You might have heard the term “Hall of Faith” for the scriptures found in Hebrews 11. Have you ever considered the ones listed there? Last night, I was listening to a message on Moses (Louie Giglio, Passion City Church). The highlights of Moses’ life are listed in Hebrews 11. The thing that is not mentioned in Hebrews 11 are Moses’ failures – and there were a few big ones – killing a man stands out as a biggie. God chose to record the highlights not failures in the hall of faith.
Moses’ failures kept him from crossing the Jordan River when the rest of the people went into the Promised Land. He died before reaching the Promised Land. God buried him in a hidden place on the mountain with a view of the Promised Land. He saw it only from a distance. I find it interesting that Moses’ story doesn’t end in death.
When Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James and John; Moses and Elijah were there to have a conversation with Jesus. Moses – the man, who wasn’t supposed to cross the Jordan, stands there with Jesus in the Promised Land. God still rewarded Moses’ faith. Moses was mentioned in the Hall of Faith for his faithfulness in completing God-chosen tasks. Killing a man did not deter God from using him. Being in the desert tending flocks did not deter God from seeking him out to give him the assignment of a lifetime. Moses was honored in Hebrews 11 for “looking ahead to his reward (Heb 11:26).” Moses “persevered because he saw Him who is invisible (Heb 11:27).”
On the mountaintop, Peter, James and John hear the voice of God confirm Jesus’ divinity and see His glory. The faith of the three disciples should have gone sky high in those moments, but it didn’t. Peter still had moments of doubt and denied Jesus. He had a major set-back in his faith journey. But Peter’s story didn’t end with failure. Peter went back to fishing. He thought he had failed miserably. He thought the story had ended. But Jesus sought Peter out. Jesus gave Peter the assignment of a lifetime to carry the message to the ends of the earth. Peter became the leader of the Jesus movement. The ripple effect is still being felt today.
Hebrews 11 mentions many men in the Hall of Faith who were less than perfect in their faith journey. One step forward and two steps back – isn’t that the way of faith? We all have set-backs in our faith journey. But as long as we focus – not on our failures – on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith; we will always move forward toward the Promised Land. We have to have eyes that focus on the invisible so that we will not grow weary while we run the race before us. We are all called to an assignment of a lifetime. We can’t all be Billy Grahams, but God has something specially designed for each of us. He seeks us out when we are in that place of brokenness; where we think we can’t be used because of what we have said or done.
I have often thought about my purpose. I have been looking for it for many years. It wasn’t until just recently when I realized I was looking for the wrong thing and in the wrong place. God tells us to seek Him first. Keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Peter got out of the boat in the middle of the storm and lost his focus. He began to sink, but the minute he called out to Jesus; Jesus was there. We are never too far out in the storm where Jesus can’t reach us. We are never too far gone that Jesus can’t restore us to our tasks. The storm will always come. Our faith grows in the storms. Faith is a muscle that will not develop properly unless it’s used and strained to the max. One step forward out of the boat gets us one step closer to fulfilling our destiny. Eyes focused. Seek the invisible God. And let the footpath open in front of us, one step at a time! That’s the life of faith that will make the highlight film one day in heaven!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6