The cry from Almighty God since the time in The Garden of Eden until the time His Son returns is found in one word-FAITH. All God has ever demanded and required of his crowned creation is that they have FAITH in Him, His Word and His Son. That which unites all the administrations and covenants of God is need for FAITH.
If Adam had manifested faith in God's Word instead of yielding to the lies propounded by the serpent; then the original administration and covenant would never have ended. But, Adam allowed his faith in God's Word to be diluted to the point he transgressed the commandment to not eat of the fruit...
Adam and Eve had two sons. One manifested the faith God required while the other trusted in his own abilities and demanded his own ego be fed. When it wasn't, he allowed envy and jealousy to overrule his faith and the result was he murdered his own brother. Lack of faith is equal to refusal to yield to God's way and Word.
Enoch pleased God so much by his faith in Him that he was taken away so that he would not and did not see death. Noah acted on what God had told him and built the ark when it had never even rained on earth. Abraham left his comfortable lifestyle and spent his entire life as a nomad wandering wherever God told him to go.
That which all these great men who lived in the early parts of Genesis had in common was their absolute and undefiled pure faith in God. What is this kind of faith anyway? In Hebrews 11:6 it is described and clearly shown for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear:
"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."
There are three distinct things mentioned here in regards to faith which must be understood in order to grasp how God intends for His people to think, act and believe towards Him.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Oh how I wish these words were written ten feet tall in the Bible. All the things people think please God make little if any difference to Him. Incense, candles, songs, flags, dances, prayers, kneeling, falling backwards, lying flat on one's stomach and even fasting are all things various people and groups advocate as far as things which "please God". Perhaps some of these things may either bless or amuse Him, but there is only one thing that genuinely pleases God and that is faith.
He who comes to God must believe that He is. In many respects this is the greatest "Duh" in the Bible. Yet, there are millions of people who call themselves Christians, Jews, and Moslems who pray long prayers of words they learn in their youth; who attend worship services weekly and who year in and year out show up on the membership roles of their groups who deep in their hearts do not even believe in the God they supposedly pray to, worship and serve.
He who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. In this third element of understanding faith, the emphasis is on the absolute conviction that God rewards those who diligently seek Him and who believe He will reward them. It does not say to believe God is a punisher of those who reject Him. Faith is manifested in the belief God rewards those who spend their lives seeking Him and specifically to please Him.
Faith in God demands many things, but certainly near the top of the list is the ironclad and unmovable conviction that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Faith does indeed place strict demands upon the heart. Faith is not some nicety that is performed once a week and forgotten the other six days. Faith is a daily state of the heart-the state of complete rest in knowing who God really is, what pleases Him and that He rewards those who devote their lives to Him.
One of the biggest lies propounded by religion is that works please God. Those who believe and live this lie spend their whole lives in bondage to the notion that somehow by living a clean life, not messing up to badly and helping an elderly person across the street is all God demands of them in this life. In this warped view, the avoidance of sin becomes the driving force in living with the corresponding belief that in so living that way, they please God and earn enough points to get to heaven.
Here is the crux of the whole matter. That which pleases God is not what we do or don't do in our lives. That which pleases God is not how many good works we store up or how many services we attend or even how many people we win to the Lord. As great and wonderful as these things are, they are not what please God. FAITH PLEASES GOD. Please, write this simple saying upon your heart. FAITH PLEASES GOD.
There is no record of anyone helping Noah build the ark. Year in and year out-day after day he faithfully worked on his "boat" while listening to the howls of ridicule of every living person outside of his family. Living and working in isolation and solitude he did what his faith demanded of him. He obeyed the Word of God no matter what the cost. When all was said and done, who survived the flood? Who ended up pleasing God and receiving the reward from their faith? It was of course Noah.
Time and again throughout his life, Abraham was thrust into situations where he was alone with his God and his faith was on the line. Standing in the desert pleading with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah, wandering with only his family and servants without a "ponderosa" to call home, having to believe he could produce offspring at 100 years of age are only a few of the examples of the faith this incredible man manifested his whole life.
Was Noah perfect? Of course not, as evidenced by his little episode with the "grape juice". Was Abraham perfect? Of course not, as evidenced by his little "white lies" he told Abimelech and yielding to the request of his own wife to bear a child with Hagar. Did God relegate these heroes of our faith to the trash heap because they were not perfect? No, perfection does not please God. FAITH PLEASES GOD.
Moses spent much of his life alone as first a shepherd and then on the mountain receiving the Law of God. He is the only man to witness the passing by of God's glory and live. He knew God as a friend and talked to him as such. Moses received more revelation from God than any man who ever lived. Yet, was Moses perfect? Not only did he murder a man, he could not handle the unbelief of the people and "struck the rock" in the wilderness. God did not allow him to go into the Promised Land, but did Moses' imperfection mean he did not please God? Of course not, for FAITH PLEASES GOD.
Elijah was the consummate prophet. He was everything a prophet of the Lord should be-bold, almost arrogant, stubborn and independent. He commanded the fire to come down from heaven and beat the prophets of Baal in their own game. In spite of all the great things he did, Elijah wilted under the threats of Jezebel, and ended up running for his life, hiding in caves and demanding the Lord end his life. Did God hold this against Elijah? Of course not, for God looks on the heart and FAITH PLEASES GOD.
David did so many excellent things for God in his life that I could not begin to list them all there. Yet, he spent much of his life in hiding trying to stay one step ahead of the relentless pursuit of Saul. In spite of his incredible heart for God as manifested in the Psalms he was allowed to write, David sinned a sin worthy of death. If God only looks upon obedience to His Law to please Him, then David should have been put to death the same way Moses should have for shedding blood. Yet, in spite of David's grievous failures, God still calls him "a man after my own heart". Why? Because FAITH PLEASES GOD.
I pray you get the picture here for I must stop or no one will finish reading this. After my little hiatus to deal with my health issues, I will finish looking at the covenants. But, on this day before I must undergo what may or may not be a fairly routine procedure; I needed to read what I just wrote and I decided to let you read it with me. God cares only that we believe that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. God wants, yea, God demands that the just shall live by faith.
All I desire with every ounce of my being is to be a man of faith and that nothing in this life separates me from my absolute conviction that my God loves me and that He is MY GOD whom I love with all my heart. God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. Not my will, but His shall be accomplished shortly in my life and regardless of what it is, I will be blessed for I know I have pleased my God by my faith in Him and His Word. God bless you and I pray to able to write more soon, if the Lord so will.
Great blog b2y!
[quote]One of the biggest lies propounded by religion is that works please God. Those who believe and live this lie spend their whole lives in bondage to the notion that somehow by living a clean life, not messing up to badly and helping an elderly person across the street is all God demands of them in this life. In this warped view, the avoidance of sin becomes the driving force in living with the corresponding belief that in so living that way, they please God and earn enough points to get to heaven.[/quote]
Earning points in Heaven? I don't [u]think[/u] that's what I was doing. I am pretty much scared in making Him angry. I don't want to hurt another person in any way shape or form because that person belongs to God (or will potentially be His one day), works I do are for the overwhelming love I have for the Lord - I want others to know His love. I can see how it can seem like bondage though - I have been feeling like that lately which is why this paragraph caught my eye, its not out of love or fear right now, its all out of a sense of duty - i signed up for stuff and am totally burned out and I can't stop cause I will be in trouble (with God) and I feel like my "points" with Him are way down for being burned out. sigh.
My faith is real and solid. So thank you for this blog- it's a comfort.
ps your in my prayers for your procedure tomorrow.
FAITH = Trust +Obey
May we be faithful to Him till He promotes us to glory.
Oh how I love to reflect on "heroes of faith". They are ordinary people just like you and I but they do not lose sight that they walk with a very big God. I cannot count the times that I have stretched out my hand into the "dark" and caught hold of His. We must believe it whether we see it or not! When you can't see or feel God you must still stretch out your hand toward Him for that in itself is the very act of faith and at the very moment you really can't stretch any further (according to God not you for we can bear far more than we believe we can), you will suddenly feel his hand not only clasp you but grab you tightly in his embrace.
I know that I cannot possibly face each day without faith. It is something that needs to continue to grow and it is my prayer that God will help me to become a woman of faith!
This blog brought tears to my eyes as I always try to do EVERYTHING right for God. An as you say, all he wants is our faith. I definitely will write that down!
I was baptised into the church and raised as a Christian. During my teenage and early adult life I was very active in church, Bible studies, and mission trips, and truly believed in God and His message. But about three years ago (around when I moved out on my own), I feel like I lost my faith. I don't mean that I simply went off and did whatever I wanted (though I pretty much did), but that I really began doubting everything I once held as truth to the point that I am no longer sure what to think. I have been praying about it, though I'm not even sure what I'm praying to anymore. It feels like just the air around me. This state I'm in is very lonely and lately I have started to feel hopeless about everything. I am wondering if anyone reading this has ever dealt with a similar experience and can offer any words of advise or encouragement to me. I miss my relationship with God, and I realize that it is me who changed and not Him, but I desperately want it back and don't know how to go about it. It is true that I've spent several years away from God and that has been my own choice. But how do I get back that FAITH, in order to PLEASE GOD?