“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…”
The nature of faith is that it holds the evidential expression of its Author. It is that divine substance that is expressed in Hebrews 11. Men and women were not validated by belief alone. Rather,what they did validated what they believed.
Hebrews 11:2 “By faith the Elders obtained Witness…”
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain”
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…”
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham… obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”
Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith, being tested, Abraham offered up Isaac…”
Faith is authenticated by the expression of Christ in you. The doing corroborates the belief.
“…the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God”
“The dividing line hereafter will not be a Credal one—not “How much do you believe?” Nor even a Devotional one—”How much did you pray?” But a Practical one — “What did you do?” The Apostle James shows that our faith is evidenced by our works (Jas 2:14-20). It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” We must show the same spirit as our Master in love for our fellows, or we shall be rejected at the last.”
– F.B. Meyer
Prayer and Faith
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is the true prayer of all who believe. It is this prayer of faith which unites the heart of the one praying with heavenly realities. Prayers of the religious do not touch the heartbeat of heaven; their lives remain unaffected and unempowered unto the doing of His Will. Those who pray in faith, walk in faith. In the garden Jesus prayed to accomplish the full offering of Himself unto the will of the Father and He “was heard in that He feared” (Hebrews 5:7). It is through prayer that faith comes to us by the hearing of the Word. One cannot hear the Living Word without the corresponding works of faith.
“Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”
Ephesians 3:20 (WEB)
Faith is not belief. Faith is not a commodity or the product of a self-generated religious philosophy. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for. It is the actual “evidence” of spiritual realities. It is not empty, make believe or unsubstantial. Faith is rooted in God Himself. It is the divine enablement to reach into the very heavens where God dwells and appropriate divine realities. The ability to expect the greater things of God is proportional to the “power that is at work in us”. Within the life of every believer there is to be a power at work; a power received and held within the heart of His own. Obedience is the revelation of that power at work within our lives. It is God moving within us to fulfill His purposes for us.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear”
Noah was moved by faith; the impetus to do was the offspring of that faith. Faith is the mover. There is a relentless press of faith to do God’s work in those in whom that power is at work. The degree of its expression in our lives is revealed by obedience and the works which faith alone can produce. Where there is no living faith, the works of faith will be missing. Faith is the power of God at work within the life of the believer. The life which one lives is their true statement of faith. It is not merely something we believe; it is revealed in the life we live and the things we do.
In our day the faith of many rests in the words and wisdom of men and not in the power of God.
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5
Faith in the wisdom of men is powerless and lifeless; it leaves its adherents looking to someone or something outside of themselves. It is a faith which lacks the reality of present day living. The faith that stands in the power of God knows that the secret of its fulfillment lies in our obedience to His Will.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed…”
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee”
1 Timothy 4:14
Literally the meaning of righteousness would best be translated “right-wise-ness”. It is in each of us becoming in word, thought and deed all that He has purposed us to be in Christ. The gift of God to each of us lies hidden in the mystery of our own ambiguity. It will remain hidden if it is treated with neglect and indifference. The man with the one talent buried his gift within the earth of his own being. It is a sad testimony of a life that passes through time in the fog of unreality and uncertainty. His neglect had eternal implications (Matthew 25:30).
The wise of heart understand that the talent given is to be tended to with a holy diligence and singleness of heart knowing we shall one day give an account unto Him. The will of God is that His deposit increases within our hearts.
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is”
It is the unwise who know not the will and the call of God. It is in our obedience that the way becomes clear and the “mystery” of His will is solved within the riddle of our own life. He is desirous to bring clarity to our lives as we walk in the wonder of His way.
“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”
The mystery of His will is never solved personally apart from obedience. Abraham’s call was revealed through his obedience. He did not know where he was going, but he knew the ONE who was leading. It was in his obedience that he discovered his inheritance! It is the same for us; in obeying His call we see the unfolding of our place in Him.
“And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.”