Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When we are young in the faith, God knows we are incapable of walking by faith when difficulties hit. God works in small and sometimes large miracles to reveal Himself to us and build our confidence in Him. As we grow, God uses life’s challenges to teach us how to depend upon Him.

When we have had time to mature, God will put us into positions where we have to choose trust, or disbelief. Before we receive the promises, God often tests our faith. When we reject the call of faith, we cannot inherit the greatness of His promises. Applying Hebrews 11:6 is a vital part of growing in faith. Those who stand strong in faith are those who diligently seek Him in daily life. Most people fail to stand by faith because they have not sought Him in their daily walk. I used to play sports. One thing I learned is that the game isn’t won on game day – but in the daily preparations that lead up to the game.

This is true of faith. It isn’t the day of testing that prepares us, but the daily walk of faith where we seek God and learn to walk with Him. Jesus said that the person who withstands the storms is the person who hears and applies themselves to the word of God. That person is building their lives upon the immovable foundation of the Rock of Christ. The one who does not prepare their hearts by building on Him are standing on a foundation of sand. When the storms of life hit, the person with a weak foundation will fall, but those secure in Him will stand. The preparation comes before the storm. The one seeking to know Him are already prepared in their hearts to pass through the trials of life and into the promise. The Bible gives a good example of this in the life of His people in the Old Testament.

In the book of Numbers, God tests His people. God prepared the people by showing His works and miracles along the way. After being enslaved to Egypt for 430 years, God delivered them by breaking the will of Pharaoh. God showed His power, not by merely getting them out of their situation, but by taking their slave-master, and breaking him to the point where he thrust them out of Egypt. Not only that, but God paid them four-hundred years of wages by having their former task masters give them their money and goods. They left Egypt with everything they needed and more.

When Pharaoh changed his mind and sent the armies to destroy them, God provided a pathway through the sea, and then used the sea that rescued them to destroy their oppressors. Then God fed them with mana from heaven when there was no food. God provided water from a rock in the desert twice – when they were in danger of dehydration. God became a cloud over them during the heat of the day, and a cloud of light during the night. Over and over God revealed His power to them.

One thing that was missing was a heart to seek Him. Joshua and Caleb stayed near the place of worship and sought the Lord. The others were delighted with God’s provision, but never prepared their hearts to receive Him. They received the blessings, but not the call to seek Him.

God led the people straight to the Promised Land. It was the destination of rest the Lord had promised the people when they left the labor of slavery. He promised them a land where His provisions abounded. Now they stood at the boundary of the promise. God had them appoint twelve leaders to go and spy out the land before entering. One spy represented each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The spies came back with evidence of the goodness of the land. “It is just as God described it. It flows with milk and honey, and we brought back many fruits as evidence.” Then they gave the hard news. There were giants in the land, warriors of great stature and walled barriers. Then they said, “We can’t do it. The obstacles are too strong for us.”

The people panicked and decided it was better to go back to Egypt and return to slavery. God responded with words that apply to every believer today. Numbers 14:22-23

22 Because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice,
23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.

God said that none of the people who saw His works, yet still rejected His call to trust would enter the land, and they would wander 40 years until that generation passed away. Two men stood against the crowd. Joshua and Caleb said, “If the Lord delights in us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us.” They believed God. In fact, forty years later, Caleb was an eighty-year-old man. He said, “Give me this mountain. The Lord will be with me to drive out the giants.” Even as an old man, he still believed God, and took on the very giants that sent a nation fleeing during their first visit.

Caleb prepared his heart to seek the Lord; therefore, every challenge, enemy, and obstacle was God’s job to resolve and defeat.

When it comes to our walk of faith, God shows us His works, provisions, protection, and miracles. We have the promise that our steps are ordered by the Lord, and that He delights in our way. If we fall, He upholds us with His hand. And we are promised that He is the voice whispering to us, “Go to the right, go to the left, this is the way, walk in it.” Sadly, most people have too much noise in their lives to hear His whisper of guidance. When the prophet Elijah was in distress, God said He would speak to him on the mountain. There was a mighty earthquake, fire, and wind hard enough to split rocks. But God said that He was not in the shaking of the earth, was not in the fire, and was not in the mighty wind. He revealed Himself to Elijah through a whisper.

Each day, God whispers to everyone who quiets their lives to seek Him. He prepares our hearts by showing His power to us through small and large daily miracles; however, He reveals Himself to us on a personal level through His whisper. We prepare our hearts by quieting ourselves and putting activities aside to listen for His whisper. The primary way He speaks to us is through His word. However, we are seeking Him, not trying to check our religious boxes. Seek Him in the word and through prayer.

Few take this time, but the few who do are the ones who will stand in faith when life is hard. We can then look at problems as the barrier God will break down on our way to His promise. I’ll end this with an important truth. God is never going to call you to make your own way. He always calls you to follow Him. Human effort cannot accomplish the work of God. Instead, He gives us the whisper of His call, and then tells us not to focus on the obstacles, but trust in Him.

The people turned back because it was impossible. Of course it was. That is the point. God delights in moving the impossible out of the way. Faith will test you with the impossible.

The opposite is true as well. Some of the people decided to take the land on their own. They were completely defeated, and survivors returned wounded and discouraged.

How then, do we know when our purpose is our own human effort or God’s call? You won’t know if you are not walking with Him. The Old Testament example shows that they could not hear His call to step into the challenge with confidence in Him. They also could not hear His instruction to not go without Him. The issue is that they could not hear His call. Neither can we until we learn to make seeking Him a daily part of our life. The multitude saw the Lord as a distant God. Moses, Joshua, and Caleb saw God as Lord, but also a companion, friend, and father.

God reveals Himself to those who diligently seek Him. That is when God gives you the ability to hear His voice, and wisdom to know the right steps to take throughout this life.

Eddie Snipes

April 2024

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