Day 25: Heroes

31 STORIES OF FAITH ADVENTURES

DAY 25:  HEROES

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
— Hebrews 11:6 ESV

Chapter 11 of Hebrews is referred to as the the “Heroes of the Faith” chapter of the Bible.  In it, it lists Bible patriarchs, kings, leaders, and prophets, most (but not all) of whom are actually in Mary and Josephs’s genealogy.

Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel are all listed.  When I hear their names, I immediately remember their great action or actions that they are remembered for.  The boat they built, temple they knocked down, or river they parted.  But when we look at Hebrews and see what they are being applauded for, each and every one of them is commended for these two words, “by faith.”

“By faith.”  That is the action that lands them in this list of heros, and it is the only action that ends in pleasing our God.

Thankfully, as we read through this list, we also remember that these are real people, humans like you and me, who made big time mistakes.  There are only a couple names on here that the Bible doesn’t tell us an explicit wrongdoing or huge fault.  The only thing we know about Enoch’s possible faults are that he didn’t begin walking with God until he was 65.  We can safely assume mistakes were made in those 65 years and the other 300 years of walking with God as well.  Joseph is unique.  We know a lot about his life, but yet his faults aren’t as glaring as our other heros.  But I do know he had faults.  He was kind of a brazen, bratty, tattle-tale kid..  In between childhood and becoming a ruling class Egyptian, I have to imagine that there were times of bitterness, anger, and resentment towards his brothers.  It would be impossible not to have those feelings.  He was able to forgive his brothers in the end, but I assume it wasn’t an neat, clean process.

The fact that these heroes were used by God gives me hope that I too can be used by God.

The fact that the only action that pleased God was their faith also gives me hope that I can please God and do mighty things for His kingdom

The truth is that God can do anything He pleases through an ordinary person who is fully dedicated to Him.
— Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God

In fact, Hebrews 12 goes on to invite us to join this great race.  A race that began with a promise to Adam and Eve after the fall and will not end until the last believer is called home to our Father’s house that is being prepared for us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

Now that we know we are able to be used by God and that faith is the only spiritual qualification we need, and that we have actually all been invited to join God’s plan.  The only question now is what should we actually do?

Henry Blackaby says that, “We don't choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.”  He also goes on to say that God is already at work in your heart, that God knows you intimately, and God will actively work in you.

Bob Goff says that your everyday life is an adventure with God.

Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let’s go do that together.’
— Bob Goff

This reminds us that have the power answer the invitation to involve God in our everyday life.  God wants to be involved in what we are involved in.  We don’t box off our lives or heart into sections “spiritual” and “non-spiritual.”  God wants us to live a wholehearted life, wearing our whole armor of God, and clinging to the faith, that was perfected by Jesus, which will make it possible to please Him.

Invite God into your whole life and be watching for God at work so you can join Him in the race.  Don’t be intimidated by our great cloud of witness; be cheered on and encouraged to run.

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