I tried to move on to the next hero of faith as promised in my last post. However i can’t seem to rush past the messages embedded in Hebrews 11:13-16.
These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.
Now those people who talk as they did show plainly that they are in search of a fatherland (their own country).
If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it.
But the truth is that they were yearning for and aspiring to a better and more desirable country, that is, a heavenly [one]. For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.
Although the people mentioned above didn’t really live to see the totality of the promise God gave them, they still held on to faith knowing fully well that God cannot lie. They believed that even if the promise didn’t come to pass in their time, God was still going to honour His word. They were able to do this because they found something that was more important to them and that was heaven. Their focus was on eternity and not the promise. Although they had things to care about like we do, they didn’t allow these things shift their focus.
It’s good to have something to look forward to here on earth. However let’s not allow anything else to overshadow the bigger promise of eternity.
I love this;
If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it. (Hebrews 11:15)
Their eyes were looking forward. They didn’t make the mistake Lot’s wife made. They weren’t lurking into the pleasures they left behind them.
How often do we lurk into the ‘excitement’ of our past. Difficult times makes us become ‘homesick’. “After all things weren’t so bad then”, the devil whispers.
In hard times, do you find yourself thinking of moving back into that old life? When lonely, do you go to social media to check or to peep into the life of your ex? Do you secretly engage in ‘a little bit’ of pornography? Do you sneak into that pub just to ease up a bit because life has happened? Do you hold on to unforgiveness because that friend you relied on failed you? Or do you push into God as you keep your eyes focused on eternity?
Haven’t you noticed that the past which we hated so much becomes attractive when we are down? This is because the devil lies to us by painting the poison as something very sweet with a pleasant smell. This he does to lure us back to that place of torment so we can miss the glory that lies ahead of us.
Friend, are you going through a hard time? Are you becoming ‘homesick’? Do you feel your past is ‘calling’ you? Are your old friends texting you to come back to them? Have you found yourself secretly admiring what you shouldn’t admire?
If you can relate to the above, pull out your bible. Mutter that word of prayer even if all you can say is ‘God i am weak. Help me’, He will. God knows our weaknesses and He is always there to help. Find someone to confide in who can help raise you up; someone who can pray and walk through with you. We can’t just give up because things are hard. Think of how the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah and Isaac was. If they could do it, we have no excuse.
These heroes of faith went through tough times too. Remember Hebrews 12 says they are witnesses to how life here on earth is like. So we can walk through earth victoriously too. Don’t allow the devil to mess you up in your vulnerable state! Fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ is the key to going through safely.
It ends by telling us what happened as a result of their desire to see God.
“….For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16)
What a beautiful thing.
Praying we all finish strong.