“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. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
How would you and I live today if we absolutely believed that God existed? Would it change our lives if we believed in an eternal destination so marvelous that the entire world pales in comparison to one square foot of its turf? Would that effect how you live today? How would we live if we believed God cared about our every action and desired to reward His children for their faith? How would you and I live in the face of persecution, truly believing our whole lives depended on Him?
But we say, “Of course I believe! I believe with all my heart these things are true!” Then, let’s ask the opposite question- how would you live if you did not believe? The difference in how we answer the question is the issue of faith- faith in what is hoped for actually changes how we live and who we are. If all we are looks remarkably like the world is it any wonder we question if we are truly God’s children? Sadly, many in churches on Sunday morning have embraced the world and its values and then fool themselves by saying they live for kingdom values. We excuse ourselves saying those people in Hebrews 11 lived in a different time, so of course they could respond nobly to the Unseen God. If this is our perspective we have missed the whole point of the author that the life of faith is normal for the people of God.
When we live “by faith” we bear the witness of God in such a way to stimulate others to be stimulated to faith. When we live our life as an active demonstration that faith works we are the true heroes of faith, in the best sense of the word. It is a life that helps others and honors God. This is not just for super saints. As followers of Jesus we are extraordinary because of what God has done in our midst, and in spite of our own spiritual dullness. The Church has been gathers for nearly 2000 years, and still we have not fixed the flaws. That is the miracle we witness every week- God, for reasons we may never understand, refrains from blowing our sideshow act up into a million pieces, and tells us it is ok to be people. God makes the most beautiful music with amateur musicians, even if it will take all eternity to reveal just how beautiful it really is.