A few questions I asked myself and some friends over the last week… Do we get familiar with God’s presence? Is knowing He is around enough? How much time with God is enough time? What is the quality of this time? I have a friend that keeps telling me to not let the hunger dry out, don’t ever let God get familiar. Then I have other friends that tell me the hunger remains but the excitement wears off. And other friends tell me that just knowing He is around is enough. My personal experience; if I don’t make time to spend with God, the excitement will wear off… If I don’t seek His presence daily, knowing He is around will be enough, I will get content… and that is not good enough for me. We need intimacy with God the Father… but why?
One thing that I love about how God speaks to us, is that there is always a clear topic, it appears everywhere if we are attentive. A topic that came up for me over the past few weeks was “Seek Me!!!”, coupled with “What’s in your right hand?” If God is not in your right hand and in the core of your being, then you are not seeking God, your focus is elsewhere and something else is driving your thoughts and desires. The force that drives your desires determines your destiny.
A lot of the sermons I’ve listened to over the past few weeks made mention of Hebrews 11:6. Not one sermon was really related to the other, however this verse was put into context into different topics.
‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’
The first part of verse 6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. The Greek meaning of the phrase “to please God” is “To be well pleasing”. Reading the meaning of this immediately made me think of the meaning of the word Righteousness in Greek, which is “a condition or state acceptable and approved by God; a correctness of thinking and feeling, to be in right standing with God.” What also stands out in this Greek meaning of “To be well pleasing” is “to be”, not “to do”… nothing we do will ever be enough to please God if we should compare it to what Jesus has done for us through His death and His resurrection… that was the last action needed by man; it is FINISHED, Jesus paid the price… now it is for man to “BE”!!!
The exact next verse (Hebrews 11:7) speaks about the inheritance of righteousness. Even though righteousness was brought as an inheritance by Jesus, our walk in faith allows us to move into the acceptable state of righteousness, which is in right standing with God. Romans 3:22 tells us that righteousness comes through faith, similar to what Hebrews 11:6 says about being pleasing to God.
Hebrews 11:1 explains what faith is, the Amplified version states it beautifully…
‘Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].’
The Greek meaning of FAITH is the conviction of truth, the truth that God exists and that He is our creator and our provider; the truth that Jesus is the Messiah and that He brought eternal salvation. John 8:32 says that we will know the truth and it will set us free… the truth of salvation, the freedom of the penalty of sin and death, the freedom of fear. Faith should not be seen as what God can do for us, but rather who He is and what He already did for us, believe it, and be confident in it.
The second part of Hebrews 11:6 states that “he who comes to God must believe that He is…”. In typical English this doesn’t make much sense, it seems that something was omitted from this phrase, very similar to Exodus 3:14 when God told Moses to tell Israel that “I AM” has sent him. This verse refers to “I AM” for God’s name as YAHWEH, which means “He Brings into Existence Whatever Exists.” How beautiful is this… God exists and is without a beginning or an end; there is none like Him and nothing can be compared to Him; God brought everything into existence and everything is dependent on Him, His constant energy feeds creation, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… God IS… know and believe that He IS… He is The Great I AM!!!
Jesus told us in John 14:12-14 that we would do greater works than He did if we believe in Him and ask for it in His name, so that God the Father would be glorified. In Matthew 17:17-21 Jesus’ disciples couldn’t cast out a demon, which Jesus then cast out. Jesus’ response to their question of why they couldn’t cast the demon out, was because of their unbelief and lack of faith. There are two opposites in these verses; “We will do greater works because we believe”; “The disciples couldn’t cast out the demon because of their unbelief.” It teaches us what we can do, and why; and what we can’t do, and why… Believe vs unbelief.
The third part of Hebrews 11:6 then goes on and tells us… “and that He is a rewarder…”. This part is a continuation from the second part… Thus, it can also be said as “and BELIEVE that He is a rewarder…”. Our reward is in Jesus Christ, and the eternal life and the glory that comes with our believe in Him is our reward… if we diligently seek God, we will move according to His will for us. Our intimate relationship with God will make us realize that this reward is not about our “wants” and our desire for material belongings, but rather spiritual rewards which will manifest in the fulfilment of our physical needs. Never seek God with the intentions of selfish, worldly rewards and desires (John 15:19; John 17:16; 1 John 2:15-17); however, do know that God will bless you so that you can be a blessing (Genesis 12:2) when your intentions and motives are pure, and inline with His plan for your life. Matthew 6:33 tells us to first seek the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to us.
The verse then goes onto “to them that diligently seek Him.” Words that explain the Greek translation of this “Seek” is to crave, investigate and scrutinize. God’s intent and purpose is for us to be conformed to the character of Jesus (Romans 8:29), to restore us to our initial glory as in the garden; this was fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 4:20-24). 1 John 4:17 says that “As Jesus is, so are we, in this world…” The whole creation is waiting with eager expectations for us to realize this (Romans 8:19)… Jesus prayed “Let Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Pure and clean, on earth.
So, why should we seek God? We are created in God’s image; and Jesus restored this initial glory. We need to move into the inherited righteousness. There is a gap between who we think we are; and who God KNOWS we are, and the authority that comes with it. The only way to eliminate this gap is to diligently seek God (in prayer and word), with earnest believe and faith, seeking Jesus’ character, duplicating His love, bearing fruits that will lead people to His love, grace and mercy, knowing what has been done and completed, sitting confidently in His presence with absolutely no disbelief, and walk in the authority Jesus gave us, all to the praise of God.
Isaiah 53:10-11 brings me to my knees every time I read it, another verse referring to the pleasure of God, in very sad circumstances, understanding what this single event has done for whole of creation.
‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.’
#ItsNotAboutUs, it is, but it’s not… so who is it about?
– Firstly, it is about God, everything is about God, it has always been and it will always be, for His pleasure, glory and praise, for ever and ever, AMEN.
– Secondly, it is about how God sees us, as holy, blameless and without spot or blemish, through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:21-22), and not as per the lies we believe. Jesus paid the price, He was the ultimate sacrifice, it gave God pleasure, because He knew it will justify many by Jesus bearing our iniquities. IT IS FINISH, what more must happen for us to realize this?
– Thirdly, it is about lost souls… it is for us to live a life pleasing to God, this pleasure will bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, leading people to the same realization, bringing souls to the love and grace found in God’s presence, and free of condemnation. We have an obligation and responsibility towards the winning of souls. In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul explains that we don’t wage war against flesh, but against anything that exalts itself against the truth and knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity and obedience of Christ. In Colossians 1:28-29 Paul states that he preaches the gospel so that each man can be presented perfect in Jesus Christ, by the power of Jesus that works through him.
Pray with Me: “Heavenly Father; you are the beginning and the end. You are the Creator of heaven and earth. There is none like you, nothing can be compared to you. I believe you are the one and only God of existence, existing in Yourself, and bringing existence to whatever exists. I believe that Jesus has died for my iniquities and that I was made whole by His wounds and washed clean of my transgressions by His blood. Thank you for the grace you have shown me.
Jesus Christ, there is no name like your name, Jesus Christ is the name above all names. You are the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, You are my savior and redeemer… Thank you for the price you paid, nothing I can do will ever compare to the price you paid. Nothing I do can ever justify or repay the salvation your obedience has brought. I am honored to know that you died for me, and because of your ultimate sacrifice of brutal death and resurrection I can enter the presence of our God and Father, without spot or blemish, where I find grace, love and peace… and all my needs can be fulfilled. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit, that is with me daily, to guide and assist me in my journey to fulfillment of God’s will, which is to be conformed to the image and character of Jesus.
Thank you Holy Spirit for your presence, thank you for your companionship and friendship, thank you for your guidance. Please guide my thoughts in total dependency of God, search my heart daily to highlight opportunities of growth. Assist me in being slow in my reaction towards life and tribulations, to see every mountain I face as an opportunity to bear your fruit and lead people to the realization of God’s love and grace. Remind me daily that God’s will is for me to live a life of pleasure and praise towards Him. Assist me to realize that it is not about me, but that it is about God, the image God has intended me to be, in His likeness, and that I have an obligation towards the Kingdom of God to be there for fellow mortals, to present them perfect through Jesus Christ.
Father, I acknowledge that I am nothing without you, and that I was put on this earth to bring praise to your name, not only in words, but also in BEING, pursuing Christ’s character, which is pleasing in your eyes, and lead people to your feet, and praise to your name.
Amen and Amen!!!