A Lesson in Hebrews: By Faith Part 3
In our earlier blogs we talked about:
• Hebrews is a legal argument for the defense of something and someone
• We are required to respond to someone and something
• The Writer provides us with a legal definition for faith
• The definition is a play on words containing several smaller plays on words
• How the Writer uses “faith” becomes a play on words
• God is the object of true faith
In the 1970’s The Dramatics were among the best known R&B groups. Their first hit was a song called “What you see is what you get”. The song is about a man professing his love for a woman. He is telling her that a lot of people are phony. But if she looks closely enough at him, she will see that he has no pretensions. But it will require her to look deeply at what is right in front of her.
One of the play on words found in the definition for faith, is the phrase “not seen”. The word “seen” is a nautical term. It means “to observe”. A better translation would be “not casually observed”. Contextually when the writer says that it is not seen, he is not saying that you cannot see it. He is saying that there is “a way to see it”. He is calling for focus and intentionality.
The Writer uses a sailing term as opposed to a strict legal term. This seems to suggest the following:
• Moving through life by faith is like navigating through the seas
• Our life is set on a trajectory
• We are to be moving towards something and someone
One of the themes of the book of Hebrews is the contrast between a lifestyle lived by faith as opposed to a lifestyle lived under the law. While the lifestyle of faith is similar to sailing, there is one major difference. In actual sailing you wait for favorable weather and winds; in other words the mood of the weather. As believers we do not live our life by mood. We are called to live by purpose. Often time God calls us to move ahead despite what things look like.
The life that we are called to is not a casual lifestyle. It entails single-mindedness and purposefulness. Part of my biggest regret, is the casual manner in which I have handled some things. Like a rudderless ship, I would get pulled off course. I would chase after shining objects. As a result I would be tossed to and fro, being led by my desires and emotions (Eph. 4:14). I kept taking my eye off of the real prize. In the end, I caught nothing; it was like chasing the wind. The Call of God is what I should have been pursing. In retrospect, I see things now what I failed to see then; even though it was right in front of me. Unfortunately, we do not get a do-over on some things. Fortunately, everything that God has for us, is in front us (Phil. 3:11-17).