Running With a Vision: Seeing Him who is Invisible

Hebrews eleven enshrines men and women of faith who all died in faith without receiving the things promised. The bible tells us that they saw them and welcomed them from a distance because they never lost their vision of a better place, a heavenly home (Hebrews 11:13-16).  Some of these men and women are called men and women of faith today for different reasons. For example we remember Abraham’s faith because of the wealth, comfort and security he had as a result of his sacrificial giving of Isaac to God. But we must also be strong in mentioning that Abraham “was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). We know how Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt but we must also remind ourselves that he did not use that position to build a personal kingdom. Also we must talk about his future hope and his confidence that God would redeem his people through the exodus and lead them to the Promised Land, and about his giving directions that, at that time they should carry his bones.

Most of us in the church are part of the 60% of Zambians living in poverty. We find it difficult to relate to the faith which led Moses to give up his position in the palace. By faith, Moses knew that wealth and prestige were momentary pleasures. How many Christians living in extreme poverty would refuse adoption by Pharaoh? How many of you serving as guardians of orphans would love the chance to have Pharaoh as a foster parent to those children. Before you answer this remember all of the money you are trying to raise for school fees in this month. Moses says Hebrews, “persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”   When the truth dawned Moses refused be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Ruth and Esther are examples of people whom God blessed with material blessings. If they lived today they would probably be driving expensive vehicles, living in beautiful houses and sending their children to the best schools in town. There is nothing wrong with having material blessings. What is wrong is to think that your blessings are the only basis for you to be considered into Hebrews 11. The leaders in Hebrews are commended for their faith because: they conquered kingdoms, shut mouths of lions, administered justice, were jeered and flogged, chained and put in prison, stoned and sawed in two. They went about in sheepskins. They were destitute, persecuted and mistreated. It does not matter what your status in society, what matters is whether you have seen him who is invisible and your actions are directed by faith, hope, obedience and endurance.

The leaders in Hebrews 11 died in faith. They did not receive the tangible fulfillment of God’s promises, although they did see them from a distance. Their journey was all about a vision that was inspired by seeing the invisible future. Those mentioned as people of faith demonstrate to us the nature and possibilities of faith for believers in every generation. Whether we are called to be politicians, farmers, military, business, judiciary, teachers, nurses or homemakers, the example of Hebrews 11 is for us. And, in order to stay in the race of faith, we must fix our eyes on Jesus. Because He realized perfect faith from start to finish, he fulfilled God’s promises for all who believe, giving faith a basis by his enduring the cross and scorning its shame.

Lawrence Temfwe

(Extracts from a message preached at Bread of Life ChankuteNdola  rural)