Sparkling Gems from the Greek - Week of October 8
Week of October 8
Location, Location, Location!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
All over the world, the golden rule of real estate is location, location, location. Property situated in the best areas is most desirable because it has the greatest value and demands the highest prices. Even though residences in other areas may be more beautiful and even have larger yards, they simply can't demand the same high prices as residences situated in better locations.
My family and I live minutes from the Moscow Kremlin where the seat of government resides and where the beautiful Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral are located. Apartments here are older and smaller, but this area is in the very center of Moscow and is considered prestigious because it is so close to the seat of power. Therefore, property and rental values in this area are much higher.
I recently drove outside the city limits to see the fabulous new homes being built by Russia's brand-new, emerging middle class. When I asked how much these homes could be purchased for, I was stunned to discover that their selling price is a fraction of what smaller apartments cost in the neighborhood where we live. However, if we lived outside the city, we would have to fight traffic for an hour and a half every morning on the way to the office; then we'd have to do it all over again every night on the way home! That's another reason why the homes located outside the city are cheaper. Living near the center of the city is much easier, more convenient, and more productive.
As I drove back into the city after looking at these country homes, I started thinking about the contrast between living inside and outside of the city. As I pondered this subject, I found my mind going to Hebrews 11:6, which says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him.…"
The word "without" comes from the Greek word choris, which means to be outside of something, such as someone who lives outside the perimeters of a city. It is a comparison between being outside or inside something - for example, in the house or out of the house; in the yard or out of the yard; or in the car or out of the car. The word choris depicts someone who is out of, not in, a specific location.
Because this word is used in connection with faith, the writer of Hebrews is letting us know that we can live in faith or out of faith. This means faith must be a real place that has borders, perimeters, and boundaries. Just as you can live in the city or out of the city, you can live in faith or outside of faith. The determining factor is your obedience to the assignment God has given you. God wants you to be located at the address of faith - for this is the location He deems the most valuable and profitable for your life.
Hebrews 11:6 could be accurately rendered:
"When you live outside of faith - living beyond its boundaries and perimeters - you make it impossible to please Him.…"
To determine if you are in or out of faith, you must ask yourself these questions:
- Am I doing what God told me to do?
- Am I fulfilling the assignment He gave for my life?
- Am I living in obedience to His Word and to the revelation He has given me?
- Am I sticking with the plan Jesus asked me to execute?
That place where God called you; that place requiring your obedience, faith, and patience; that place where you are confident God wants you to be working and functioning - that is the address of faith where God wants you to live. As long as you stay "in" that place where God told you to be, you are "in" faith and you therefore please God. But the day you give up and move "out" of that place of faith, you are moving to cheaper territory that God doesn't value as highly - a location where you will experience the hardships and inconveniences of poor choices and defeat.
The entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews is about men and women who lived "in" faith. They each received a word from God for their lives or for their generation. Although it was difficult to do, they held tightly to their mandate from Heaven. As a result, they changed their generations and pleased God. Faith was the location where they lived - and because they stayed in that place where God had called them to be, they brought great pleasure to Him.
But the only way to stay "in" faith is to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus! The devil will try to discourage you from being steadfast and faithful. He'll orchestrate situations to make you take your eyes off Jesus and to fill you with worry and fear. If you let the enemy's plan work, it won't be long before your bags will be packed and you'll be changing locations - moving "out" of faith to low-level areas of defeat where you will not please God.
But you don't have to let that plan work! You never have to leave the address of faith where God wants you to live! Just refuse to allow the devil to persuade you to fix your eyes on the circumstances. Don't take the enemy's path that leads straight "out" of faith.
For those who stay in faith, there is a reward. That is why Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a "rewarder." For those who continually live at the address of faith - who refuse to be moved by circumstances; who adamantly reject any inclination to throw in the towel and to give up; who rebuff any temptation or pull to let go of the word God gave them - it is just a matter of time until their faith is rewarded. They will receive the full manifestation of what they believe!
Hebrews 11:6 goes on to say that God "…is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." You see, it takes diligence to stay in faith! It will require you to be focused, concentrated, and committed to the end. When circumstances try to knock you "out" of faith, you must have a fierce, unwavering commitment that you are not going to leave where God called you.
The reason most people fail is that they weren't really committed from the very beginning. That's why the devil eventually found a way to move them "out" of that place of faith. One great man of God said, "Anything that ends in a fizzle had a flaw in it from the beginning." So make sure there are no fatal flaws in you that will knock you out down the road!
I assure you that if you see anyone consistently living at the address of faith, that person has persistently pursued that goal. You see, living "in" faith cannot be a sideline issue in your life. It must have your complete, undivided attention. For you to stay "in" faith, you must be constant. You definitely must be persistent. Your commitment to live and walk in faith must be unbending and immovable.
- So what has God asked you to do?
- What is that place of faith where you are supposed to be living right now?
- Are you staying in that place of faith, or have you been vacillating back and forth and "in" and "out" of the place where God called you to be?
Make the decision that there is no turning back from where God has called you. God promises that if you stay "in" faith, there is a glorious reward awaiting you in the near future. It's only a matter of time until the full manifestation of what you believe will come into view!
So make every effort to stay at your address of faith. You are living in the most valuable, beneficial place for your life. You are living where God can bless you!
Since location determines everything else, why don't you take a few minutes today to assess your life? See if you are properly located "in" or "out" of faith. If you find that you are "out" of faith, make the goal of getting "in" faith your most important priority. The outcome of every other area of your life will be determined by this one decision!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me stick with the assignment You have given me for my life. I know that is where I am supposed to be - and I know that is what I am supposed to be doing. Forgive me for vacillating back and forth, in and out, backward and forward. I am asking You to help me become single-minded, concentrated, and focused in my determination never to move out of faith again. I want to live at the address of faith, for I know that is where I will please You the most. Holy Spirit, empower me to push aside every distraction of the devil and to remain fixed and focused on doing exactly what God ahs instructed me to do.
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I live "in" faith. Although Satan tries to use situations to distract me and dissuade me from staying in faith, I have resolved that I am never moving from the place where God has called me to be. I will never relinquish the dream He has put in my heart. I will stay in this place; I will use my faith; I will be steadfast, unwavering, and committed to seeing His promises come to pass in my life. Because I have made this decision, I am a person who pleases God!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Are you living at the address of faith? Or have you moved out of faith and in to the neighborhood of doubt and unbelief, where you know that you are no longer pleasing God?
- How has the devil tried to distract and dissuade you from staying "in" faith? What people or situations has he used to try to pull you out of faith and into the territory of disobedience and unbelief?
- What are you going to do to reinforce yourself spiritually so you can remain "in" faith until you see the full manifestation of what God has promised to you?
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