We Are Surrounded By A Host Of Heroes Of The Faith Who Stand With Us And Who Agree With Us by David Nelson
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We Are Surrounded By A Host Of Heroes Of The Faith Who Stand With Us And Who Agree With Us by David Nelson

Posted: 2007-07-25 19:47:55

Doesn’t it sound good to have a lot of people around you who believe in what you are doing? You may not see these people clearly now because what you are doing is not popular or understood by most people.

Over the last 10 years or so I have met people or received letters or read books or short writings by lots of people that if I mentioned their names you probably would not know. I have also read things by people whose names are known, some who lived hundreds of years ago and some who are contemporary writers and teachers (for a list of some of the more well known writers and teachers we have appreciated see our web-site under “About Us.”).

We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who are encouraging us on our path on which the Lord is leading us. I very much believe that many of the things the Lord has been speaking prophetically in the last 10 years are radical and not popular with many. But if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches for our time we will know in our hearts what the Lord is calling His Church to.

Recently, the Lord was encouraging me to read Hebrews 11 and 12. He showed me that the heroes of the faith in the Bible may not have been very “successful” in their own eyes or in the eyes of their contemporaries. Often what they did while they were alive did not seem to be appreciated. Never the less, they were called HEROES of the faith. Whether you see the great host of heroes all around you or not, there are those who agree with you and who are urging you on in what you believe and in what you are doing. They ARE all around you. Have you not already been encouraged by various people who have put into words exactly the same things that you have been hearing from the Lord? Let’s look at some examples from Hebrews 11of heroes and how they were much like us in relation to the work we are doing for the Lord today.

In Hebrews chapter 11, Abel died before he had a full life to accomplish more for the Lord, but verse 4 says that even he being dead, what he did is still speaking. (Just like Stephen in the New Testament being martyred as a young man, the savor of his life is still speaking). Enoch is not noted for doing anything in particular but he was honored by God in an extraordinary way by being translated from earth to heaven (not tasting death) and all that was said of him is, “He pleased God.” Noah was not understood by his generation and what he was asked to do I’m sure was looked upon as a “crazy venture” (building a huge ark and then putting animals on it). Only eight people stepped on to the ark with him and they were all relatives and family. Noah was warned about things to come that could not yet be seen or understood. Abraham was promised a lot of things from God. He went out from his comfortable life to a life of uncertainty, living in tents, promises, not knowing where he was going and he had little to show for it when he died (except he believed everything God told him). He had Isaac and a grandson of promise named Jacob (but not as yet did he have the promises fulfilled of descendants as the stars of heaven or as the sands of the sea shore or owning the land he walked on). But he was looking for a city that had foundations (not like the world around him), whose architect and builder was God himself. All these heroes of the faith died in faith, not having received the promises, but seeing them afar off, and being persuaded that what they saw was right, and they embraced what they heard from the Lord, and confessed that they were strangers to this world and pilgrims in it. (Hebrews 11:13)  For those who speak as they did are declaring plainly that they seek a country. Not wanting the country they are coming out of, for I’m sure they could return to their old ways if they chose to. But now, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly country. And God is not ashamed of these people, He is proud to be called their God (even though they may not be accounted as much by the world now). And God is preparing for them a city.

In Hebrews 11:22 it says that Joseph did not consider Egypt his heritage but spoke at the end of his life of his people going back to the land of Israel and that they were to bring his bones there also. In verse 25 Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than side with the pleasures and glory of Egypt for a season. Moses esteemed following the Lord Jesus and the reproach many would cast over him as a greater treasure than all the riches of Egypt, for he saw a greater reward ahead. Moses endured many hardships on the path he chose but he had his eyes on Him who is invisible. Rahab believed that the living God was with these men of Israel that she had met (she just knew it in her heart), and she risked her life to protect them and to bless them. Time fails me (verse 32) to tell of Gideon, David, Samuel and the prophets who were just like these, they obtained promises too, they went through the fire, escaped death, suffered death, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, some were tortured, were mocked cruelly, were scourged, put in chains and imprisoned. They were stoned, tempted, wandered about in sheepskins, were destitute, afflicted and tormented. Of these the world was not worthy (verse 38). They wandered in deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. All of these (heroes of the faith) had a good report (card) from God. God, as the greatest teacher of all, gave them a letter “A” on their report card. But none of them received the promise. (verse 39)  Amplified Bible, Hebrews 11:40: Because God had us in mind (today) and had something better and greater in view for us (today), so that these (heroes and heroines of faith) should not come to perfection apart from us but that they will be completed and made perfect by what we do (now). (then we will join them).

So, here we are today. I am glad to see what the Lord wants for His Church today more clearly than ever before, and I have tasted some of the rich blessings that He has ahead for us as I am sure you have too. I have been encouraged by the life of Jean Guyon of France (who lived 300 years ago) as well as by many living today who live in various places whose names may only be known by a few. Because I regard God as the one who gives the grades and fills out our report cards, He is the one who knows who are the least and who are the greatest in His eyes. I savor every letter and writing and book that the Lord has helped me get my hands on that encourages me in saying the same things I feel God has been saying to my heart. And so, I am surrounded by a great host of heroes and heroines of faith (Hebrews 12:1) that stand with me (and you) and who agree with me (and you) to help urge me (us) on in the path on which He is leading each one of us. Bless you and thank you for your encouragement to me. Even when we don’t know each other we are kindred brethren whose hearts are being knit by God. What a great spiritual temple and house He is creating for His glory in His people!


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