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The Revelation of Faith

How Childlike Faith Reveals the Kingdom of God

Hebrews 11:1 

1: NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

Several years ago, when I thought this was cool, I added a “signature” to the end of my emails. It said:

“Faith is the substance that, combined with obedient action, reveals that which is unseen, namely Heaven. But, Faith is only real when it is activated by obedience. Hence, the “STEP” of Faith.”

I wrote that signature one day as I was pondering the meaning of Hebrews 11:1. I stumbled over a chapter in a book that illustrates that verse. 

An incident in the 1800s was described in a book of compiled letters from Annie Bidwell (a very early pioneer to California) to the Presbyterian Conference about the Mechoopda Tribe who lived on her Ranch. Annie wrote about one of the men on her Ranch named Billy Preacher. Billy was a typical Indian of that time who spoke very little English and worked for Annie’s husband, John. Through Annie’s efforts, Billie’s wife, Nopanny, had become a Christian. But Billy was stubborn and resisted, as did many of the tribe’s men.

Then, one night, God appeared to Billy in a dream and confronted Billy about a Bible Billy had forced his wife to return to Annie Bidwell. God told Billy to get that book back because it was His Book. This caused Billy to believe in Annie’s God. He didn’t argue with God. He just took Him at His Word.

But, what was interesting was that Billy’s life immediately began to exhibit supernatural phenomena, what the Bible calls Signs and Wonders, without any theological training and a very limited understanding of English. Billy accepted Christ at face value and his faith was total and unwavering. It was not tainted by years of church teaching or dogma. He just believed that Jesus was God’s Son and never questioned it. His reality became subject to his faith.

So, here is where I have been dwelling the last month or so.

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 18:1: “At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

A child’s faith in their parents is total and unquestioning. Because there is nothing to compare it to, they only know one set of parents. Belief is not a choice, as it is a natural occurrence. In my opinion, Christ is saying that the greatest in the Kingdom will be those whose faith is total and unquestioning, whose love for Jesus is so passionate and overwhelming that it drowns out the competition from a fallen world. Or, when Christ says in John 20:29, “More blessed are those that believe, even though they have not seen the physical Christ (extreme paraphrase).” He points to the fact that Faith in what is not seen reflects the state of your heart, and will result in “measurable signs and wonders.” People will see the effect of your faith and WANT IT!

So what is to ponder? One of the bigger questions of our day is the argument about miracles. Do they happen? I can assure you they do. But, they do not depend on how hard we pray, what words we use to pray, or anything we can do to manufacture them. They happen because we believe in His truth. The truth is that miracles happen when His presence is around us. When we are in His presence, our faith reveals what we cannot see. It is the substance that reveals the Kingdom.

But we can complicate things by filling our minds, hearts, and schedules with “stuff.” We can complicate His presence with negative (sometimes well-meaning) religious materials that say miracles no longer happen.

The amplified version above of Hebrews 11:1 uses language that describes the conundrum as “the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of [our] reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” Perceiving as REAL FACT what is not revealed to the senses, perception of the unseen. In our case, that means the Kingdom of Heaven. So faith is the substance that reveals the Kingdom of Heaven.

Cool! When do I start doing these things?

Back in 1980, when I first read the verse in John about doing the things that Jesus had been doing, only more of them — “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. John 14:12” — I remember saying, “Cool! When do I start doing these things?” When I met my Guardian Angel a couple of days later, I didn’t do anything to make that happen. It just happened. Father God sent the angel to tell me that He would watch me at Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. It was nothing more than that. He Loves me so much that He allowed my angel to appear to me to tell me He had my back. I never doubted that He didn’t.

Have I always believed with the same “Childlike” abandonment I had at the beginning? Probably not. I have had struggles in life, just like everyone else. But, the more I research, the more I see how people who experienced these things lived, and the more I see the truth of living with a childlike acceptance of His naturally supernatural life for us. 

In some ways, the verse about how it is difficult for a “rich man” to enter the Kingdom applies in this example to those who are “rich” in intellect. The more book learning you have, the harder it is to expect a miracle. Because all your effort is in “learning” as much as you can about every facet of Christianity. I am not saying that learning is a bad thing. But, at some point, we must put the book down and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We must do the things Jesus said we would.

Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

Please Read/Respond to Comments – on Medium

AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 


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