2015-10: An Afar Off Promise
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An “Afar off” Promise

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”  — Hebrews 11:13-16

Back in the ‘80s, it was said we were becoming an “instant gratification” society. If we were ‘becoming’ it then, we surely are more so now. It was the time before mobile phones - hey! - before many car phones! They were the days before fancy coffee machines in most homes, internet and google, smart phones and smart TVs. Now we don’t have to wait days for a letter to be delivered to our mailbox; we can get it almost instantly via email. In fact, now we can receive that email before getting home and logging on to the computer, via our phones. Mail via phones! Who could have conceived of that 30 years ago!

I’ve heard we have a new disease - ‘screen addiction’ and ‘instant access overload’. We can be contacted any time of the day or night. Work is not left at the workplace, as emails now hit our devices 24/7. Does it make you wonder what the next decade will bring? Is it possible to go to ‘instantaneous’ instant gratification? None of these inventions and advents have given rise to an increased ease in our lives; in fact, doctors tell us that our stress levels are higher.

The desire to have something quickly seems to be an age-old problem though, and not one entirely related to a modern world. We want what we want when we want it and exactly how we want it. Selfishness is an age-old condition. We feel entitled to be pandered to our own individual tastes and preferences. Sadly, this condition can also affect the way we interact with God, our perseverance in prayer, and the sustainability of our faith.

I am challenged and encouraged by this well-known passage in Hebrews - a chapter that speaks about the heroes of faith; a chapter that defines faith for us. What has brought that challenge to a sharp point for me over the past year is that which is said of these heroes in verses 13 to 16 - and, in particular, verse 13: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…”

This speaks of a faith and vision beyond; a faith vision through the now, and on to eternity. This writer tells us that sometimes the things God has given us faith for, are things that we may never factually experience in our lifetime. Rather  they are things we sow into and build into for God’s eternal plan - and we get to partner with Him as He does it. Our faith not only inspires hope as we live our lives, but also becomes a legacy we sow for future generations.

So often, when we don’t receive what we ask in prayer, or think we’ve not experienced what God has promised us, we get discouraged. I am challenged by these Scriptures to persevere in prayer, believing and seeing in faith knowing that God has the long-range and the wide-range view in His scope. In an instant society, perseverance and patience is often a virtue that is undervalued and, sadly, less developed in us than those generations before us. These heroes of the faith give us an example to follow. They kept looking forward and they kept moving forward with God. Verses 14 to 16 tell us they did not turn back to their old ‘home’ but were looking forward in faith to what God had for them, and as verse 39 shows us, that which He has for us and those who come after us. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

I want to have that kind of faith - one that doesn’t look down, doesn’t look back, doesn’t give up, but one which looks up and forward, knowing that as I combine my ‘faith-full-ness’ and obedience with God’s purpose, strength and grace, as I trust Him with the ‘not-yet’, I’m sowing into those God-promises for my life, and then through my life to generations to come.

Who’s with me?

For more on Belinda Tigell Ministries, including her books, album and blogs, vist belindatigellministries.com. Order BTM products from www.belindatigellministries.bigcartel.com

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* JUBILEE album blog 5 - RIDER (Scriptures from Revelation)
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2010-11: With My God, I Can!
2011: Is It Clear? -- Thinking About What We Sing About At Christmas
2011-04: The Choice to Choose
2011-06: Wooing and Pursuing Love
2011-11: The Cry
2012-01: Waiting For My Fish to Come In
2012-03: Bless the Lord, Extol Him Forever
2012-06: Motivate Me
2012-09: Jesus, The Renovator
2012-11: THROUGH to get TO
2013-01: Contemplations and Commitments
2013-04: To Obey is Better than Sacrifice
2013-06: Shaken & Stirred
2013-09: Faith in the Valley of the Mundane
2013-12: Be With & Behold HIM
2013-12: Christmas Thoughts - BEING & BEHOLDING
2014-04: Do You Hear What I Hear?
2014-06: Good Advice; Godly Wisdom
2015-03: The Great Pain Reliever - Notes from the road #JubileeCD #albumtour
2015-06: Live Loved
2015-12: Mary Meditations (Reflections for Advent)
2016-02: "Dis'ing" the "Dis"
2016-04: Reacting in Fear or Responding in Faith
2016-07: Just Travelling Through
2016-09: God Around The Edges
2016-11: Looking Back, Looking Forward
2017-03: WHAT TO WEAR!? - Part 1
2017-06: WHAT TO WEAR?! Part 2
2017-10: PRAYER WORRYING OR PRAYER WARRIOR