“God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.“ Hebrews 11:40 MSG
I re-read Hebrews 11 this morning with tears in my eyes awed by these hall of faithers but mostly challenged. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. And faith is believing the promised unseen because of He who promised.
It’s there, but it’s not there.
Let me back this up and share this sermon by Mike Todd for context. I listened to it before church on Sunday and I saw so many things afresh concerning faith and my giftings.
Back to Hebrews 11. While I was re-reading these scriptures today, I took the liberty to write my faith story in each verse specifying the things I have been coming to terms with.
Now I know what it’ll look like and if this was 2003 folks would be all up in my face quoting that scripture for don’t add or remove anything from the Bible. Lol. I’m not. I was only contextualizing to make it real for me. The Bible is experiential. It comes alive and can be here and now and I read it till it beats in sync with my heart.
That said, this is how I imagine my entry to the hall of faithers this season will look if I take God at His word, believe that He is and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)
Verse 3 MSG:
“By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.”
God created, by faith, with His mouth what He envisioned in His heart and mind. What was that? Us, creation, and a people that belong to Him. Conspired by love, welcomed into the world by Him in love and returning back to Him in love.
Mine: By faith, Koki’s website came into existence because of her obedience, what you read, created by what she meditates on and what God breathes into her spirit.
Verse 4-6 MSG:
By an act of faith, Koki continued to write what was in her heart in obedience to God. She created videos and worked on books and opened her heart to speaking and sharing the deep treasure that was in her not for pursuit of fame, but in reverence and service to God. What she believed (that the Lord who deposited deep gold her for her to share is good, generous and deeply enjoys her) not what she did is what made the difference.
I could preach on everyone’s story on the hall of faithers but my take home was that faith needs action; and this action needs the right heart position and mindset (mixed with a lot of patience, something this Aries girly needs a tonne of). We know that, but action is what returns glory to God. It proves Him true because He is the one who promised. Not doing because we doubt or fear doesn’t glorify God.
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It all starts and ends in the mind. We ask "What if?" "How?" "When?" "Will I…?" "Will they…?" We fear the lack of guarantees that comes with doing something outside of our comfort zone so we end up never starting or quitting just when things are getting… Interesting… And interesting sometimes looks like a detour. A delay. A tiny peak on a graph. It's minuscule but it's there. Possibility is the frame of mind that can turn disappointments into learning curves and detours into opportunities you wouldn't have stumbled on had you stayed on your original path. What do you think is impossible? What do you think is possible? Whatever you think, that's what you'll get. If you picture walls, and pits and closed doors through your journey, that's what you'll get. If you picture pathways, ladders, guides, keys and open doors, that's what you'll get. It's not about failing in the end. It's about not having tried in the first place. That's the tragedy. Don't let doubt kill your epic story 😊❤️
And that’s the madness of faith. It’s believing the promised unseen because of He who promised. I’m always learning this in every season.
But what I find even more encouraging, is that the hall of faithers can’t be complete without you and I. These guys’ obedience and story is incomplete without a chapter called my life. Which is to say that their obedience is my breakthrough and my obedience will be many people’s breakthrough.
About this, sometime last year when I was deep in the depths of giving up, I was at a meeting and a friend shared how she’s decided to pursue her dream fulltime and what she’s doing to prepare. I was half listening, half zoned out but heard God whisper to me, “You did that,” and it took all that is within me to not bawl in an instant. God was encouraging me by showing me that the tiny puzzle piece of my life (though it felt insignificant and made me want to give up) played a significant part in encouraging her to do the thing God called her to do. Ah! Cue the weepies.
Your obedience is someone’s breakthrough. It’s a chain reaction. I was musing on that on my way to church on Sunday and during worship, the words ‘God of ripple effects’ kept replaying in my mind. You’ve seen this. Toss a pebble into a pond and it will create circle upon circle of waves from the centre moving out and reaching further beyond the point of impact.
It is by faith that we toss. It might look like tossing your net into the sea again, at His word. It might look like obeying quietly so His heart forms in you. It might look like singing your way into the depths of His promise because every entry into your next season is a deeper knowing of His heart. It might look like starting from the bottom so He can build aright with you.
Whatever it is in your case, allow your obedience to toss you into the ripples of the story God has been writing from before the foundations of the world were lain. Because it’s only by faith that God is pleased with us.