When God is Proud

These all died in faith, not having received the promises,

but having seen them afar off were assured of them,

embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out,

they would have had opportunity to return.

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,

for He has prepared a city for them.

(Hebrews 11:13-16 NKJV)

This text occurs in the context of the listing of the heroes of faith in Hebrews chapter 11.  What was it that set these people apart?  Obviously it was their faith.  How did they keep their faith over their lifetime?  Read on.

Notice the repeated de-emphasis of the present and emphasis on the future.  You have heard it said that we should live in the present and not the past.  These people lived in the future and not the present.

They were not in current possession of God’s promises, but they could see them (in the future) afar off.  They embraced the future and acknowledged that they were here on a journey to a better place.  While they could emphasize the here and now, they deliberately chose not to.  Their desire was not for this world and this life.

Because of this attitude, they could have a hero’s faith…and God would be proud of them.  Does God feel that way about me?  I sure would like for Him to.

Am I a pilgrim?  Do I focus on the future?  Or, am I stuck in the present or past?  Here are some thoughts to help me look ahead to a future with God.

Train yourself to see heaven in every sight.  It’s like you have on glasses that filter out the banging and clanging of this world and reveal beneath all that clutter the God who created this physical universe.  That tree is so temporary.  In a hundred years another one will have taken its place.  Or, perhaps, a building or road will occupy that plot of ground.  That person will be dead and passed into eternity in a hundred years.  I will be with them.

Physical/material things are visible, but transient.  Spiritual things are invisible, but eternal. Every visible thing in this world is transient, partial, and brief.  Unlike inanimate matter and even your own fleshly body, God continues.  Don’t look at what you see.  Look beyond it to its Creator.  All this, all life and death, all persons and things, point to God and His city, the Christian’s eternal home.  See it, believe it, confess it, and live the journey to God.

This life sells pleasure, but that physical elixir runs out.  This life buffets with trials, but they too shall pass.  Seeing that, seeing that is what separates a pilgrim from a resident.  If you can see God in everything around you, if you can see God when you look out the window, or in the mirror – you’re on the journey.

What’s there that will last?  Nothing that you can see, unless, you have trained yourself to look hard enough.  The pure eye sees the hand of God.  When that happens, the heart of God is proud.

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2 Responses to “When God is Proud”

  1. leoninlittlerock Says:

    John great to hear from you. I’ve read several of your blog posts along and enjoyed them and found them helpful. I’m not very good and writing back to say something helped. But I should be. I don’t know how diligent I’ll be but I do want to pursue the whole topic for a while and see what it brings. I’m certain it will do more for me than anyone else. I will get to Paul’s teachings on doctrine as opposes expediency or local needs. Hopefully it won’t be long.

  2. leoninlittlerock Says:

    John this is a great article. Very thought provoking. Thanks for putting it down.
    Leon

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