“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
I call chapter eleven of the book of Hebrews a “Faith Hall of Fame.” There is an obvious reason why chapter eleven is placed there by the Holy Spirit. It is for a reminder, a challenge, and a guide on how to live the Biblical faith. It was for us to learn the deep secrets of the men and women of God who successfully and triumphantly overcome the world by faith. They are the masters of faith.
The principle of faith in those days is the same principle of faith in our present time. It was never changed and will never be because faith is simply trusting God, putting our confidence in God. We need to understand that God is not just a “principle” or a “power.” God is not just in a “written word” nor is His “word just written on paper” that can be absorbed mentally and applied mechanically.
God is a person. He is just like you, me and the rest of everyone in the planet. God has a mind and He is not confused. God has emotion and feelings that can be touched also. God can feel you and read you. God is not a law or a principle that should be legalistically followed. God deals with us in a very personal way. For example, if you had spent time with someone for a period of time, you would have known that someone at least as a person and an individual; he or she is not just a thing or machine or a thought or a spirit. You know that he or she is a person just as you are.
God has personality and we put our faith in that person. We have faith in Him. We have confidence in Him. And without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Faith is to trust Him. Faith is to have confidence in His words. We put our trust and confidence in Him knowing that it is impossible for Him to lie. We believe in Him knowing that He will never leave us and forsake us. God will never violate His character. He is ever faithful and fulfills His promises, and accomplishes His Word.
God and His Word are one. When God declares something, it always comes to pass. His word will never be void. There is no word of God that is wasted. When God said it, it is settled. The Old Testament faith people knew that. When God speaks to them, they believe Him. They expect that what God had said will surely come to pass. Hebrews eleven was written for us to have a solid understanding on how they lived in faith, in trusting and having confidence with the same God we serve today.
Without faith you cannot please God. The Bible declares that the just (righteous) shall live by faith. The believers are made righteous in Christ and that righteousness is only obtained by faith, through faith and with faith in the finished work of Christ. This righteousness is granted by the mercy and by the grace of God to a fallen man. Therefore, this fallen man cannot please God by his own self-righteousness. It is impossible for a man to please God through his self-righteous acts, performance, works, efforts, ability, or trying to please Him by his flesh and blood.
A believer who thinks he can able to please God by prayer or long hours of prayer is in a delusion. Prayer without faith is useless. It is a waste of time and energy. A faithless prayer is an act of delusion performance. It is just an act of being spiritual but in vain. True faith is receiving the things that Christ has already freely given to the believers – the Body of Christ. In Christ, God has given to His Body (the Church) freedom from every work of the devil. In Christ the believer has the salvation of his soul. In Christ the believer has the healing of his physical body. In Christ the believer has the deliverance from poverty. The Body of Christ is not destined to live in poverty, in sickness, in disease, and in sin. Christ has overcome the works of the enemy.
The biggest problem in many believers is that they are ignorant of the finished product of the work of Christ, on what He did on the cross and the accomplishment of the resurrection. Many of believers have no clue what the resurrection of Christ has done for them. Paul said that if Christ is not risen from the dead then our faith is futile or in vain. The gospel of Christ is the resurrection Christ.
When Christ has risen from the dead, we have redeemed from the curse of the law, from the bondage of the devil and from the penalty of sin. We are to appropriate, to take, to receive and live the freedom we have in Christ. We are free from sin, sickness, disease, poverty, torment, and harassment from the devil. A believer should never to pray or ask God for the things that he already possesses, because if he do then that is not of faith. The Bible said that a believer is a possessor.
People wonder why “some” of those who faithfully give their tithes and offering become a failure or victim of lack. People confusedly asked why good Christians suffer especially on the financial aspect of life. The answer is very obvious in Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” (Read the NKJV or KJV).
Some give to the Lord for a show. They never give in faith or through faith or by faith. They give by their performance. They give because they are obligated to give. They give with a string attached on the money they give. When a person gives without faith, he just gave his/her offering or tithes in vain. There is no blessing in giving without faith, and as a matter of fact, it opens the door for the devil to steal the blessings.
Abel gave his offering to God in faith, with faith, through faith, and by faith. And God blessed Abel abundantly. On the other hand, Cain his brother gave without faith and it was not honored by God. The result was bitterness of heart. Cain became bitter, jealous and offended. Cain opened his heart to the devil. Hatred entered his heart and ultimately killed Abel.
Did you know that faith offends millions and millions of believers today? Faith makes unbelief angry. People get mad with those who are blessed by God because of their faith. Unbelief cannot stand faith. Faith irritates unbelief. And unbelief falsely accuses faith as arrogance. Faith is not arrogance. Faith is boldness to enter in the presence of God and obtains mercy and grace, and help in times of need. Faith receives the mercy, the grace and the goodness of God.
Jesus told us “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). You must realize that “signs and wonders” only apply for those who are able to believe in God (Mark 16:17). Did you know that any church program that was done without faith was a waste of everyone’s time, effort and energy? Without faith in any church’s venture, God’s blessing will never be in their midst. All the efforts and the energy is just another performance that is wasted. Without faith in what we do, God is not glorified without faith. Without faith, man’s work or performance opens a door for the enemy to sneak in and cause turmoil and confusion. The church should learn the lesson in the faith of Abel: “By faith Abel gave.”
The believers should be careful enough in their walk of faith. You cannot mock God (Galatians 6:7). You cannot play games with faith. Someone had mocked God and said, “The Bible said that if we believe anything then God will give it to us, how about believing for millions of dollars right now. Can God give us that right now?” I rebuked that ignorant believer and I told him, “You are not really believing for that money, but playing games with God.” I told him that God knows if you were really believing or just plainly stupid and playing games with Him.
People who talk this kind of talk are just plainly ignorant, and their heart is full of envy, bitterness, and jealousy. Because they live in poverty and in sickness, they try to cover their unbelief or lack of faith under the cover of a distorted view that it is the will of God for them to be sick and poor. They put the blame in God for their inability to get well, both financially and physically. They created this unscriptural idea that “It is all God’s responsibility, and man has nothing to do with it.” They blame God that it is the will of God for them to live in sickness and poverty because God is in control of everything, and that God knows that there is a special reason why God has chosen him/her from billions of people in the planet to suffer from sickness or poverty. This thought is faith-destructive, a faithless-spirit, and a lie from hell.
The Bible declares that God is a good God. He never planned that anyone should suffer. When God created the heavens and the earth, everything is beautiful. God’s plan for Adam and Eve is nothing but the love of God to be enjoyed by them. His plan for Adam and Eve is to have fellowship with them, and to enjoy the goodness of His creations, and to gaze and to marvel on the beauty of God’s creation. The first man Adam had glorified God for His awesome wonder and beauty and goodness.