in each step and the slightest detail to please the Lord. No matter how we feel, it is time to trust the Lord.
Hebrews 11:3 (NIV) By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Do you believe that God created the heavens and earth? Do you believe that He made mankind in His Image? Do you believe that God made you with a purpose and plan that includes a future and hope? Do you believe that Christ can and will complete you? Faith must be practical and applicable to our life. We cannot be all that God created us and predestined us to be without it. It is contrary to this world. You will not see eternity until you arrive there. You know Jesus the Word and confirmed by His Spirit that lives in you, but to reach out and physically touch Him is impossible. We must believe and live by what believe. It is faith in the supremacy of God that confirms our need for Him. It is our desire to reach Him that calls us for righteousness sake. It is the assurance there is something more to hope for than life has to offer that will give us confidence enough to continually walk by faith rather than constantly looking for the next cliff to jump from.
2 Corinthians 5:7-10 (NIV) For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Freedom is evidence of God’s Love for us. How we use His Gift of Freedom is an indication of our love for the Lord. There is a quote by Kahlil Gibran used to describe this quite well. He said, “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, there were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” This has been morphed into many variations but the truth is the same. Love cannot be held captive or enslaved. Love is freedom. What we do with this freedom demonstrates who or what we love. Love for God will produce a life of faith because faith is the very thing that pleases Him. Faith in Who He is and what He has promised that forces us to be transformed because our desire is to be with Him more than anything else this world has to offer. The steps of our life are ordered by God. He leads us with love. He gives us freedom from our sin releasing us to decide how we will live in our new liberty. Those who love the Lord will use it for His Glory.
Hebrews 11:4 (NIV) By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
Abel died because of his faith in God demonstrated by obedience. If put to the test or on trial would the evidence of our life convict us of faith. Both Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord. But Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil” and Abel brought “fat portions from the firstborn of his flock.” Cain gave some. Abel gave his best. He laid down his life for the Lord and Cain took it in response. Faith in God will cost us our life. We must be crucified with Christ. (Galatians 2:20) I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life that I live in my body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave His Life for me. To live by faith requires us to lay down our life and take up our cross to follow Jesus. Why? We love Him. We want to be where He is.
What is the offering of your life today? As I examine the offering of my own, it is evident that I could always give a better offering. There is more of my life to lay down in order to have more of Christ in me, working through me, completing me so that I can give more. We cannot live by faith without offering every facet of our life to Jesus Christ. That which is withheld is the very thing that condemns us. Will I give the best of my first fruits today? Anything less than our absolute best just will not do.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
To offer one’s life as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God is consider according to this passage as “true and proper worship”. What is my anthem? Can others hear a life song that sings of the Goodness and Greatness of my God? The true worship of my life is demonstrated not in what I say, but how I live. It begins with a renewing of my mind so that I will be able to test and approve God’s Good, Pleasing and Perfect Will. My mind must find confidence in Christ so that I can lay my life before Him. I must become fully assured not that God can but that He will do everything that He has promised.
Hebrews 11:5 (NIV) By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5:24) So you want to know something kind of ironic? Do you know who Enoch’s father was? It was no other than Cain. (Genesis 4:17) Our life is not defined by our past or present, it is based on a future Kingdom that knows no end. The new life in Christ given to us called freedom is a clean slate. We do not have to live in the past or just look to the future. Enoch desired God. He walked with God. He walked faithfully. One day, God just took him body, mind and soul. The Lord just swept him Enoch off the earth to be with Him. I want to walk with the Lord like Enoch. Seamlessly. Completely. Fully. I want His Love to overshadow me so that all they see is Jesus.
We are told to walk by faith. Peter didn’t run on the water, he walked on it. Each morning when I put the first foot over the side of my bed, I want it to be like Peter stepping out of the boat. As I stand, may the foundation of my life be faith in Jesus Christ. The only foundation worthy of building on. Lord, teach me today to walk by faith not by sight. Allow me the grace that is sufficient for every weakness in my faith so that I can be strong in you. Lord, may I fully embrace and embody the “greater that is me” more than fear of the roaring lion who wants to devour me with doubt and overtake me with his lie. It is impossible to please God without faith. I must learn each day and in every detail of my life that faith applies. It is the very thing that will produce an acceptable offering of my life and it will bring us to complete unity. Lord, I want that same kind of testimony as Abel and Enoch today and every day in each step.
John 17:20-24 (NIV) “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.