Hebrews 11 gives the account of 19 heroes of faith who determined the destiny of nations and continents. Hebrews 11:7 says, By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. God says look at Noah, who was being divinely warned of things not yet seen, yet he was moved with godly fear to prepare an ark. Here was a man who believed against everybody’s belief. For 120 years he built an ark, a boat. God gave 120 years of warning. Then finally the flood came and we know the outcome in history.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Heb. 11:8) By faith Abraham obeyed God and went to live in a foreign land, in a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, his sons and grandsons, waiting for the fulfillment of the promise. Yes, God spoke it. But it takes time. There is delay and there is testing. But it will come to pass. If Abraham did not receive it, Isaac receives it. If Isaac did not receive it, Jacob receives it. If Jacob did not receive it, his sons receive it. God’s words will come to pass. What I declare to you today from God’s word will come to pass!
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. (Heb. 11:11-12) Abraham and Sarah were old, passed the age of giving birth. But the Bible tells us Abraham and Sarah believed. Therefore from one man and him as good as dead were born many as stars. God tells Abraham, you are asking for one son. Come on, wake up, you are only thinking of your wife and your family alone. Change your prayer! Think of nations, think of nations! I am going to give you a son. I am going to give you many sons. So, at nightfall, God takes Abraham outside. He says to Abraham, see the stars? Can you count the stars? Abraham tries to count. Thousands, millions, I cannot count them, Lord. The Lord says, “Abraham, in the same way that you cannot count the stars, I am going to give you sons that you cannot count.” By day, Abraham walks outside, he looks down and he sees the sands. And every grain of sand seems to shout daddy, papa, grandpa. He looks up and he sees the sun, the moon and the stars shining, saying, Abraham, daddy, papa, appa, apu, baba, babu… Not just one language, but in all the languages. Hallelujah!
So Abraham’s faith began to grow. His prayer changed. It’s about time our prayers changed and we started praying what He prays, not what we want to pray. Abraham waited twenty-five years. From 75 years to the age of 100, only then did Abraham change his prayer. Likewise, God will wait until you changed your prayers to unselfish prayers – not myself, me-self and I-self and start thinking about the world that He loves. Twenty-five years, God waited before He opened Sarah’s womb. The seed of faith was there!
I am challenging you to take that seed of faith and start believing for the impossible. Enlarge your prayer, embrace the world, pray like how Jesus prayed, give me the world, give me Malaysia. Give me my neighborhood. Give me Selangor. That is how I pray. Lord, give me nations! Enlarge your prayers! You have caged your prayers around yourself. You have limited your prayers. God says, no, look at the stars and look at the sand! Hallelujah!
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. (Heb11:30-31) The walls of Jericho fell! By faith, Rahab, a prostitute, when she heard the word of God, believed in her heart. And because of that she was saved along with all her family. She became an ancestor of Jesus Christ.
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. (Heb. 11:32-35)) Great fiery trials but great exploits too. And here we are complaining of the slightest things.
All of these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be perfect apart from us. (Heb. 11:39-40) There was something that God was doing that He wanted us and them to enjoy together. Read Hebrews 11 for the full account of these heroes. I say it again, the history of the whole world has its origins in these 19 heroes of faith. God does not change. He is not old. He is not new. When Moses asked God His name, He said, I AM. I AM in Genesis. I AM in Revelation. I AM who changes not. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the only constant in the world.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2)
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He is seated at the right hand of God, so He is God’s right hand man. God says, anything you want, ask my right hand man. So we look towards the future and we decree and declare God’s promises with boldness! What we decree, God will confirm and bring it to pass. Hallelujah!
By Pastor Henry