A Great Audience
In the first verse of Hebrews 12, we are encouraged to know that there is a great cloud of witnesses who surround us every moment of our lives, cheering us on in the path of faith. In the previous chapter the writer spent a lot of time defining and illustrating faith, and then showed how it worked in the lives of some of the ancient worthies.
Have you ever considered, when you struggle with your faith that all of those who have walked with God in the past are standing as onlookers watching each of us? Can you put yourself in their shoes and think what you might be thinking or doing while watching? Can you see them roaring as if watching their favorite team making a touchdown? Can you see them cringe when there was a wrong play? Every faithful follower of God stands as a testimony and an encouragement to every one of us and all who, in faith, will follow. One day we, too, will be in that crowd cheering on our heritage.
God calls us to faith in a world of darkness. The darkness calls its servants to overcome us. There is a force completely above our ability that is against us and we are not able to fight that which we cannot see. But by faith, that light through the darkness of the unseeable, can and will fight these forces. God sees the retreat of the forces of evil when we express our faith, whether we do or do not.
Our fight is not against flesh and blood. If it were, we could more easily recognize our enemy. It is not the same kind of earthly fight we are accustomed to fighting. Our war is in another dimension. It is in a world of darkness ruled by its own kind of principalities and powers. We have no equipment that can penetrate the realm. There are no bombs that can be dropped or fired into the realm. We are powerless, except for faith.
God has arranged in us the ability to fight that which we cannot see, or even understand, by continuing to believe. It is through His power and might that these evil forces will be repelled, not ours. Our job is to keep believing in His power to overcome them. Every step of faith that we take moves the front lines of the evil forces back a bit. We are called to overcome through faith. We keep believing in His power and He keeps working to rid evil from among His creation.
You and I should never, ever minimize anyone’s faith. There are some who have exceptionally strong faith while others seem weak. But, God did not categorize it. Weak or strong, our faith moves God against the evil forces of the realms of darkness and works to deliver all of that which He created, from its bonds. Young or old, it does not matter. A person, who is homebound, can’t walk and who can hardly talk, can still do his or her part to remove evil from the world. It is not their words, it is their faith. Young people who have very little experience in life still have the most powerful force, this side of God, in the universe. Faith is the victory.
So, as the Book of Hebrews encourages, do not drift from it. Do not give it up. Do not let it waver. Continue meeting together to encourage one another in your faith. These things are essential for every believer. We will not necessarily see the war, but we know the Great Warrior. God will fight our battles just as He has always done for His people. Never give up. He doesn’t. Never forget the power of your faith. He counts on it. And, when you find someone without any faith, lend them some of yours. It will not make your faith empty. As a matter of fact, it will fill it even fuller. Protect it. Feed it. Nurture it. It is the most valuable thing you have in your life, and the most valuable thing you have to offer anyone on the face of this earth. And, above all, remember that when you are dead and gone, your faith will still continue to encourage others.