We hear a great deal in the Bible about faith, and we know it is impossible to please God without faith.  But hearing about faith and actually acting upon it is an entirely different thing altogether.  It is written in Hebrews 10:38, Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Living by faith; exactly what does that mean?  Living by faith is not just an occasional thing, but a continual action that involves stepping continually into the unknown.  It’s like having three doors before you and having to choose only one. Each door has something entirely different behind it, and the doors are not labeled. One has a hungry lion behind it, one has everything you normally expect from life, and the other has a new adventure you’ve never been on or even thought of before. Now choose one…

Well, some of us would choose the door of adventure, some would choose the door of the “ordinary safe life”, but nobody wants to be lunch for a hungry lion, so that brings the choice down to two.  The problem is, like I said, the doors aren’t labeled, but stepping up and opening a door is an act of faith in itself, howbeit, blind faith. Of course, you hope for the best, and leave the rest to chance.

We read a lot about faith in Hebrews chapter eleven, it’s called the faith chapter for good reason, and the first verse defines faith.  We need to understand exactly what faith is before we can live by it, right?  Let’s dive in.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The definition of faith is like an equation in my opinion: that “faith” is the object, and the word “is” is like the equal sign, and everything after “is” represents the definition of faith, and each word is equal to and part of “faith”.  Therefore “faith” equals “substance”, “things hoped for”, “evidence”, and “things not seen”.  That also means “things not seen” is just as real as “substance”, even though you can’t see it. Even the “thing hoped for” must be considered “substance” because it is equal to “faith”.  Does that make sense to you?

Heb 11:2  For by it (FAITH) the elders obtained a good report.

Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Heb 11:5  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Think about this one for a moment. It had never rained upon the earth before the flood. God told Noah to build an ark, and Noah didn’t even know what an ark was, but God gave him the plans.  People likely asked Noah what he was building, and he said an ark because it was going to rain.  What’s rain, Noah? What could Noah say? He didn’t know what rain was, only he knew God told him it was going to rain, and he had to get the ark done. And Noah built for over a hundred years till it was done, all the while enduring the questions and ridicule of people wondering what this crazy man was doing every day.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
God told Abraham to leave his family and the place where he lived and GO.  Go WHERE?  It would be like God getting into the back seat of your car and telling you to drive. Uh, where to, LORD? I’ll tell you. Just drive. Well, you know the drill…Are we there yet?  Are we there yet? Where are we going?  When will we get there?  Why are we going? Etc, etc.  Have you ever imagined how taxing our “walking by faith” must be to God?

Heb 11:9  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
Heb 11:10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Skipping ahead a few verses, remember how God promised Abraham a son?  Keep in mind how much he loved his son, and now God was telling him to SACRIFICE Isaac on the altar?  Tell me it ain’t so!  But God DID tell him to, and WHY is a subject for another time.  The important thing is Abraham stepped WAAAAAAY into the realm of the unknown and obeyed God.  Would YOU have????
Heb 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Heb 11:18  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Heb 11:19  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Heb 11:20  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
Heb 11:21  By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Heb 11:23  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
Heb 11:24  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

This is what God’s people did “by faith”.  We see “stepping out in faith” was not just blindly stepping out into the unknown, but rather TRUST IN GOD.  Think about it, if you don’t trust God, you can’t love Him.  And if you can’t love Him, you won’t obey Him.  And if you won’t obey Him, you’re going to miss out on all His blessings.  Living by faith is easy for me, after all, I know God is good for His Word, and I also know He always has my best interests at heart, even though it may not always be what I would choose if it were me doing the choosing.  But the beauty of it all is that it ISN’T me doing the choosing, so I know my guidance will be “error-free”.

I go on a lot of ministry trips, and when I drive, my GPS is right there on my dashboard, guiding me from place to place.  All I have to do is type in the destination, and my GPS will take me there (by faith).  I added “by faith” because many times it takes me out in the middle of “Tooteyville” and suddenly says “NO SIGNAL” and I’m left on my own to try to figure out how to find myself the way out of there, back onto the correct route.  And that often takes me miles out of my way and much frustration.  I’m on the road now, and just last night in the middle of the night on a freeway, my GPS popped up and said “Make a U-turn when possible”. Hmmm, what’s going on here? So I took the next exit and made a U-turn and went back the way I’d came for several miles, and again it said, “Make a U-turn when possible.” WHAAAAAT? After going back to the first point, it said “Make a U-turn when possible” for the third time, and I was ready to throw that thing out the window, you know what I mean? Not so with God.

Did you know God has a GPS?  I call it “God’s Plan of Salvation”.  And once you plug into God, HE types in your destination, and if you’ll follow directions, you’ll never have to make a U-turn.  Remember what I said about God sitting in the back seat of your car? Where are we going LORD? Just drive…I’ll tell you. After driving many miles: Do I turn yet? (no response), driving on further: Do I turn yet? (Looking in the rearview mirror anxiously now, God has His eyes closed.) I’ll tell you when to turn… You know, if you’d just tell me where we’re going it would ease my mind a bit…I could help you navigate and you could sleep while I drive.

Point to remember: God doesn’t need you to help Him navigate. He knows where He is taking you, and it’s where HE lives, and you’ll like the destination, and like the old Greyhound Bus commercial says, “Just get on the Bus and leave the driving to us.” Well, we will get on the bus, but we wanna drive, too.  Hello?  “By faith” isn’t always easy; in fact, most of the time it isn’t.  But once you arrive at the place where you trust God in all things, regardless of what it feels like, or what it looks like, or what your friends tell you, you will finally be able to enjoy the journey TO the destination.  Needless to say, you’ll enjoy the destination.  And getting there is part of the fun.

Just don’t choose the door with the hungry lion.  It will be the prettiest, most attractive door of the bunch, because the devil is hoping you will choose it so he can devour you. That door is the one most people choose.  Jesus said HE is the door to the Father.  That door is unadorned and plain and most people will pass over it and choose the pretty one.  He also said the path to His door is the narrowest.  Well, here, read it for yourself:
Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The truth is, you can choose the right door, ONLY by GPS (God’s Plan of Salvation).  If you’ve lost your way or know where you want to end up but don’t know how to get there, call upon the Lord Jesus right now.  HE ISN’T LOST!  He knows the way, and He will get you to His place right on time.  You get there BY FAITH.