by John and Ruth Greene
“Now faith is the essence of things being hoped, the evidence of things not having been seen.” – Hebrews 11:1, LITV
Faith is a process of belief. Do not expect anything unless you are willing to go through this process. Think about it. You have a friend. This is someone you know and trust. Where does that trust in your friendship come from? Trust and even the friendship itself comes from faith. Faith is the cement in all relationships. Your relationship with your Heavenly Father [YHWH] is the most important relationship that you have or ever will have. Seek Him through the Holy Spirit to have a life of happiness. This often involves doing things that many people do not feel like doing for the moment – praying, meeting in fellowship, reading your Bible, working on your marriage and taking time out for family life. Your flesh doesn’t always feel like doing what your mind knows it needs to do. Do whatever you have to do to because the success of your life depends on it. (“Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“; “YHWH’s Revolution“; “Are You an Effective Listener? Listening & Your Relationships“; “Break Down Walls of Darkness with Prayer“; “Leadership & Highly Effective People“)
People of trust, many who lost their lives saw the Father’s promises in their hearts, but did not live to see it, yet YHWH’s promises did come. How blessed we are so many times to see the promises and life that we receive from the Father by living for Him. Christians all over the world put their lives at some risk by observing the commands of the Messiah and the Father. In some places, Christians risk losing everything for Messiah. In the United States, we are largely free to worship and are not generally concerned with losing our lives for observing our faith. However, a Christian cannot take this for granted. Obedient disciples of the Messiah are subject to adversity and persecution at any time. Even if no authority that you can see seems to be working against your trust in YHWH, you can be assured that if you are doing the Father’s Will, the devil and his agents have you in his sights and intend to stop you from carrying out the Messiah’s purpose as He set it out in Matthew 28:18-20. His agents will put much effort into quietly substituting YHWH’s Word in your heart for another word of their making. Professed Christians are totally free to act in their own will in regard to the Messiah’s purpose. To their eternal detriment, many choose to do absolutely nothing. This could be because they know what to do, but choose the easy life. The easy life is not the answer and doing nothing but warming a seat in church is not YHWH’s Will for you. (“The Role of Authority in Your Life“; “Disciple of Messiah & the Authority of Man“; “Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“)
“But without belief it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Elohim has to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6, ISR98
Verse 6 clearly says that YHWH rewards those who earnestly seek Him or diligently search for Him. You have to do something with your faith. If you do nothing as a result of your faith, you can expect nothing. Your Heavely Father rewards those who diligently seek him. (“Disciple of Messiah: Remember Diligent Faith“; “Redeemed Through Obedience & Faith“)
In a family, life is a team effort. The husband and wife must work together to succeed in marriage. For example, when you have trouble in your marriage, one part of the couple cannot make all the effort. Both partners are required for success. This is a process that must be gone through in order for success to be possible. In a similar way, each level in our spiritual life involves a process. The success of your life depends on whether you maintain your stand for YHWH. (“Prospering Your Family“; “Family vs. Government: The Disagreement About Parenting“)
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac. The man who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son, about whom it had been said, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.” – Hebrews 11:17-19, ISV
Abraham’s faith involved commitment on Abraham’s part and your faith will require commitment on your part. Commitment to YHWH is not automatic. Abraham stood for what was right, realizing that Elohim could resurrect his son that was promised as heir to vast peoples. (Gen 15:5) In fact, you are part of Abraham’s reward whether you are directly related or grafted into YHWH’s spiritual family. As you demonstrate your faith, Elohim sees this and blesses your efforts. (“Are You a Christian First or Last?“; “How YHWH Marks His People“; “YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“)
However, If you seek the Father for things instead of relationship, you have missed out. Here is another place where Christians often miss the point. The point of being a Christian or even of having a friend is the relationship. A relationship can be based on many things, but unless it is based on a real relationship, it is doomed to fail. You can see the point. Seeking only for things does not get a relationship and does not build devotion or your faith in YHWH or His Kingdom. Your goal is to be in harmony with the Holy spirit and then to allow YHWH to work through you. Then, as part of that relationship and as you allow YHWH to work through you, you need to know what He wants.
This is where the Holy Spirit is so important. He is your Counselor. Establishing what scripture says as the cornerstone in your life is key to pleasing YHWH. Listening and applying what YHWH and the testimony of Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah says is the key to living your life. The Counsel of the Holy Spirit will never tell you to do anything that goes against scripture. YHWH has spoken to mankind since the beginning of man and He still speaks to each one of us, even you. You just have to learn to hear Him. You simply have to be still (rest in Him) long enough to hear him. When you hear YHWH through the Holy Spirit, you avoid confusion in your life.
“And having obtained witness through the belief, all these did not receive the promise” – Hebrews 11:39, ISR98
To receive what YHWH wants in your life, you need to be productive in YHWH’s track of righteousness. You may not receive the reward of your trust now, but your Father’s memory is not short. He gives salvation to all that love Him. (Matthew 6:24-33; Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrews 6:10; “Is YHWH In Your Marriage?“; “The Idolatry Factor“)
Faith comes from hearing, praying and reading. Your faith is rewarded. Let’s go back to Hebrews 11:6 and read in my translation directly from scripture:
“But apart from trust it is impossible to please Him because those drawing near to Elohim must believe that He is and He continues to reward those that seek after Him.”
Why would anyone want to seek YHWH? Perhaps you believe that there is someone greater out there than you are. To be successful as a Christian, the right attitude and understanding is quite important. The actuality is that whether you know it or not, you need YHWH for everything in your life. You can ignore Him and He may not be able to bless you fully, but He does not want to ignore you. The truth is that He wants you to have a real relationship, real intimacy with Him. He knows everything about you and loves you, but you don’t know everything about Him. The way that you get to learn about your Heavenly Father is through scripture. When you believe that He exists, you put yourself into a position to receive from Him within the working of His Will. Once again, the Bible tells you what His Will is. When I first began serving my Father, I sought after Him to meet my material needs. As my understanding, appreciation and relationship grew, YHWH became much more. I soon discovered that He meets all of my needs and that He was responsible for my success in life. I began to realize that He actually had a purpose for me and that He actually rewarded me for listening to Him. You see, YHWH needs people who will listen to Him. However, Elohim doesn’t want you just to do things for Him, running around busily in an effort to redeem yourself. (“Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Purity Starts Inside: A Lesson Through the Ages“; “Refining Your Heart“)
The scriptural of account of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 shows what is most important in your walk with YHWH. Martha was very busy and concerned, looking after every little detail, even fretting after things when she needed to be sitting still and enjoying the opportunity for good company. Mary, on the other hand, sat at the feet of Yahshua [Jesus] and listened. She wanted more than to run around and worry about whether things around them were just right and whether others needs were being met at that moment. Being constantly busy and being consumed with pleasing others is exactly why so many Christians are lost. The church is full of “Marthas”, those who work hard, are diligent, detail-oriented and want others to do as they do. Martha was confident in her ability to do things for others and became a slave to duty. She had lost the point of what she was doing and could not rest. On the other hand, Mary wanted to enjoy her personal relationship with Yahshua [Jesus], to relax for a moment while listening to what He had to say. She wanted to share in conversation and enjoy fellowship. She wasn’t focused on everything around them being “just so”. Please keep in mind that Yahshua [Jesus] didn’t ask anyone to busy themselves in service to him. He wanted to develop relationships, just as he demonstrated with Mary and Martha and throughout his ministry. By learning about the Father and allowing Him to work through you and in you, you will find that unwittingly, blessings will overcome you and His presence will bless you and move you to bless others as you continue to seek Him in relationship. You must have an attitude of success in the Holy Spirit. YHWH is behind you and you know you are victorious when you follow the call on your life. YHWH wants you to be willing to step out in trust and be willing to do what He places on your heart. He blesses those who listen. (“Listening and Doing as a Disciple“; “YHWH’s Promise to His Elect“; “YHWH’s Faithful: Victory in Spiritual Battle“)
“A poor village suffers hunger. Seek YHWH and do not lack any good thing.” – Psalm 34:10, direct translation
When you seek Elohim, you lack no good thing. You have daily contact with Him and you are rewarded when you have the mindset that motivates you to do things with the Holy Spirit. You and I need the mindset of David, the willingness to take action. (“Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“; “Attitude and the Disciple of Messiah“; “Humility: Do You Need It?“)
“And David said to Saul, ‘Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.’ And David said unto Saul, ‘Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living Elohim.’ David said moreover, ‘Yahweh that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said unto David, ‘Go, and Yahweh be with thee.'” – 1 Samuel 17:32-37, WoY
David wasn’t concerned with his youth or what others considered his inexperience. He could do what was necessary with YHWH’s help. The King was willing to give great things to get rid of the Philistine. Saul doubted because David was a boy and Goliath was an experienced fighter. David was confident. He killed lions and bears as a shepherd protecting his sheep. He clearly trusted YHWH to help him get rid of the Philistine as he had killed the wild animals. He saw Goliath no differently. David could not depend on Saul’s armor because it didn’t fit him…in fact, he couldn’t fight in it. Saul’s mighty armor didn’t work for David, so he cast it off. David gathered his staff, a sling and five smooth stones and took care of the problem. He was confident in his relationship with YHWH and had a mindset of success. David received great wealth, a wife and freedom from taxes for his family using his faith and five smooth stones against a giant who had all the equipment to take David out and a lifetime of experience. We don’t need a lot of equipment to serve YHWH. We just need Elohim and personal trust that is centered in our close relationship with Him. David’s attitude of success was key to accessing Elohim’s power. You have the same power. All that is required is that you believe in Your Father and receive His Power through the Holy Spirit. YHWH blesses those who act in trust. (“The Secret Weapons of Christians“; “Bible: Wisdom 101“; “The Promise of the Holy Spirit“)
Elijah had a similar experience in a huge drought, which was causing great famine and Elijah’s life was a risk. He had to be able to hear YHWH to know to go to a certain widow in Zarephath. And why Zarephath? Likely because no widow in YHWH’s body of believers (then the Jews) was willing or capable to believe in YHWH’s ability to provide in such a way. Elohim knows about such things and will send you in the right direction, even when it might not seem to make much sense for the moment.
“And the word of YHWH came unto him, saying, ‘Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.’ So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, ‘Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.’ And she said, ‘As YHWH thy Elohim liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ And EliYah said unto her, ‘Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith YHWH Elohim of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that YHWH sendeth rain upon the earth.’ And she went and did according to the saying of EliYah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of YHWH, which he spake by EliYah.” – 1 Kings 17:8-16, RNKJV
Later on the woman’s son became sick. The sickness took a turn for the worse – and then he stopped breathing. The woman said to Elijah:
“…’What have I to do with thee, O thou man of Elohim? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?’ And he said unto her, ‘Give me thy son.’ And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto YHWH, and said, ‘O YHWH my Elohim, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?’ And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto YHWH, and said, ‘O YHWH my Elohim, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.’ And YHWH heard the voice of EliYah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And EliYah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and EliYah said, ‘See, thy son liveth.’ And the woman said to EliYah, ‘Now by this I know that thou art a man of Elohim, and that the word of YHWH in thy mouth is truth.'” – 1 Kings 17:18-24, RNKJV
YHWH provides for those who follow His instructions and believe, even when the ‘odds’ seem to be against it.
When Elijah first met the widow, he had confidence in YHWH’s provision and shared that with the widow. The widow believed him and quite honestly, considering her situation had nothing to lose. Both Elijah, the widow and her son were blessed with daily sustenance for a long time. The jars of oil and flour never ran out and she always had increase. The widow had accepted YHWH’s promise in her poverty and was blessed with increase and the ability to survive the famine. Later, when the widow’s son died, the widow challenged Elijah about the death of her son and YHWH’s provision. I believe that based on what she had witnessed, she believed the something could be done and put it squarely to Elijah. In this case, their trust was put to the test. Elijah, as the experienced holy man of YHWH, knew that by approaching Elohim, that the widow’s son could be saved. Elijah carried the boy to his loft. Elijah had to persist in prayer. He did not relent and the boy was restored to life. The point is that Elijah had to persist. Even to Elijah, it was not automatic. Scripture does not say how long it took, but Elijah did not let up until the boy was revived. Then, Elijah could present the boy alive. They were in YHWH’s victory, rewarded by faith and persistence! (“YHWH: the Help of Those Who Seek Him“; “Disciple: Who Is To Help Those In Need?“)
The scriptural passage in 1 Kings shows clearly that Elijah followed 3 basic ideas that we would do well to follow to receive what YHWH wants us to have:
· YHWH blesses those who listen
· YHWH blesses those who act in faith
· YHWH provides for those who follow his instructions and believe
When you strive to use these basic ideas in your faith, what your Heavenly Father has planned for you is only moments away and you are able to pave the way in your life for YHWH to work through you! (“Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“; “YHWH Loves His People“)