One of my favorite scriptures about God's direction in our life is Phil. 2:13, "For it is God that works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." What that means is that God Himself will lead and guide us in a path that is pleasing to Him when our hearts are fixed on Him. God's desire for us is that we "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33
Seeking God and His kingdom takes energy on our part, and the 'rest of faith' spoken of in Hebrews 4:11 could be thought of as the supernatural contentment that God gives when we are walking in it. Sometimes it takes a long time for God's promises to manifest themselves physically, just as Abraham had to wait patiently for his son Isaac. The temptation we have is to step out of faith and into our own human ability. When that happened to Abraham, Hagar happened, and then Ishmael, and then all the turmoil we have in the middle east today.
Like Abraham, our true inheritance is not in this life, but in heaven! Like him, we look for a better city, "whose builder and maker is God." -Hebrews 11:10 God cares about our needs and desires in this life, but he never wants those things to replace our affection for Him alone. Although God mightily blessed Abraham among the inhabitants of Canaan, he was never called to inherit among them. Like Abraham we are called to an eternal mindset, looking for the full realization of His promises in heaven.
You will know that you are in faith, and not presumption or passivity, when your heart is truly set on the things of God over the world. John defined 'the world' as, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." -John 2:16 Faith is relational, and it works by love. (Galatians 5:6) Just as in any human relationship, it takes work to maintain it! When our hearts are set on that relationship above all else, God promises to lead and guide us in right paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Read more articles by Jesse L. Smith or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Thanks for the words of encouragement and challenge Jesse. I have been reading about Abraham again recently, as I looked to the new year, and took special not of Gods request that Abraham sacrifice Isaac - the child of promise whom God knew He loved dearly. It was a tough test, but not unusual at a time when parents did sacrifice their children to appease their God's. Abraham showed his commitment and his faith in what God could do (as Hebrews reveals, and passed the test. The thought came to me Do we seek God for His presents (promises and blessings) or His presence? Surely, it is those who seek Him first who will discover His destiny for them. KEEP WRITING.