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By Faith

It's easy to look at the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 and place them in a category above other Christians. Just read it--read about their lives and the stories that are referenced. You'll see why we almost automatically assume they walked with the Lord in a way most never will. And there is a huge problem with that assumption.

But their stories are so grand and awe-inspiring. Maybe they are "above" other believers? Should they be categorized as superstars of the faith--listed in a "Hall of Fame" type fashion--as the rest of us view their lives and exploits as something that is unattainable?

Enoch gets to skip the little event we call death. Noah, listening to God, builds a giant ship in the middle of the desert (not exactly what the "cool kids" were doing at the time). Abraham left all he knew for the complete and total unknown. Moses (the stutterer) stood up to a political superpower. Sarah believed God for the impossible and Rahab risked her very life. All were obedient to God to a degree that is tough to comprehend. Obedient in ways that leave us wondering, "Could I do that if asked?"

So, it's easy to see why we tend to elevate the people listed in Hebrews 11. But there is a big problem in doing that.

They are written about in chapter 11, not so we elevate them to "Hall of Fame" status, but so that we imitate them. Chapter 11 is there to motivate us. It screams that if they can live by faith, so can we! They made it--we can too! They are the cloud of witnesses meant to encourage and motivate us towards a life of faith and obedience to God.

And God invites us to become a part of that list by placing our faith, hope, and trust in Christ. We join the list when we trust Jesus and pursue obedience to Him--when Christ is our source of joy rather than this temporary world. Who knows what God may call us to do. But, by faith, we can do it. Not because we are strong, but because the One we are placing our faith in is completely and totally perfect.


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