Hebrews 11 is the hallmark of faith chapter in the Bible, summarizing some of the notable examples of men and women who truly lived by faith. The chapter itself comes to a group of largely Jewish believers teetering with their faith under the weight of opposition and pressure to revert back to Judaism. These men and women left a legacy that the writer of Hebrews gives to resurrect these believers’ focus off their earthly opposition onto the object of their faith.
In our own day today, do you ever have those internal purpose questions? What is the purpose we are here on this earth? Why do we follow Jesus? Why do we do the whole church thing? If faith is at the center of all, then what is our object of faith?
After listing some examples of faith from the Old Testament, the author says in verse 13, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Then in verse 16, we read this convicting yet glorious purpose statement, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.”
These notable faith examples had their hearts fixated on a better country to come… their destiny was a heavenly city and it literally shaped their thoughts, plans, and actions. I wonder as I ask myself if I could be described that way? Many times that answer is no. But why? Oh we as frail creatures are so prone to lose our fixated sight on that eternal goal. No matter how we live our lives, eternity is coming and it certainly plays no favorites. You are either a redeemed child of God on your way to a glorious eternal destination or on your way to a Godless eternity of suffering. Now this isn’t a new thought, but think with me for a minute on this simple fact. The reality of our eternal destination… if it really is reality, should literally permeate and redefine our very lives. When no one else is around, what do you think about and allow yourself to act upon? Is is framed by this eternal destiny? When you feel slighted or disrespected by someone close to you, how do respond? Is it shaped by this eternal purpose? When you feel discouraged and cynical, have you lost your focus on the eternal city to come?
In these examples and more, Hebrews 11:16 calls us resurrect our focus to the actual reality of our eternal destiny as blood-bought followers of Christ. Everything you and I do should be shaped by this better country awaiting us. Ask yourself… is your heart fixated on eternity like the calling of Hebrews 11? Read through Hebrews 11 and allow God’s Spirit to show you how your faith should awaken you to a certain bounce in your step disposition in life where all things are shaped by our desire for this better coming country.