Summary: A verse by verse message emphasizing the necessity of faith when life has us "on hold" or "times are tough".
Faith Expansion #2 Hebrews 11:8-19
How do we understand what faith looks like? We can read statements like “without faith it is impossible to please God”, but what does that look like? For that we must see it lived out.
We must see the stories of real people who lived a life of faith.
We need contemporary stories… stories from the lives of people we know who trust God.
We also need historical stories…and that’s what God gives us here.
In Hebrews 11:1 God defines faith as “being certain of what we hope and sure of what we do not see.” Then he teaches us what that means through real life stories.
The biggest story…the guy who gets 11 verses in Hebrews 11 is a guy named Abraham.
The Abraham Stories of Faith
11:8 FAITH IS trading your map for a COMPASS.
8 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.
Here’s the deal with Abraham. He lived in Ur, which was over a 1000 miles from Canaan.
God showed up to him and said I want you to go to a new place, a place of ministry, a place of blessing, a place of promise. But here’s the catch, I am not going to tell you where it is. Pack up. Start moving. And I will point you in the direction I want you to go.
Then keep moving and I will tell you when you get there.
In other words, Abraham I am going to be your compass and you are not going to get a map. Can you image the children that were traveling with Abraham’s group. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? And Abraham said…I don’t know!
Finally after a long journey God said, This is it. This is the place. One day I am going to give you all this land as your own. It was the promised land.
How did Abraham get to the promised land? By faith. Faith to obey, Faith to start moving, Faith to believe God would steer him in the right direction.
Have you ever noticed that a car that is sitting still is very difficult to steer?
A car has to be in motion before it becomes easy to steer.
There are Christians who sit around their entire lives saying “God direct my life” and then you ask them why they aren’t doing anything for God…”because I am not sure what God wants me to do…I am not sure the direction he is leading me yet! And I want to tell them you are not going to find it sitting on your spiritual bottom. Before God can lead you, you have to get off your can!
Abraham didn’t know exactly where this journey was going to take him.
And he didn’t have to know before he started to go. He took a risk because he trusted God.
He was propelled forward by faith. Faith is always the way forward. Abe had a compass.
It’s always scary to go someplace that you have never been.
To start a new job, new ministry, new idea, a new friendship, a new apartment…it’s a little scary.
But the best things come to those who risk! Say, RISK
Faith requires RISK-taking.
*Denise Keller had never been camping once in her entire 45 years of life…until she went to Bita Genet Ethiopia. A place so remote that some of them had never seen an anglo. But Denise had faith. She said…”I didn’t know what it would be like but I trusted Larry & if Larry thought I could do it, I was going!” God is calling you to trust His word and go to some new places.
We want a map…tell me exactly where I am going, how far it is, and how to get there.
God hands us a compass and says, I am taking you somewhere great…head north.
11:9, 10 Faith is trading your house for a TENT.
9 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. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Abraham got to the Promised Land and you would have thought that the first thing that he would do is build a big house…that’s what residents do. He had the money to build a big house.
But instead Abe lived in tents. They were probably very nice tents…like some of these RV’s you see…they are a block long with jacuzzi’s inside and the guy driving says, “yeah we are going camping!” Why did Abe live in tents? Vs. 10 tells us. It says “FOR” or because, he was looking forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.