Dear church,

This “hall of fame” of the faith is full of people who were looking beyond this world to something else. They were looking toward their heavenly home.

The world puts up a range of roadblocks between a person of faith and his or her heavenly home. You’ll notice the different things the faithful had to endure in this list. In some cases, it was certain suffering and even painful death.

In other cases, the faithful had to endure the lure of riches and ease. I think here, specifically, of Moses. “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

Again, the eyes of these faithful ones were always on the future – on their eternal home with Christ.

The world trains us from birth to seek the things of this world. It trains us to seek wealth, prestige, and some version of “happiness.” Our own culture in America trains us to seek our rights, to please the masses, and to be self-sufficient.

I think it takes a lifetime of work by the Holy Spirit to root these tendencies out of our lives. It takes supernatural power to undo the training of the world in our lives.

And it takes faith. Quite simply, it takes patient endurance and persistent determination. We refuse, come hell or high water, to take our eyes off Jesus and our heavenly home. Like Moses, we always look to the reward.

We must be thoughtful people, of course – and people of prayer. We need to be able to discern the world’s influence on our ideas and motivations. We need to be able to see where the world has infiltrated our families and our church.

Sometimes as Christians we speak to one another thinking we are speaking the words of God and good “Christian things” when in fact we really are speaking the things of the world. Again, it takes a lifetime of the Holy Spirit’s work to break us free from the world’s training.

To be a person of faith means we have clear-eyed focus and awareness of what God would have us to do compared to where the world would lead us.

What have you found yourself enduring as you live out your faith – and as you are “looking to the reward”?

Chris

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