As a faith leader, you’re probably well acquainted with Hebrews 11:1, which says now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Do you know the next verse?
Faith Sets You Above the Crowd
Hebrews 11:2 says, for by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report. The faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and others is recounted as the one outstanding characteristic that set them above the crowd. We know about Abel’s sacrifice that pleased the Lord. Enoch’s walk with God set him apart. Noah’s obedience to build a boat before it rained and to preach righteousness to a very unrighteous world made him famous. Abraham’s faith to offer his only son as a sacrifice was a magnificent act of faith. Others, through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:33-34) Faith set them all above the crowd, and faith will set you above the crowd when you apply the five elements of faith to everything in life.
I’ve recently released a book that discusses the five elements of faith in detail and every leader should devour it. It teaches how to be in the same position as the elders of faith who pleased God and stood above the crowd. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Five Elements of Faith, you can get it online at https://estore.keithbutler.org/collections/books or by phone at 888.909.9673. As you’ll learn in the book, the first element of faith is hearing God’s Word. That’s where success begins.
Hear God’s Word Together
You can’t hear God’s Word if you’re not around it. That’s one reason Hebrews 10:25 reminded believers not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Unfortunately, in the last 2 ½ years, people have developed church hesitancy. The constant barrage of fear of a virus kept people away for over a year. Now, many of them aren’t staying away because of fear, but out of habit and convenience. They learned how to access good preaching online and they’ve accepted that as a substitute for assembling with other believers, but we need one another. The word assembling in Hebrews 10:25 is episunagoge in Greek. It means a complete collection. We need to come together as the collection of God’s assigned people at an assigned place to do an assigned task. When you are missing from your assigned place in the assembly, God doesn’t have His completed collection to do His work. God will speak to you through the mouths of people who are at the gathering. Sometimes the Lord will say something to you that doesn’t come from the pulpit; He may do it through another brother and sister. But that doesn’t happen if believers don’t come together.
Hear the God’s Word Through Prayer
The second way to hear God’s Word is described in John 10:27. Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Prayer is a two-way communication with God, and it should not be limited to your prayer closet. You should practice God’s presence and listen to Him constantly. God may speak to you as you drive your car, ride a bus, fly in a plane, walk into the office, or stop by the grocery store.
I recently went to Ireland where God has told me to start a work. I didn’t know any details until my team and I got on the ground there. However, as I listened attentively to the Holy Spirit, He laid out plans I had not expected. He opened doors for us that no one foresaw. God did miracles for us in Ireland, but had we not followed the Holy Ghost about the timing of our trip, we would have missed them. If you want to stand above the crowd, begin by hearing God’s Word. Then follow the other elements of faith and watch what happens!