“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” ( Hebrews 11:8-10 )
Faith propels people to do strange things from the viewpoint of the world. I had a friend who left family and friends, moving to Costa Rica to be a missionary because she heard God instruct her to do so. She didn’t have any missionary support when she left, she just knew she was supposed to go. She was heavily criticized by those around her for taking such bold steps without a husband, financial support or long term accommodations. However, in an act a faith, she went. And God, true to His word supplied everything she needed, bringing her into a loving community of missionaries who shared the same vision of ministering to the people of Costa Rica.
Although this seems like an unusual story of faith, it is not unheard of. Abraham experienced the same thing. God came to Abram and told him to leave his country, his people and his father’s household going to a land He would show him. Then God gave Abram a very great promise. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” ( Genesis 12:2-3 ). At this time Abram was seventy-five years old and without an heir. However, he considered the promise of God and set out in faith to participate. He left seeking the land he would receive as an inheritance knowing that God would also give him a son in the process.
While on this earth, Abraham lived as a stranger in a foreign country in tents. What makes this account amazing is that he was waiting expectantly and confidently for God’s promise to come to pass. Abraham used faith to perceive from a distance what would be instead of looking at his present situation. Verse 10 shines light on this, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” ( Hebrews 11:10 ). Abraham could see in faith what God could do if he believed him and obeyed. He chose to disregard the things of this world for the things of God. Looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.
Just as in the example from my missionary friend, this type of faith is unusual and makes people uncomfortable. However, the reward is too great to pass on. We must look toward the future in faith with spiritual eyes. Considering that God is always faithful to His promises. Like Abraham we must disregard the things of this world for a chance to follow God’s instructions knowing that God always rewards faith ( Hebrews 11:6 ).