Let us read Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”. The witnesses are the people of faith mentioned in chapter 11. Faith is not positive thinking or self-confidence. The Lord is our target of faith. We need to see Him and think about Him. We need to realize how real He is, otherwise, how would we be able to trust Him? If you don’t even think about the Lord, it will be impossible for you to trust and rely on Him. This is absolutely the only way. The fall of man was due to unbelief. Even from the Garden of Eden, with such a good environment, Adam and Eve still failed. If you don’t believe, you will also fall regardless of how good your environment is. Being heart to heart with the Lord means that we rely on Him and enjoy His provision. This is living a life of faith.
The Song of Solomon mentions the neck of the bride. The neck connects the head and the body. Faith functions like the neck, connecting us to the Lord. The Song of Solomon also says, “Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.” (Song 4:4) When we have faith, our hearts are well protected. As mentioned in Ephesians, the shield of faith “can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Besides protecting us, faith also helps us to enjoy the Lord.
On the day you believed in the Lord, why was there a great change in your heart? The reason behind your change was because you accepted the Lord as your Saviour and you relied on Him. You accepted Him by faith. Hence, you enjoyed the Lord and what He had accomplished for you. You are united with the Lord and you can enjoy Him. You desire for Him. Indeed, the Lord always loves you. He wants to pour out Himself and give Himself for you. In the past, you closed the door of your heart, you rejected and ignored Him. However, on the day you believed in the Lord, you said to Him, “Lord, I accept You as my Saviour.” You wanted Him to be your Saviour. You relied on Him and surely He saved you. Since that day, you have been united to the Lord!
The Bible mentions “our original confidence” (Heb 3:14) and in Colossians, it says “as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” (Colossians 2:6) Romans mentions “from faith to faith” (Rom1:17). We need to walk in the way of faith continuously. I have believed in the Lord for 60 years, but I am still walking in the same way just as I first believed in Him. The difference is, today I know Him more, I trust Him more and I am able to enjoy more. I still live by faith and there’s no other way. No matter how much you experienced Him in the past or how much truth you know, if you don’t rely on Him at this moment, what you have is only knowledge.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, ” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Without faith, we cannot have hope. Without faith, we cannot have true love. It will be only human affection. Sometimes, you may feel that you’ve already believed in the Lord, and you don’t have to exercise faith. But in John 15:5, the Lord said, “…apart from me you can do nothing. ” The Lord was telling us the result of not relying on Him. If you are apart from the Lord, you cannot enjoy Him, and you can do nothing. Just like the branches, if they do not abide with the vine they cannot get the nutrients from the vine, and they cannot bear fruit. Hence, they are rendered useless.
Recently, I have shared about being heart to heart with the Lord. It helps you to live a life of faith, a life connected to Him, and a life relying on Him always. How can you continue to exercise your faith? You need to realize your heart is joined with the Lord’s heart. This concept is not abstract at all. It is a concrete way of which you can take notice and practice.
How do we go forward? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Here it says “the joy that was set before him.” This is His hope. Hope is looking forward by faith. The Lord wants us to understand that by living the life of faith, He endured the cross.
The circumstances and sufferings we undergo today are much less than the pain of the cross. The Lord was able to go through all pains. What He had to suffer were more than those mentioned in Hebrews 11. However, the Lord won the victory, sitting at the right of God, and received glory. He accomplished the salvation for us and it has become a great blessing to many for all eternity. This is such a great encouragement to us. It motivates us to look to Jesus to walk the path ahead. It says “looking to Jesus.” We need to look to the Lord. Our spiritual eyes need to see the Lord, to behold Him and to look at Him.
We have different experiences in our spirits, which affects how we behave. Sometimes, we may go through similar situations and face similar difficulties, but why do we react differently from each other? The reason is because what happens in our hearts are different from person to person: what we see in our hearts; what we rely on and how much strength we gain in our hearts. What happens in our spirits, we cannot see by our physical eyes, but God can see them all. All these spiritual experiences are real. Men may see the outward appearance, but God sees our hearts. Our heart to heart relationship and personal experience with the Lord definitely affect our lives on earth and whether we can overcome the world.