i am not a finisher. i have great intentions and big plans, but the truth is i usually fall way short and end up feeling defeated. that didn’t happen this time. with God’s gentle conviction and with the encouragement of others, i did it. i finally memorized all of Hebrews 11. there is no doubt that this is my favorite chapter in the Bible and i have longed for some time to hide these Words in my heart.
with 40 verses in front of me, i thought the goal was to wrap my mind and memory around these scriptures. with constant repetition and study, i would “know” these truths. i quickly learned that it was my heart (not my head) that needed to be molded and the marrow of my faith penetrated with these Living Words. to simply be able to recite them from memory without allow them to change me, would be fruitless.
here are a couple ways these Truths have shaped my heart…
- while memorizing the last half of the chapter i found myself in a restless state. i was not happy with the state of my life, wanting more, and being a poor example of waiting. then, as i was studying the words of this chapter it hit me over and over again that these heroes of the faith didn’t have eyes for their present. they were constantly looking ahead to the future. the example of their eternal gaze snapped my flesh back in line with my Spirit for a future perspective.
- i also keep asking myself, will i be a woman of faith if this is the best life gets? these heroes “did not receive the things promised, they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” yes many of these listed in Hebrews 11 lived through miraculous circumstances while still others were “stoned, sawed in half, and put to death by the sword.” the stark difference between them and me is that they knew what was really of value. i think i need to reevaluate the importance i put on the things of this world.
- lastly, as i studied these scripture i was reminded that He is not done with me yet. i am a work in progress, ever-changing. the paths He leads me on are not only bringing me closer to Him, but shaping me to look more like Him. (He sure has His work cut out for Him and i am thankful for His patience.) these heroes weren’t’ perfect, just passionate people in pursuit of a Holy God. they were sure to their core of the things hoped for and certain of what they did not see.
the night i completed my memorization and shared it for the first time, God spoke a very personal Word to me. i had prayed during the opening prayer that He would turn my restlessness into a Holy rest. the first thing kay arthur shared after prayer is that we need to have a “rest of faith.” why am i battling and swimming up stream and in circles chasing after what i think i want and need, when what He has for me requires me to simply rest in Him? so daily (as i hold Hebrews 11 close to my heart) i am handing over my restlessness, wanting nothing more than to abide in the One who is Faithful. the question is… in the mundane, in the joys, and in the next wave of storms… will i consider Him faithful who has made the promise?
what about you? what is God teaching you about faith and a rest of faith?