Hello…Hello….is this thing on?…
Well, I had seriously considered shutting down the blog, but I held off just because I thought there might be a remote chance I would want to blog later on. This has always been a place where I’ve shared thoughts and ideas that are swimming in my head. So although it’s been a while, here’s the latest.
This morning I was reading through Hebrews 11:8-16. Some would call it the “Hall of Faith” because it goes through several lives of people in the Bible that lived and took action “by faith”. In fact, that phrase “by faith” appears 4 times in this short passage.
You can read the passage for yourself. While I’m always struck by the amount of faith each person had and acted on, in my mind, Abraham’s always stands out: “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.” (v8)
That is incredible faith. It’s not just incredible, it’s dangerous. It’s the kind of faith that would make some look at you like you’ve lost it. Even other believers in Christ will think that of you. It’s not “prudent”. It’s not “wise”. I’m not throwing out wisdom and prudence. It’s just that so often faith seems to go against the grain of what would be deemed as wisdom and prudence.
They were all living for “the promise”, “the promised land”. They were all living for the inheritance that God had promised to Abraham in the beginning.
I thought about that some. “What promise have I received, have we received, as believers in Jesus that would cause us to take such big steps of faith?” It’s not the promise of a new land here on earth, although I guess for some it could be. It is a promise of a “land” not of this earth in Heaven. But while we’re still “here”, it’s the promise that He goes before you and will be with you (Deut. 31:8, Matt 28:20). From what I’ve experienced in my faith journey following Jesus, it means He is the constant companion. It means He is working things for my good ultimately, and that in the event that I “step in it” so to say, He is big enough and even IN that mess, He is working THAT for my good and will guide me to make a course correction. (somebody help me preach this! 🙂 )
I think this is true for your life personally, I think this is true for your family, if you’re a business owner/manager/employee, it’s true for you. If you’re in ministry as a fulltimer or volunteer, it’s true for you. It’s true for our lives. Following Jesus = taking action and living our lives “by faith”. It’s not nice and tidy, but it’s what discipleship looks like.
Last thing, vv 15-16: “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return…I don’t know why, but that phrase just kind of hangs there for me. I think the principle in that is that once you take the step of faith, you can’t spend time and energy focusing on where you came from, what if you had made a different decision, second guessing taking action in faith, etc. In fact, spending a lot of time focusing on all of those questions seems like the “anti-faith”, it’s not faith at all. Here’s my takeaway from this:
Faith remembers the promise, but focuses on what is forward.