What are We Seeking?





Scripture

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 NASB)
For by it the men of old gained approval.
(Hebrews 11:2 NASB)
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
(Hebrews 11:3 NASB)
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
(Hebrews 11:13 NASB)
For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.
(Hebrews 11:14 NASB)
And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.
(Hebrews 11:15 NASB)
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
(Hebrews 11:16 NASB)
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
(Hebrews 11:37 NASB)
(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
(Hebrews 11:38 NASB)

 

Observation


Those who lived by faith knew that they were aliens here on this earth. That is, their connection was not to what they could see and smell and hold in their hands here and now, but their connection was to the things which are eternal. The result included three things. 1) Their faith was in God, the creator who created all things. 2) Their desire was not for this earth, but to be with God. 3) They were not necessarily treated well by others who were not of faith.

 

Application


These three results are rather contrary to things that we hear preached from time to time, and yet, they are very real for us who are followers of Christ. Think for a moment about the fact that faith is in the Creator who creates with things that we cannot see. Our faith is in the One who can do the creating out of nothing, or in any way shape or manner which he desires. How much time and energy do followers of Christ put into trying to figure out how God created, or within which time-frame God created. Within the great Faith Chapter here we are reminded that faith is about having trust in the One who did the creating, and having faith that he can do that creating in any way that he desires. It is not about the how or with what -- but it's all about the Creator himself. What are we seeking? Are we seeking to know the One who has the ability to create from nothing, or are we seeking the "facts" of how the great Creator did his works. God is constantly calling us into a relationship with him, and we seem to constantly be finding ways to be distracted from the relationship. Again, we must as ourselves, "What are we seeking?"

Those who are mentioned in this great chapter on faith realized that what they had obtained here on this earth was simply temporary. Their focus in all that they did was not on the earthly, but on the eternal. Again this speaks to relationship. When we are in a personal relationship with a holy and infinite God, then our perspective on things definitely changes. The more time we spend with God the more we are united with him and our desires change. Why would there be a desire for things that will pass away when we are invited into the eternal? Again we have to ask ourselves, "What are we seeking?" Why would my desire be to amass "things" while here on this earth only to lose them all because they are simply temporary. Would I not want to be involved in kingdom business where the results are relational and can have a trickle down effect which can go on throughout eternity?

Finally, as we flip through the television channels we are constantly confronted by those who are preaching a type of prosperity gospel. If God has promised all this nice stuff, then tell me about these who are listed in this great chapter on faith. Here, near the end of the chapter we read of those who are stoned, cut in two, they are destitute, afflicted, etc. Honestly, none of that sounds too exciting to me -- but there it is! For many of those who have gone before us they have paid a price for their faith. Their faith did not result in everything going well for them while they lived here on this earth, but again the question comes up, "What are we seeking?" Are we hoping that being a Christian means that I suddenly have a wonderful life? Or, do we understand the eternal perspective? We truly are aliens here on this earth and we are simply passing through when we are seeking a relationship with God, our creator.

"Faith is the conviction of things not seen" -- this is what we are to be seeking!

 

Prayer


Lord, there are some tough concepts in this chapter today but I ask for your help and leading every day of life that you would help me to seek you in all things! Amen.

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