As in previous posts I’ve been trying to come to a clearer understanding of what the Lord would have of me, not what is dictated to me by Preachers, Pastors, Men in the Faith, Men who are mentors, people in our church or the norms of religion (or whatever denomination you or I may be). I’m not saying we are to exist outside the body to which we form part off (the church); that’s unhealthy, unscriptural, and makes for a breeding ground for wolves. But what I am questioning, or bringing into the light is this – is your definition, and mine in relation to pleasing God, equal to His own?
This is so simple yet in our Christian lives, it is this simplicity which confounds (the wise right?). The best place to understand what is pleasing to God, is in Hebrews 11. It is there we will find the answer as to what pleases God, by the very men and women God takes the time to articulate as being “Heroes of the Faith”. It is here, we will see how we too can be found to be pleasing, and perhaps a hero/heroine of the faith.
Hebrews 11:6a simply states; “But without faith, it is impossible to please him”. Hold on just a minute friends, take note, that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God, except it be done in and through faith. So God requires us to have “faith”. The next logical question should then be, but what is “Faith”? Faith as defined by some, is a gift – that contradicts this portion of scripture, as most of the hero’s had a journey that built their faith (Moses, Abraham, Sarah, David). Some say “faith” is a continuous conversation with self, to believe God will deliver on their own desires, needs or wants. Wrong again, an analysis of the heroes that are viewed through a magnyfying glass in this chapter show men and women led by God, to fulfil God’s purpose, their conversation is not with self, to will, to believe more, to grow more in faith, but to converse with God and trust His promise.
Faith’s definition is found in Hebrews 11:6b – for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Wow! If you run this definition through the lives of each hero mentioned in this portion of scripture you will see the very reality of this definition and it’s beauty.
Abraham received a promise from God, to seek out a city whose builder and maker is God, did he see it, no! Moses was promised to deliver God’s people to Canaan, and did he see or enter Canaan, no! Noah was given a promise by God that He would send a flood to judge the earth, and for 120 years that promise never came. Imagine Noah preaching the promise, but it never coming, imagine how for those 120 years he was mocked, scoffed and laughed at. But he still endured, believing God and His promise. Sarah was given a promise of a seed that shall multiply as the stars of heaven, and how long did her and Abraham wait. And it is this, Hebrews 11:6 that is the heart to every hero of the faith; coming to God, believing that He is; but far more that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
The problem we face in modern church today, is men and women take the first step, trust in Jesus Christ, and when trials come, and when their faith in God is put to the test, they run to the hills to find shelter, instead of resting under God’s pavillion. When reality and hardship cross the “fickle” Christians path; he finds it hard to hold onto God, because the loss of his/her loved one, the pain and difficulty their enduring does not match up with what God promises (or so they think), and thus they run away from Him.
Friends, true faith is not what you receive when you believe, but believing and holding onto Christ despite not receiving the promise, but trusting He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. That is faith, and that is what pleases God. Hebrews 11 is soaked with it.
I think no greater clarity is found but in this verse;
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth
Grace dear friends