“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” (Hebrews 11:32–34, AV)
Most people want to accomplish something in life, something of significance. It would be a shame to go through life and never do anything of lasting influence. Yet, we must ask ourselves some questions. What would be the most significant thing that we could do in life and how could we do it.
The author of Hebrews has listed some of the biblical heroes of the faith. These are men and women who made a difference in the kingdom of God. After mentioning some in detail, he listed many others and implied that time would not permit him to mention them all, much less tell their stories.
He then listed some of the things that they accomplished by faith. They struggled against and overcame kingdoms, labored for righteousness, attained the promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were strengthened from weakness, and were caused to become valiant in warfare. These heroes of the faith did not accomplish these great things in their own strength. They accomplished them by faith.
What is this faith that accomplished so much? The author previously defined it in part. They believed that the God who they could not see existed, and that He was infinitely powerful to fulfill His promises. They believed that He would be a rewarder of those who would diligently seek Him. They stepped out on faith to do what God called them to do, trusting in Him for the outcome.
Today, there are many people who get off track when it comes to acting by faith. First, there are the presumptive who figure that if they decide to do something, that God must bless them exactly according to their own desires. Their failure is that they presume that their plans and the desired outcomes of them are God’s plans for them. They err by not surrendering to the sovereignty of God.
Secondly, there are the timid, who will not step out because they fear failure, even if they understand that God has called them to do something. They feel that they are incapable to accomplish that to which God has called them, and they are right if they consider that they are doing it in the flesh. The problem is that they do not see God as the infinitely powerful one who works to fulfill His purposes in them and through them.
The Lord God often calls us to step out by faith and do the things that are outside of our comfort zone. We must remember that He uses the weak and foolish, the low and despised, to do great and mighty things to display His mighty power to the world and silence the arrogant (1 Cor 1:26-31). He works in us and through us to do great and mighty things that will make a difference in the world. This is only possible when we live by faith, stepping out and trusting Him. Paul said it concisely.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, AV)