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Cloud of Witnesses II (Hebrews 11:7-16)

February 21, 2007

Hebrews 11:7  “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

This is one of the most extreme examples of one believing the word of God without a shred of physical evidence.  One can almost hear the mockers proclaiming “Water coming out of the sky?  Ok Noah, whatever you say!”  Not to mention one of the most “prolonged” trials of ones faith as it took years upon years to build this watertight craft on dry land and load all of the animals.  Not to mention acquiring enough food to feed them for the duration of the flood.  A few sentances is hardly enough to even begin to describe what this entailed and what the local reaction must have been.  Noah couldn’t offer them any evidence whatsoever of what was to come; only the word of God that it was coming. 

Today, folks will ask “where is the sign of Christs coming?”  Many look at the world and determine within their hearts that things are progressing as they always have; necessity being the mother of invention, frustration being the father of progress, and better living being achieved through science.  They ignore the warnings that Jesus told us to watch for in Matthew chapter 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.  One has only to open their eyes to see that these signs are everywhere from increased earthquake activity to the increasing level of conflict in the world.  (Not to mention the chip implants which will facilitate the “mark.”)  In Noahs day, there were no warnings whatsoever that the world was about to be flooded.  Just a man of God proclaiming the word of God, who survived the flood, along with Mrs Noah, their three sons, and three daughter-in-laws, because he believed the word of God. 

Hebrews 11:8-9  “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of him for the same promise.”

Genesis 12:1  “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”

Abram left all of the things which he had become familiar with and headed out.  He didn’t know where, but knew that God would show him just as he said.  When we simply trust the Lord and not worry or complain, he can do wonders in our life.  When you read these stories, they read like an adventure novel.  Heading into the unknown without a clue as to where they were going.  Knowing only that it’s the will of the Lord and when it’s known that such is the case, there really is nothing to fear.  This isn’t an easy concept to grasp but it’s a very necessary one to understand; especially in the times that we find ourselves.

Hebrews 11:10  “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Such an awesome verse.  We look toward the eternal while we dwell in the land of the temporal.  Our blessed hope is that we will be forever with the Lord Jesus Christ.  When this is firmly in our heart, none of the worlds trappings will hold much appeal.  Then we can truly learn to be content; understanding that this life is but a summer breeze which passes by once and is gone from here.  Abram looked for this city made without hands and as a result, venturing into the unknown wasn’t as difficult as it would be for many. 

This concept cannot be stressed enough it seems.  This would be similar to the Lord telling me to walk away from the job, pack up the family, and head west.  No other information; just that this was to be done and that he would show me when I was there.    In the physical viewpoint, it would seem like a ridiculous thing to do.  The job that I have is of a type that this country doesn’t usually create anymore.  It would mean taking the kids out of school, packing everything that will fit into a Ford Windstar, and just “going.”  I probably shouldn’t even talk like this as it seems like a sure way to “invite adventure.”  A few months ago, they offered another buyout and I was praying about if I should take it.  The truth is that Gods clock isn’t synchronized with American Axles clock and if he wanted me to leave, it would most likely be at the seemingly “wrongest” time in the natural.  Something to pray about.  (be careful for nothing but be content in whatever state we’re in)

Hebrews 11:11-12  “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore is innumerable.”

They trusted God and gave no heed to the physical realities which would have told them “this is impossible.”  It’s an incredible thing; the way that faith works.  We know the mechanics all too well, but oftentimes have to learn over and over how to live by it.  Even though we know that we’re to not “worry” about happenings in the physical world, (we should know whats going on but not worry about what’s going on)  we tend to do so whenever the money fails to cover all of the bills or traumatic events shake our earthly kingdom.  (Psalm 91 is a good place to go to when the physical world is falling apart.)

Hebrews 11:13-14  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 

I love the old song “This world is not my home, I’m only passing through” as it reflects the desires of my heart.  To be absent from the body and present with the Lord Jesus.  Verse 15 in the passage below gives a hint into the dangers of being overly mindful of the present.

Hebrews 11:15-16  “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

I need to wrap this up for now as it’s 3:35 am and I’m falling asleep at the computer.  It’s usually easier to post in the morning, but I’m not sure as to what’s going on tomorrow.   I really pray that we would all arrive at a place where we just “trust the Lord” in all things.  To not be rattled by the temporal things of this life or the storms that are certain to come our way.   To keep looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.  This doesn’t mean sell everything and go sit on a mountain.  It just means being careful for nothing and remaining continuously prayerful. 

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11 comments

  1. timbob, there is so very much that I could comment on but I won’t. However, you wrote:

    “This would be similar to the Lord telling me to walk away from the job, pack up the family, and head west. No other information; just that this was to be done and that he would show me when I was there.”

    My family and I have had to do this, several different times. While it is important to remember that as with Abraham, we did it in response to the leading of the Lord, they were awesome times that led us into some very trying times as well. It isn’t a rose garden to be obedient, but it is always the right and proper thing to do. He, the Lord Jesus, will always prove himself faithful and he sure did for us. Maybe, the Lord will have me write about one of these or more. Anyway, grand post and with good thoughts and all too real issues and concerns.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  2. Thanks Phil for stopping by. Definately trials are never easy and while I pray about such things such as should I stay where I’m at or do I belong elsewhere, I don’t know how I would react if the Lord revealed to me that I was to do as mentioned in the example. I would like to think that I would be obediant and I pray that wherever I am in the days to come I’ll be in obedaince to him. We truly must die daily to self and seek the Lord Jesus continually; in all things. Thanks for taking time to stop by.
    Have a most blessed day in Christ:
    timbob


  3. This sister is smiling, exercising self restraint by Gods grace here…
    This post mey set things in motion you have as yet only thought about. The Lord is full of surprises and He isn’t stirring your heart for no reason.

    And hey, Timbob, I happen to know of some people out West here, who could use some like minded, devoted lovers of Jesus Christ to labor together with. 🙂

    “The harvest is ready but the laborers are few, pray therefore to the Lord of the Harvest that He will send forth laborers…”

    May the divine call be revealed to your heart with clarity, whatever it is wherever it may be. I am praying for your family.

    Every blessing and grace to you today!


  4. Thanks Susan for your prayer in this situation. That which lies on my heart “seems” far removed from any physical situation which would clear the path for its taking place. Of course God can move mountains, part seas, and shake the foundations of the earth, therefore, what looks like an obstacle or a series of obstacles really isn’t at all. I do know, however, that there may well be painful situations which weren’t anticipated, as obstacles are removed. Communicating with you, Phil, and a host of others has really been an encourgement. I keep all of you in prayer during these times of turmoil. Thanks so much for commenting and prayer.


  5. Thank you for your prayers Timbob!
    Yes, obedience usually means some pain and sacrifice, but it is aways worth it. Truly it is!
    The joy and blessing far outweighs whatever the cost, and yes, absolutely nothing is impossible for our God.
    Mountains crumble into the sea at the sound of His voice!
    The blessing and encouragement is mutual,
    Praise be to the Lord! He indeed is faithful.

    A wonderful day to you in the presence and peace of the Lord Jesus,
    Susan


  6. I hate all of you, every single one of you. I feel like you are pushing me off the precipice with these entries. I feel wayyyy over my head. I feel like I’m suffocating over here b/c it’s so close. Just around the corner. I keep hearing, “Get ready. Get ready. Apart from me, there is no other.” Confirmation after confirmation. I almost feel as though half the time, I’m not even operating in the natural. Am I a bit mad? Have I completely lost it?

    Trust — this concept just runs through my mind wildly. Am I going to be able to stand there in faith while everything and everyone is falling apart around me? I have been asking myself this quite a bit lately.

    Okay so i really don’t hate any of you. 🙂


  7. Code6, of course you don’t hate any of us, but I do empathize with those feeling you have expressed. Been there so many times and will yet again, I am sure. Not trying to sound overly simple, but this all seems to come with growing in Christ Jesus.

    Code, you wrote: “Am I going to be able to stand there in faith while everything and everyone is falling apart around me?”

    The clear and simple answer to this is, absolutely not! This is the good news, because you cannot stand alone and in your own strength. However, He, our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, well, he most certainly is and shall remain standing. Therefore our hope is not in ourselves, in any way, shape or form. No! Apart from the Lord Jesus, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).The Lord Jesus, he alone is our hope.

    The promise is simply that as we keep our eyes upon Him, the author and finisher of our faith, he will keep us unto the end.

    Our confidence in He who has begun this good work within us, He will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)

    He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thess 5:24)

    And no your not mad, you’re well on your way, in Christ Jesus! Keep your eyes and ears upon Him, remember?

    Keep looking up for He who is your/our only hope, is forever faithful!

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  8. timbob, I’m so glad I found your site, and I very much enjoyed your post. Between what you wrote and the comments here, I have been blessed by the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart.

    That being said, I also feel lost here. I will keep checking back, and I hope to gain much understanding. Meanwhile, I’m a newbie in Christ, and have so much to learn. Thank you for a wonderful read!

    God bless you all,
    Catherine


  9. Every day is a journey into the unknown by faith. Our habits and routines try to tell us otherwise, but anything can happen, either good or bad. In the Book of Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit comes on the scene “suddenly.” So it is with how God seems to operate: after many years of waiting-“suddenly.”

    Read this account of heaven and hell yesterday from this site:

    http://www.shepherdserve.org/e_teachings/2007_02.htm

    brought to our attention from this blog:

    http://satisfiedhousewife.wordpress.com/

    It reminded me to guard my salvation because it’s the most important thing for every human being. You never know what will happen. We live in faith and hope through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross but a healthy fear of the Lord is a good thing also.


  10. For those who are in Christ; all who truly love him, his grace is sufficient for any situation that should come up. It can “seem” overwhelming at times, but I know that he will never leave us hanging. He knows every need and he knows every heart. We have the Holy spirit, the Comforter, abiding within.
    One of the most incredible examples is Steven in Acts chapter 7. After giving his discourse, he “saw heaven opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Gods grace was sufficient, right on time, and Steven “knew” that within a few moments, he would be in glory. He didn’t stand by his own strength nor do any of us. Thanks to all for commenting. All are in my prayers as we encourage each other and are all in this race together.


  11. thanks for running w/ me



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