Faith, that unseen quantity of the great cloud of witnesses of
Heb 11. produces at least two very visible items, obedience and
confidence, Each example has one or both of these.
Let's take Abraham as an example. In Hebrews 11:8 we can see
an example of the quality called obedience.
"BY FAITH Abraham when called to go out into a place
which he should after receive for an inheritance,
OBEYED; and WENT OUT not knowing whither he went."
All we need to do is consider four words to see that faith produced
the obedience. By faith the source of the action. Obeyed and went
out the action itself. But you say this was the O.T. and things
were different then. So let's consider at least one N.T, Acts
"And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip saying,
Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that
goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza which is desert.
And he arose and went."
Oh yes we say,"if an angel told me to do something I would do it"
But might the question be asked; What when the Holy Spirit directs
us to speak or witness and we find fifty reasons real quick why we
can't. It is a matter of having faith and acting upon it that makes
the difference regardless of who is telling us to do
Now for this confidence idea. We need to go back to our friend
Abraham and Gen 22. I think we all know the story of God asking
Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a burnt offering.
The idea and reality of Abraham's confidence in God is brought out
not by the angel telling him not to harm Isaac but by a word spoke
by him to his servants long before the angel spoke. Take note of
the events of Gen 22:5 I am going to use the words of the NIV for
a clearer understanding of what took place.
"He said to his servants, Stay here with the donkey
while I and the boy go over there. WE will worship
and then WE WILL come back to you."
Then very quickly move your eyes back to verse 2. God told Abraham
to offer Isaac. This very simply meant Isaac was going to be
killed. But yet we find the words to his servants "WE and WE WILL"
Abraham had confidence through faith in God whatever happened God
would allow both him and Isaac to return. If God allowed him to
kill Isaac and offer him. Then God would have the power to raise
him from the dead. Lastly both the obedience and confidence is
spoke of by God in verse 15
"..........because you have done this and NOT WITHHELD your
son, your only son..............."
Here is where the real power of strong solid faith is shown by
complete obedience and confidence. Where are you in this battle
and how strong is your faith ? Does it produce obedience and
confidence like Abraham's ?
Going back again to the 11th Chapter of Hebrews we can find
out two more important facts concerning faith. Both are very
important. A bit out of order but we can see the importance of
faith. It is expressed in Heb 11:6
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he
that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He
is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him"
Well, we say, that seems to be clear enough. However many do
not accept it for what it says. Lets take an example. John Doe
prays for a spiritual awaking in his city. He does this a
number of times showing a definite burden for the people of his
city. But deep down inside John does not really accept the fact
that this is going to take place. You might say he has a wait and
see attitude. He knows there is going to be many factors to be
found. Now for the question; Did John Doe approach God knowing
that He is and will reward him for seeking him ? The doubt that
it may not take place, Does it really acknowledge the fact of who
God really is ? Or does it let human reasoning limit the power of
what God can really do ? Oh you say, It might not be God's will ?
Here we have a real question; Just what is God's will concerning
this spiritual awakening. What is God's will ? How can we know?
Remember the first principle of faith is taking God at His word
as expressed both in the Bible and Jesus Christ. What does the
Bible have to say on this subject ? In 2 Peter 3:9
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some
men count slackness; but is long suffering toward us-
ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL
SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE"
Let's ask ourselves, What is the condition of those who are not
spirituraly awake ? Oh you say some will not listen, therefore
there won't be much happening. What are we doing when we think that
way ? Are we saying in every case man's sin will win out ? Or will
through His grace some will be brought to see the light and a
spiritual awaking will take place.
To continue, let's back up and look at the other important
fact we want to talk about. It occurs in Heb 11:1
"The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
In this very concise explanation much is there to be learned. First
if one reads it very very carefully, They will find out
that "faith" is not hope or a expectation of future things. Wow
you say ! How can you say that ? Lets turn back to Rom 8:24
"But hope that is seen, is no hope at all. Who hopes for
things he already has ?"
I can hear it now: " You just proved that faith and hope are the
same." We must go on a bit further before the picture clears a
bit. Two words give us some direction, "substance" and
"evidence". Both of these words something we can see. What is
the evidence we may well ask ? Faith requires no more proof or
evidence, than the fact God's Word has said it. When we find it in
the Bible, that is the evidence. Our Baptist brethren have a
saying, "God said it, I believe it and that settles it". Faith
reduces this to , "God said it, and that settles it!!!" One does
not have to either accept or reject it, it is the fact and truth.
So we ought to be able to say then faith is not the act of
expecting but one of accepting what God has said. In the garden the
ruin of the human race came about by Satan's ATTEMPT and success
causing our first parents to doubt God. He stated "Hath God said"?
When indeed the fact and basis for all good begins with the
statement, " God hath said !!!
Next we see still two more words, "not seen". Here satan has
also corrupted the facts. Take a favorite statement of the
world,"Seeing is believing" on the surface this seems to be true.
However if you and I can see it we no longer have to believe or
trust it to be so our doubts are dismissed by our vision. When
something is proved either by sight or demonstration it moves out
of the area of belief and faith. Faith demands no more than the
fact that God has said it. This is the only evidence needed for it.
Well what have we learned by all of this ? First that having
faith is more that just thinking something will take place. It
involves the acceptance of God's Word to the point of a present
receiving of that which has been promised by it. Lets take an
example Rom 10:9
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord" and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the
dead, YOU SHALL BE SAVED"
Now read the next verse
"For it is with your heart you believe AND ARE JUSTIFIED,
and it is your mouth that YOU CONFESS and ARE SAVED."
Lets ask two questions. One, When you believe in your heart,
what have you done ? Is it not that you have taken God at His Word
? and when you confess with your mouth, is it not the
acknowledgment of this accepted fact ? And the Word says "you
shall be saved" This is a fact in the area of your salvation: Why
can't it be so in every other area of your Christian Life ? God's
Word commands it to be.
" The JUST SHALL WALK BY FAITH."
Accepting God at His word, not thinking and wondering but in
a very real and positive way calling on God. And accepting the FACT
that He WILL show them great and mighty things which they knowest
< Author Unknown >