The Promise – Faith, Hope and Anticipation

Series: What does it mean to walk with God?

Sunday 19 January 2020 – Kobus Swart

Heb. 11; (Gen. 5:24); (Jude 14); (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31); (Rom. 10:17 – NASB & TPT); (Gal. 5:1-5); Matt. 1:1; (Gen. 17:4-5, 15, 20); Rom. 8:19-25 NASB & TPT

What is the most important foundational aspect in our walk with God? It is faith! What is it that pleases God more than anything else in your life? Faith! I trust that there will be a desire in your heart, to have your name added to the list of people in Hebrews 11, who by faith did what they did. Stop being a spectator and become a participator.

We read very little about Enoch in the book of Genesis (Gen. 5:24), but thank God for Hebrews 11. Enoch was the seventh from Adam (Jude 14). Seven is highly significant and is the number of completion; final and rest. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Gen. 2:1-2). This is the only day that it does not say, “…and there was evening and there was morning” (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31) because the seventh day has never ended in terms of where God is. God sanctified it, but not a twenty-four hour day, God actually sanctified a people. There is going to be a seventh generation, a finishing generation, which will represent and manifest this rest (See Isaiah 66:1-2). It is going to be the final generation. That generation is going to please God to such a degree that He will do with that generation what He did with Enoch – open the door and walk right through into the next dimension – realms of heavens. A People in whom God has found rest (Is 66:1-2) – an Enoch generation!

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb. 11:5-6). I want to please God! In our walk with God, we can have many other ambitions and desires, but make this the main drive in your life, to please Yahweh.

What is faith? Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). To the rational/material mind this is irrational. What is it that you hope for? Is it based on faith? Where does faith come from? It is important to see how faith impresses God, and how being a true believer impresses God. How does faith come? So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17 – NASB), not by wishing, and not by the world’s ways of acquiring.  Faith, then, is birthed in a heart that responds to God’s anointed utterance of the Anointed One (Rom. 10:17 – TPT). For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness (Gal. 5:1-5).

The next example is the father of faith, Abraham. Jesus was also known as the son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1). In Genesis 17 God changed Abram and Sarai’s name to Abraham and Sarah. God brought part of His name, Yahweh, into their names. It was a new covenant with them (Gen. 17:4-5, 15).  By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going (Heb. 11:8). That is what I call a man of faith! Abraham obeyed without knowing where he was going. If you walk with God, you do not have to know where you are going! Faith is trust in Him who called you. When God brings something your way, before you reject it and ask for security and contracts from God, read about Abraham. When God called him, he followed God without knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise (Heb. 11:9). Maybe that is where the Church is – “aliens in the land of promise”? God has done everything that needs to be done and we should not be aliens in the land of promise. We are a people of faith but we have allowed the indoctrination of the spirit of the age – “how do we get security?” For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). Are we there? Or do we want to remain “aliens”?

Let us read about Sarah. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised (Heb. 11:11). If we did not have the promise, everything would be senseless. But God gave a promise. Sarah received the promise beyond the age of childbearing, and, initially, struggled with it… Many of us may feel that we are beyond the age of fruitfulness. Faith can be activated if you open your heart to the promise, to be fruitful in this life. You are not too old to be fruitful in the Kingdom of God. “By faith” – is the key. Sarah also represents the family of God. If we receive the Promise, we will begin to understand Romans 8. Being pregnant is also to be expectant, to anticipate. He who has faith, anticipates! Faith is not a passive thing. All creation groans and suffers the pains of labour. All around us we observe a pregnant creation (Rom. 8:22 – Msg). The Passion translation refers to a universal agony waiting on tip-toe to see the unveiling of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19 – TPT). My question is, “for how long”? And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, (the finishing generation), so that apart from us they would not be made perfect (Heb. 11:39-40). “They” refers to the cloud of witnesses – those who died believing, even though they did not receive what was promised (Heb. 12:1).

The Promise in Romans 8 goes further: And not only this, but also, we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Rom. 8:23-25). We are looking forward to the redemption of our body, to be delivered from the entrapment in time and space.

We have a groaning in our hearts and it is more than just a religious prayer. The Holy Spirit takes that groaning which cannot be uttered in words, and takes it to God (Rom. 8:26). Look forward with expectancy, with anticipation. “Anticipation is not contented with the present, but does not take the place of completion or finalization either.” I talked about “the already” and “not yet”, but I am taking a new look at this in my own heart. Anticipation is the “now already” in the midst of “the not yet”. That helps you understand the definition of faith in Heb. 11:1. I want to live the future’s past in Christ now. Our future however, which includes our resurrection bodies, includes a new heaven and a new earth, and we can see we are not fully there yet. We have to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and Perfecter of the faith (Heb. 12:2). There is no way we can manufacture it or imitate it. We have to fix our eyes on Jesus!

My question to you is: Do you expect? Do you anticipate? Is there an anticipation in your heart or have you cooled down?

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:1-4). May that stir something in your heart as we see the unfolding of this new decade. Let us not keep doing things the same way, expecting better results. Activate a new trust and expectation.