Faith – Seeing What Cannot Be Seen
Vance Havner said, “It is part of Satan’s program to make our faith and practice complicated and involved. Now and then we need a rediscovery of the simplicity that is both in and towards Christ, in Him and in our faith in Him.” By its nature faith has a modest yet profound spirit that defies human wisdom. The science of man expects evidentiary proof in everything he knows and trusts. Without the clear evidence and reason for a thing there is doubt. Faith has a character that is simple without the complications of knowing each atom of knowledge involved in the situation. The Hebrew writer defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen: (Hebrews 11:1). It is proving something not seen and believing the invisible to be visible.
How do we explain the creation of the world? Adam was the first one on scene but he was five days late. Moses wrote about it many years later only through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I wonder what he thought of as he wrote those beautiful words of Genesis 1 and described something that his eyes did not behold. His heart must have swelled with joy as the Spirit guided his hand to describe those early days of Paradise and then the terror of judgment in the flood. Writing about the lives of his ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and his own parents hiding him from Pharaoh and the journeys of the people of Israel. Faith guided Moses to see things not seen and it was a simple trusting faith.
Why would Abraham take his only begotten son to offer as a human sacrifice (Hebrews 11:17-19)? Did he understand why God demanded this sacrifice that was against every principle of righteousness Abraham knew about God? His answer to Isaac was, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). Simple faith without the baggage of man’s wisdom trying to unravel the mystery of God. Why did Noah build the ark, David stand before the behemoth Goliath, Gideon defeat the Midianites, Daniel overcome his exile and untold legions of saints rise in victory over the oppression of Satan? Faith! Faith in God! Faith in God’s plan. Faith in God’s will. Faith not in man but in the Everlasting Father and His will.
The pure stream of faith in our lives flows from a devoted desire to allow God to do His part and accept His will sight unseen. It is not as complicated as we want it to be and sometimes make it to be. Faith can sometimes be measured as the Pharisee of Jesus day who was more concerned about “tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith” (Matthew 23:23). Trusting God does not require analysis. We can talk about our faith and plan for our faith and pray about our faith but until the knees bent in prayer start moving the feet towards faith in trusting God’s way we will never grow to see what cannot be seen.
Abraham’s test is our test of faith. There was nothing to explain what God ask of him yet he obeyed “accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:19). What information did Abraham have to base that decision? Not sure. We have the resurrection of Jesus Christ as our surety and often we find less faith in our lives than Abraham. Trust God! Faith does not require a blueprint or DNA strand to move the child of God. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:31-32)? If we would have trusted the Lord five more minutes He would have shown His power in our lives. Yet we do not trust him and lean on our own understanding and fail.
The story of Abraham sacrificing his son was a three day journey. God could have told Abraham to walk out the door of his tent and offer Isaac there. He could have waited until the next day. A key ingredient to the test of faith was testing Abraham for three days journey to the land of Moriah. Faith guided him each morning as they ate their breakfast and prepared for the day’s journey. Abraham would have walked a week if he had to because he had a simple faith in knowing that whatever the Lord required he would obey. “God will provide for Himself” is how faith is seen in our lives to know that regardless of how much time it requires we do not hedge the Lord into our own will and demand evidence.