Hebrews, chapter 11, really is the foundational ‘Chapter Of Faith’ in the entire Bible. The reason is because the Holy Spirit gives us the definition, description and demonstration of what real faith is. In Hebrews 11:8, we are introduced to one of the most faithful men in the Bible, Abraham. When we look to the life and faith of Abraham we learn four major principles:
1. A Simple Obedience Leads To Powerful Blessings. (Hebrews 11:8)
In order to gain the significance of this verse, you will have to travel all the way back to Genesis 11. There you will read about this man who would become the father of the faithful, but at this point in his life he isn’t full of faith at all. He’s a pagan living in a placed called “Ur of the Chaldeans.”
You see, just like every believer in Jesus Christ, there was a time when we did not believe. In fact, there was a time in Abraham’s life he was not even Abraham; he was simply known as “Abram.” But in the devilish darkness he saw the light of the light of the world. In all of the hustle and bustle of the wicked city, he heard the Word of God and believed.
When Abraham believed God’s Word and took him at his promise we learn this wonderful truth; simple obedience leads to powerful blessings. Abraham had a lot but, God wanted to give him more. Abraham already had a good name, but God wanted to give him a greater name. The name ‘Abram’ means, ‘exalted father.’ But because of his obedience God made him ‘Abraham,’ “Father of the multitude.”
2. The Way Forward Is By Looking Upward. (Hebrews 11:8)
It is important to note delayed obedience isn’t obedience at all. What Abraham is doing is genuine faith in practice. When God called Abraham to leave Ur, he didn’t spread a map of the Fertile Crescent, the Middle East, out on the floor and say, “Alright, here we are and over here is where we are going.” That’s not what happened at all. He did not take him up in the clouds and show him the path he was going to take to the Promise Land.
This is exactly the way it is in our Christian lives. It is the true essence of walking by faith and not by sight. Sure, there are wonderful times when the path is marked and the Lord tells us where we are going and how we are going to get there but, it doesn’t always happen. Most of the time the Lord gives us just enough light to see the next step in front of us, and sometimes not even that. We have to walk by faith, trusting our great Guide knows the way.
Our great Guide’s name is Jesus Christ and you can set your course on Him. He can fix your life and walk through the deepest valleys with you. You must look up today and keep your eyes on Him, that’s why the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Looking unto Him, the author and finisher of our faith.”
3. Don’t Live for Earthly Things, Look for Eternal Things. (Hebrews 11:9-10)
Do you know why Abraham was looking, longing and living for that city? Because he was eternally invested. God’s call was so clear and His vision was so vivid, Abraham didn’t want to get attached to the things on earth. Heaven was where his heart was, so much so, that he did not fit in with the people on earth.
Please note Colossians 3:1-4
4. In Order To Receive All That God Has You’ve Got To Give All That You Have. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Do you know what makes Abraham the “Father of the faithful?” Abraham is a giant of the faith because he was willing to give up everything he had and everything he ever would have, because God told him too. For example, God told him in Genesis 22:1, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Abraham obeyed God. That’s a great man of faith!
It’s been said, Abraham believed God and obeyed God when he didn’t know where, when he didn’t know when, when he didn’t know how and when he didn’t know why.
Today, the Lord is still looking for surrender and complete sacrifice!