“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Are you ready for a giant leap this year, something out of the ordinary? I hope so! The earth takes 365.2426 days to revolve around the sun to make a solar year as separate from a calendar year. As a result, we have a leap year every four years, for if we did not, February would eventually end up in the summer. To work out the math, we add one day to February, to have a February 29, every four years—2020 is such a year. Are you ready for that giant leap of faith in your schools and churches? I went back to Hebrews 11 to read the long list of those who took leaps of faith—“By faith Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Israel, Rahab, and Jericho”. Each took some action which God blessed, for faith without effort is dead. Each dwelt on a promised assurance that whatever God promises and we start by faith, God finishes. If we have, therefore, come this far by faith, what’s to prevent us from continuing the faith journey, especially in a leap year, to “a leap of faith”? Do we truly act as if we have come this far by faith? Are not all our decisions full of Western rational thought and options? Do we ever leave room for faith, or do we coldly and calculatedly map out all the pros and cons of every decision? What’s the answer? Is there a compromise?
Whatever God has promised, He has already delivered, except that we have not reached there yet. The Hebrew utilized the prophetic perfect (perfectum propheticum) tense to convey the power of God’s promise. A statement in the prophetic perfect denoted a sense of ultimate certainty and was written very often in the past tense to convey that although the matter had not yet occurred, it was sure to happen. The phrase, “the already but the not yet” captured the essence. The promise was already realized, but Abraham hadn’t fulfilled it yet. When God promised to make Abraham a great nation and to bless his descendants, God had already delivered the destination, and was waiting by faith for Abraham to arrive and his descendants to arrive. We demonstrate faith in God, and God demonstrates faith in us. God never fails us, but we can fail Him. English translators use the future tense to avoid confusion. Why can’t we decide on destinations first, then plan backwards to the present? The entrepreneurial God bet on Abraham. Our destination becomes the vision that impels further action. The Hebrew prophetic perfect can be rendered by the English future or even the present. If we’ve come this far by faith, what’s to stop us from proceeding further? Just add your name today to the list in Hebrews 11, “by faith _______”; join the Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy choir as it sings “Oh, for a Faith”. https://youtu.be/KveCBAqCO6E.