Summary: Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.(Hebrews 11:6)
Rediscovering the journey of faith.
‘Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. [Hebrews 11:6 NIV]
Faith is an important word in the Bible. The word "faith" is used more than 300 times in the New Testament. Beyond any doubt, the most powerful, influential people on earth do not occupy elected office, run industries, or control the Government. The most influential people are people of faith. The single most important thing in a person's life is faith in God. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares only by faith in Jesus Christ can a person be saved, have his sins forgiven, and receive eternal life with God in heaven.
Martin Luther said: "Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible. Then, it accepts the impossible, does without the indispensable and bears the intolerable."
First of all, let us apprehend what faith is not: Faith, for instance, is not positive thinking; that is something quite different. Faith is not hoping for the best, hoping that everything will turn out all right. Faith is not a feeling of optimism. Faith is no better than its object. Faith is none of these things, though all of them have been branded as faith. The Bible says in Romans 14"Whatever is not of faith, is sin." Faith in optimism is nothing but positive thinking. If you put faith in positive thinking, you are going to become discouraged. Therefore Weak faith in God is better than strong faith in anything else. Faith is what counts. It is not the size of your faith it is the object of your faith that really counts. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (Heb. 10:19)
2 Corinthians 5:7 gives a reminder and exhortation that believers are to "walk by faith, not by sight." "Walk" speaks of how we live our lives, conduct ourselves, behave, and use the time and opportunities God has ordained for us. Walking "by sight" speaks of choosing to live based upon how things naturally appear, feel, and seem at first glance. Those who walk by sight rely upon fleshly instincts and temporal pleasures to make decisions. They are concerned with the present rather than the eternal and with blending in with the world rather than with keeping the commands of Christ. Walking by sight is selfish, shallow, and according to the Scripture, a totally insensible way to live. Walking by faith, on the other hand, makes sense if we understand what faith is and the profound glory of what it accomplishes and gives back to us in return.
Now, in the context of Hebrews 11, this verse flows naturally from verse 5, which says “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying--"he disappeared, because God took him." For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. (Heb 11:5NLT) Enoch’s journey led him to God, and when he found God, he walked with him. He began walking with God after the birth of his son Methuselah that is; Enoch’s life was such that it put delight in the heart of God and walked with God for 300 years. He is one of only two people in the Bible who did not die—the other being Elijah. Enoch’s story teaches us that death for the believer is not a dreadful event—though on earth it often seems terrible. For the believer in Jesus, death is a transition from this life to the next. It is the doorway through which we enter the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Before you are taken from this life you must be commended as one who pleases God. Our supreme purpose in this life is to please God. Unless you and I please God we will not go to heaven. Why? No one who does not please God will be found in heaven. But it is impossible to please God Without faith. Hebrews 10:38 says “the just shall live by faith;" The "just" is referring to believers; who are justified by Faith “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) We as believers are to live by faith. In other words, the righteous man trusts, not in himself, but in God. His faith is directed upward, not inward! So let us consider rediscovering the journey of faith or what it means, walking by Faith?
1. WALKING BY FAITH MEANS, LIVING WITH AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE.
A "perspective" is a point of view, a way of thinking about a matter. Having an eternal perspective means evaluating the beliefs, events and decisions of life from God's point of view. It is using God's word and His values as the measuring stick with which to evaluate life. It is recognizing that everything done in the present has an eternal consequence, and should be evaluated in that light. An eternal perspective, however, enables us to live in light of God's truth rather than what we perceive to be true through our limited knowledge. Living according to God's wisdom will appear to be foolishness to the world but is based on the true measure of reality: God's eternal truth. In John 14:6, Jesus said that He is The Truth -not just another truth. Psalm 119:160 says that the sum of God’s Word is truth.