Heb. 11:39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
When you think about people claiming that they have a good testimony you only hear of people who say this after they have received something they believed for. But notice here in our foundation verse which is referring to all those in the Old Testament, many of which are listed in this chapter, they did not receive the promise they were in faith for in their day, but yet they had a good testimony.
You see if you are truly walking by faith and not by sight you have a good testimony the minute you begin to walk by faith. A good testimony is something that begins the minute you get in faith, not when you see the answer manifested. Many who claim they are in faith are not. Listen to what their testimony says and you will find out if they are in faith or if they only think they are in faith. There is a big difference. This is one of the reasons we often don’t receive from God because when one claims to be “in faith” they are not walking in Bible faith. So this week I want to share with you some powerful truths from the Word of God on how to obtain a good testimony.
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb. 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
Heb. 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
1. You need to know God’s Word, for His Word is His will.
The first key is found here in verse one above as this scripture reveals that faith is the substance of things hoped for. Hope means an expectation of what God has promised. You cannot have faith without knowing what God has promised and therefore what His will is for you. God’s Word is His will. For you to be in faith and obtain a good testimony you must know God’s Word for that is what faith is going to give substance to.
2. Faith is being convinced of what we do not see.
This is a very important point. There are three key words in verse one above and they are: Now, substance, and evidence. The NET Bible translates this verse telling us that faith is being fully convinced of what one does not see as if it was so. To be in faith you must no longer see the Word of God as a promise, but a present reality. If you are not convinced it is so already you are not in faith.
3. Faith decrees what it sees through the Word.
In verse three above we find out that the worlds were framed, came into existence, by the spoken Word of God so that what is seen was made from that which is not seen. Scripture reveals that we are to decree a thing and it will be so. As 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us we walk by faith and not by sight. That does not mean we don’t see, we do see, but we see through the eye of faith what the Word has given us a promise of as already ours. If you are in faith you are decreeing what you see through the Word of God, not what you see with your natural eyes.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
4. Faith believes that “He Is” what you have need of.
Faith in God believes that He is what you need. That is important because you realize that God doesn’t for example have the peace you need, He is that peace. God is love, health, blessing, etc., and therefore “He Is” whatever you have need of. You must believe He is.
5. Faith seeks Him, not the reward.
When you look at the later part of verse six above most focus on the fact that God is a rewarder and they are only thinking of the reward. They are coming to God for the primary purpose of what they can get from God. Another way to put it is they are seeking His hands, what He can do for them, not His face. This is a very important truth about faith that must not be overlooked.
Any parent knows that if their child only came to them when they wanted something from them, not because they just wanted to be with them, this would be a very shallow relationship if one at all. Unfortunately far too many believers only approach God and come to Him when they need something from Him. They don’t take the time to pursue the most important part of what our walk with God is all about, our relationship with Him.
I am taking some extra time on this because it is a major key to walking by faith, and remember if we are walking by faith we are going to have a good testimony even before we see things manifest in the natural. Notice the last part of verse six above. We must diligently seek “HIM”. Those who walk by faith have as their primary purpose in life a desire to get to know God. Their main focus is not on what they can get from God. People for the most part today come to church to find out what they can get from Him, not to develop a relationship with Him. I have often said it this way as well, seek the Healer, not the healing. Seek the Blesser, not the blessing.
Heb. 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.
6. Faith judges God faithful.
Here in verse eleven we see another key about faith and that is the fact that faith judges God faithful. It is rather obvious that if we are walking by faith, we fully believe that what God has promised is so, no matter what we see or hear. When you judge God faithful as Sarah did, it doesn’t matter that you are 90 years old and have never been able to have children before and your husband is 100. If God said you are going to have a child you can take it to the bank you are going to have a child if you judge Him faithful. Whose report will you believe? Those in faith believe the report of the Lord.
Heb. 11:15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
7. Faith never looks back to “what was”.
This verse refers to all these people listed in Hebrews eleven that were believing for their salvation to come who saw themselves as already righteous even though Jesus had not yet come. They never then looked back to the old way of thinking, for if they had they could have returned or in other words gotten out of faith. Faith sees God’s Word no longer as a promise but a present reality. So once in faith one does not go back to seeing themselves sick or weak any longer. Faith never looks back to “what was”, therefore we do not return to that state but we overcome.
Heb. 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
8. Faith sees itself as one with the Word.
This is an important point as well. The children of Israel who died in the wilderness who did not inherit what God had for them heard the good news of what was to come, but it did not profit them for they did not mix faith with what they heard as others did. To mix faith with what one hears means you see yourself as one with the Word. To do so you must begin to confess what the Word says about you. You must feed on the scriptures that give you promise of what is rightfully yours until you see yourself in that promise. Doing so is mixing faith with the gospel and you become one with the Word of God.
1 Pet. 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
1 Pet. 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Pet. 5:9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
9. Faith casts all care upon God.
Last but by no means least is this little but very important key to faith. You cannot walk by faith and walk in worry, anxiety, or care at the same time. Here Peter tells us that we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, which he said in this context is casting all our care upon Him, for He cares for us. If you carry the cares of life with you then you are going to be robbed of faith. If we see God’s Word no longer as a promise but a present reality, what do we have to be worried or concerned about? If we know the end result why are we walking about in worry?
Notice these verses go on to tell us that our adversary walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. How does he do this? In this context he does so by getting us to carry the cares of life and allow worry because he knows if we do so we are not in faith. What are we to do when he bombards us with all the thoughts that try to get us in worry and carrying the cares of life? We are to resist him steadfast in the faith. If you have cast your care on the Lord don’t take them back when a thought comes about that care. You are to cast down every such thought and bring your mind into obedience to what God’s Word says. This is what our faith is based upon.
There is much that could be said about each of these, but if you will take the time to study these out you will find out how to walk in Bible faith and you will begin to have a good testimony. Remember one who has a good testimony is already seeing through the eye of faith and therefore saying what God says. This is a good testimony, which we can all obtain “By Faith”.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker