Hall of Fame for God's Faithful Ones
"for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;" Ephesians 4:12-15
I was recently meditating on Hebrews with special attention to chapter 11. Verse one states "Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses)" I won't write out the entire chapter here but encourage you to pick up your bible and read this chapter again. You will see a long list of names here, ordinary people who are remembered for doing extra-ordinary things in the power of Almighty God. I was struck by the fact that these people noted here were not believing God for material goods or gain. But they made a name for themselves in God's Hall of Fame because of their faith in God in very difficult situations that life threw their way. None who made it to the Hall of Fame were in easy places. But they choose to believe God in spite of or indifferent to their circumstances. Not being moved by their reason, emotions or senses.
Verse 15 says "people who talk as they did show plainly that they are in search of a fatherland (their own country) If they had been thinking with remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it". They kept their focus on the kingdom of God and not on things of this world. Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His way of doing things – they allowed their faith to be moved forward constantly. They continually progressed in the direction of God. Their faith caused them to see beyond the temporary – the things that were changing. They fastened their faith to that which was unchangeable – impossible to change. Through the eyes of faith they saw a better life. Prompted by faith they changed future generations. They impacted this world for God's kingdom. Activated by faith they stayed in agreement with God and expected the changes that God had promised. Prompted by faith they were not overawed and terrified of natural powers. Aroused by faith they stood firm against the approval and promotion of men and desired to only please God. Motivated by faith they went where they needed to go – they did what they needed to do. They did not stay motionless. They did not remain still and inactive. They did what needed to be done to please God. By their faith, in receipt of the gift of faith from God, they did odd and peculiar things in obedience to God. Urged on by their faith they did the impossible and went to impossible places and attempted impossible things.
Because of their faith, compete reliance on God with absolute confidence in Him, they brought downs the walls of Jericho. Day after day they behaved oddly. They followed God's chosen leader over them in complete silence. Trusting God's anointing on him to lead them to safety. Prompted by faith – simply believing that God was in the circumstances, simple believe that God was moving, they did things that revealed their faith in God.
By the help of their faith, they subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the power of raging fire (not stopping the fire but stopping the fire from having any power to hurt or destroy them). We have this same spirit of faith. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love and of a sound, well balanced mind. A confident, a fearless and obedient mind.
This chapter ends with some of the most powerful testimony in all of scripture. Verse 34 states "… out of frailty and weakness (they) won strength and became stalwart, even mighty …" What hope this gives to us who feel frail and weak against overwhelming odds and angry foes! It is my intention to please my Father by receiving His grace that I too may win strength and through His Spirits work in me that I will become stalwart, even mighty. When I choose to believe what He says in His Word about me, that I already AM "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" I will obtain this promised blessing.
Faith as a spirit is active. Faith speaks to us. Faith causes us to see. Faith prompts us to action. Faith activates us. Faith promotes us. Faith arouses us. Faith motivates us. Faith urges us. Faith gives us ability of obey God. Faith moves mountains. Faith tears down walls. Faith prompts us to do things we'd ordinarily not do. Faith subdues kingdoms. Faith administers justice. Faith obtains the promised blessings. Faith closes the mouths of lions by stopping them from harming, hurting or killing us. Faith destroys the power of weapons. Faith gives escape. Faith causes us to be mighty. Faith makes us resistless in battle. Faith routs enemy hosts. Faith restores. Faith causes us to stand strong. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
"Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (these listed in God's Hall of Fame) let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance and that sin (faithlessness) which so readily clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Looking away from all that would distract, to Jesus. Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith." Hebrews 12:1&2
May the Holy Spirit minister to you in the power of His Words of life.