Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
In the message this past Sunday from Heb. 11, I shared a quote by George Ladd, who was a renown New Testament scholar about 50 years ago. I think his quote is very insightful and helpful, so I wanted to share it here so you could read it and reflect on it. Heb. 11 has to do with living by faith, and Ladd defined faith as found in the book of Hebrews like this:
“In Hebrews faith is the faculty to perceive the reality of the unseen world of God and to make it the primary object of one’s life, in contrast to the transitory and often evil character of present human existence. The (person) of faith …does not consider the visible world of human experience to be the world of ultimate values. He recognizes that above are the spiritual realities of God’s Kingdom, which he cannot perceive with his physical senses but which to him are more real than the phenomenal world.”
So, the person of faith believes that there is a world we cannot see with our physical eyes but is, in fact, more real than the world we do see. Not only is the unseen world of God real, it is eternal, and we can participate in it eternally through faith in Christ.
By way of contrast, I once read about the African impala, which is a type of antelope. The impala is just a small animal, yet it can jump more than ten feet (three meters) high and can cover a distance of some 30 feet (ten meters) with a single bound. However, these small animals with such great leaping ability can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a three-foot wall. They could easily jump over the wall, but they will not because they cannot see over it, and they will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.
God invites us to live differently than that. God invites us to break free from the flimsy enclosures of life based on the values of this world that only entrap and limit us. God invites us to live by faith, trusting in what we cannot see with our physical eyes but what we can see by faith, and that is the reality and certainty of His eternal kingdom.
What God really invites us to do is to simply trust Him. We live differently than the non-believing world. We are guided by different values. We have different goals and dreams. Sometimes we take risks that others won’t understand. But can we do so confidently by faith in the One of is utterly faithful, whose wisdom is perfect, and whose purposes are good.
Grace and peace,