The Action of Faith

Hebrews 11 is a place every Christian should come often.  We need to go there and linger as if in a desert and we’ve found a good shade tree.  Whatever you’re faced with, this chapter helps.  These verses target the anchor of our soul—our faith.  Peter told the Lord he’d never deny him but Jesus said that Satan desired to sift him as wheat and he prayed that his faith would not fail.

The most important asset we have is faith in Jesus.  He intercedes for us.  The devil aims at us every day.  We are saved by our faith in the Lord.  We pulled it back from the world and the devil and directed faith to Jesus; he did the rest.  No matter how long we’ve been saved we continue to live our Christian life by faith.  We can’t see that faith.  We can’t see into our heart.  Our own recorded voice sounds strange to us.  We have a measure of faith and it works for all of us if we use it.

Faith is an action and if not for an action of faith we’d be lost.   If not for an action of faith we’d be like an eggshell waiting to break.  Without faith we are brittle and easily broken.  We don’t amount to much without our faith in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This is an illustration and guide for us to grow our faith and continue in it.  Don’t let anything push you or weigh you down and keep you from your Master.  Keep the connection of faith.  When we get to where we can’t do physically what we used to, there is still something keeping believers connected to God:  faith.

When the examples of faith are started the writer begins with Abel.  The sons had roles in the family.  Abel was a shepherd and Cain a tiller of the ground.  There was an altar.  They knew what to do.  They were fallen in sin and the garden had been forbidden since Adam and Eve sinned.  By the sacrifice of an animal Adam and Eve were covered.  Cain and Abel were taught the example of faith by their parents. When the time of sacrifice came, Cain just brought what he wanted.  He tried to impress God with the fruit of the ground.  Abel knew in order to be acceptable to God a sacrifice was required.  He put faith in God.  He had nothing of his own making to bring.  He brought a lamb and offered it.  God had respect to him because he offered it in faith.  Cain’s was not accepted.  It took faith at the first altar ever made. Abel put faith in the Lord and it moved him into action to slay the animal.  He knew blood was required to be in good standing with God.  When we put legs on our faith God will have respect to it.  The least we can do is love the Lord with all our heart and soul.  I let God down but I can depend on his promises.  We were saved not by what we gave up but because we plead the blood and the sacrifice of Jesus.

The patriarchs lived a long time.  Enoch lived and then just disappeared.  He put faith in God looking for a Savior to come so he could be right with God.  There is not a lot written on him, merely a summary.  That record states he pleased God.  All our duty boils down to this:  faith that moves is not an easy chair faith.  It is faith that causes us to do something and choose the right thing each day.  Faith is not an empty, absent minded belief.  Faith in God makes us do something; it motivates us to work.  It’s time for faith with a get-up-and-go in our lives.  Enoch did that.  He walked with God and then all of a sudden he was gone.  God took him.  He left the testimony of faith that pleased God.

Faith caused Able to give the right sacrifice.  Enoch put faith in God that caused him to walk with God each day.  Because of the actions of faith they were accepted.  God still walks in this world and we can walk with him in spite of the devil.  God took Enoch to glory.  That’s representative of the rapture—the translation and moving from Point A to B.  Don’t be a cast away with your faith.  Don’t be weak and lazy and murmur against God.  When you deposit faith where it needs to be, it works.  We may have a hard time walking the highway of faith but one day we’ll get a surprise.  The trumpet will sound.  If we’re going to serve the Lord it will be by faith and by faith we’ll be able to stand.

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