do not become sluggish [lazy], but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
In this chapter the writer of Hebrews reveals that the great fathers of the faith, such as Abraham, inherited the promises of God by faith and patience. The promises that God gives are not received by a one time prayer and here you go. The greatest promises took years of enduring faith for the people of God to see take place.
Vs. 15 “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
Abraham being the example here, had to wait until he was well past the normal point of having children to receive the first fruit of his promise Isaac. God promised to give him more than the stars in the sky multitude of descendants and he had to patiently endure just to see Isaac. Through faith and patience, he obtained and inherited the first part of an amazing promises that is still being fulfilled today!
Over in Hebrews 11 is the other half of the story:
Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Sarah also had to have a persevering faith to believe that what God said he would bring forth through her would take place. The good thing that we see here is that her unbelief, she laughed at the word of The Lord, is not recorded. Only the faith and patience that inherits the promise is recorded in the history of heaven.
Even after Abraham and Sarah received the primary fulfillment of their promise Isaac, God tested them to see if they would still have faith that would be supernaturally obedient and endurant to give God glory through the seed. This is what is recorded about Abraham’s faith:
Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
Abraham had such an assurance in the faithfulness of God to bring about the promise that He had spoken Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead to complete it. This faith was that much more incredible, because no one had ever been raised from the dead yet. This is just one of the fathers of our faith who is a great example of inheriting the promises of God by faith and persevering patience.
My encouragement for us today is to never give up and never lose heart. Maybe you have seen some fruit already from The 40, maybe not. Look to the faithfulness of God to bring forth the seeds that have been sown and grown during this season to bring them forth at exactly the right time. I got news last night that my unborn nephew that was supposed to come early because of complications is doing better and being allowed to go full term. My family has been fasting and praying for him since we found out. His full healing may not be there yet, but praise the Lord for a good testimony. Look for the fulfillment of your prayers, big or small, and let them spur you on to faith and patience in obtaining the promises of God and never giving up on what God has spoken!
Jesus, I desire to truly be one of Your children of faith. No matter what I may see with my eyes, I will look to You to fulfill Your promises. Help me to have continually increasing faith and patience in You that You may bring forth all that You have for me and want to do through me. May I never give up on You because You are faithful!!!
- Read through Hebrews over the next week
- Ask Holy Spirit to reveal promises that God has spoken to you
- Ask for an increase in faith, patience, and obedience
- Walk out all God has called you to do
Be blessed today to stand strong and be the person of faith you were created to be! May you stand strong in faith and persevere through every obstacle to lay hold of the promises of God as you are propelled into the next level with Him!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
As we near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life. Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!” I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.
Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:
Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands. Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.
As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization. Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure. It is what we think about. It is what we talk about. It is what we build our gatherings around. “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“, and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.
Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it. You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time. It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered. When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them. If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.
In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy. What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first? Food! Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:
Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God. Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit. However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way. Your value has to be on what really matters.
As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God. When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives. If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast. This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.
Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job. In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:
Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
Everything that God has to say is vitally important. Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive. In his situation, he did not need food. Food could not help him out of his grief and loss. It could do nothing for Him. However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God. Life comes from Him! Hope comes from Him! Strength comes from Him! As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word. When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.
Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life. Open my ears to hear You. Open my heart to obey You. I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.
- Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
- Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
- Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word
Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence! May this propel you to the next level in Him!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!