What is a Walk of Faith?
- Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Eight times in Genesis 5 we read the sure consequences of sin's entrance into the world: "and...he died." Yet here in the midst of this "list of the dead" may be found a brilliant nugget of God's grace:
Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24)
Enoch did not experience the finality of death. Instead, he was supernaturally ushered by God directly into the kingdom of heaven….Enoch's experience of bypassing death shows us what ultimately awaits each and every believer, those who have a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Surely the most marvelous moment in our faith journey will be that moment we step from the physical world into heaven.
As He did in the life of Enoch, God sometimes graciously pulls back the veil and gives us a glimpse of what awaits us - the exchange of our present bodies for incorruptible ones. In Susan Hunt's Heirs of the Covenant, Chaplain Steve Leonard describes one of these remarkable moments in a letter to family and friends after the death of his wife, Bronwyn:
Bronwyn was a valiant covenant saint to the very threshold of heaven when she gloriously passed from our presence, giving us a glimpse of her greeting there. She "crossed the river" on Sunday night, the "day of all the days the best." Throughout her whole life she loved the Lord's day and so entered into eternal rest on that day of rest.
It was so like Pilgrim's Progress - for Bronwyn, suffocating for air as fluids filled her lungs, crossed the river and "stepped on the far shore." Linnea (her daughter) told her mother how much we would miss her, but that in minutes she would be the Lord Jesus and Papa (Dad R.), and Moses, Abraham, et al....Bronwyn got a joyful and childlike look on her face - she opened her eyes wide -and, speaking without gasping for air for a number of minutes, nonstop she talked of Paul, Mark, Joshua, and Caleb (not her sons who bear those names) and Dad -and even though so overwhelmed at the large greeting said a number of times, "Everybody is here." And "Hallelujah."
When Linnea said, "Mummy, you won't be gone from us long; we are going to follow you soon," Bronwyn said clearly and firmly, "Hurry!" And so we must. Hurry to Christ. Hurry to the Word. Hurry to prayer. Hurry to believe and obey. Hurry to heaven.
God used this account of Mrs. Leonard's entrance into heaven as a way to encourage our hearts. Indeed, God's Word confirms that He will "redeem my soul from the grave; he will surely take me to himself" and that He will guide me with [His] counsel, and afterward...take me into glory” (Psalm 49:15;73:24). Reading about this woman allowed us to picture our sixteen-year-old son, Mark, and his friend Kelly "stepping" into heaven, firmly trusting in God's promises. Although their physical lives ended in a terrible car accident, we believe the place where they died is holy ground. A friend erected two white crosses at the accident site as a symbol of our confidence that - at the exact place where Mark and Kelly left their physical bodies behind - Jesus brought them into their Father's eternal presence (John 14:1-4). At that moment, their walk of faith became a walk of reality.
Excerpted from Treasures of Faith, Living Boldly in View of God's Promises, pages 51-53. For more on living by faith in a broken world, read Treasures of Faith by Chuck and Sharon Betters, available through MARK INC Ministries (www.markinc.org) and fine books stores every where. Used by permission of P & R Publishing Company, copyright ©1999 by Chuck and Sharon Betters. All rights reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without permission of P & R Publishing Company.
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