As simple search on Google for a list of Halls of Fame (or walk of fame, or wall of fame) will yield a very long list of those organizations that acknowledge individuals, achievements, and even animals that achieve special recognition to mark their fame in their special field. There are Hall of Fames for aviation and space, show business, music, and sports – the list is very long. We love to memorialize those who achieve things that us common, normal everyday people don’t.
The Bible also has a “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews, chapter 11. Each member listed there is a testament of what it looks like to live a life of faith. Each person is listed there not because of their physical accomplishments, but because of their faith in God. This true faith is demonstrated by believing God, in being obedient to God, in being in constant communication and communion with God. They were not perfect people, indeed they were people with flaws who made many mistakes, yet they still lived out a life of faith and blessings by God.
Even a hero of great faith, a man after God’s own heart like David, lost direction and made decisions without thinking back on God’s promises. David was anointed by God to be Israel’s next King. Therefore he should have had the faith that the promise made by God will come to fruition. As time goes on, David gets wrapped up in the conditions that he, and the people for whom he is responsible, are facing, and he forgets God’s promises. He’s taken his eyes off of God, and I think that he believes that the responsibilities of the world lie on his shoulders. David begins to fear, and fear is a mighty foe, because fear is inside your head, it wrestles with you, it consumes you. So even the mighty hero, “the man after God’s own heart,” loses his faith from time to time and succumbs to the pressures of walking in the world.
When you are wrapped up in worldly fear, you can easily forget about God’s promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” This kind worldly distraction is dangerous. It leads us to search for and serve other people, instead of God. We begin to doubt God’s Word and promises. We start questioning God by asking God did I hear you right? God, did you change your mind about what I am supposed to do?
We’ve moved away from God. We look to others in the world, or things, for security and approval – we think that these things supply us with our sense of self-worth. We let our whims and moods determine our path. We think and act with our feelings, causing great harm to ourselves, others, and our Godly witness. We turn to those things in which we think gratify us, our wants and needs, those things that we think will provide us comfort or escape. For some it could be eating, shopping, drinking, or drugs – these things give us an instant rush and we feel immediate gratification, but experience proves that these actions are hollow and make us feel worse, not better. For me, it was shopping mostly, I never stopped to think about the ramifications to my budget, I only thought about giving in to my satisfy my wants. As a result I’ve had/have a glut of things that I look at and wondered, “what was I thinking?” There are so many things that I purchased that I’ve had to purge from my home (I’ve had a few of these purging episodes that I’ve done), and it was truly freeing to realize that I didn’t need all this stuff. And, there’s still plenty more of that purging to come.
If you’ve been God’s child for a while I think that you recognize that it’s a dangerous and slippery slope for us Christians to dwell on/in the world. We can get pulled away so very easily. And, because we get pulled away from God’s things so easily, we must constantly have the presence of mind to will ourselves back onto thinking about God’s things. We must remember that there’s a war going on in the invisible realm for our very souls, Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” If we ask God for the wisdom to know right from wrong, He will give us the ability to keep our thoughts and actions in control. But to do so, we must be ever vigilant, ever on guard against the enemy and the schemes of the world. We must continually walk in faith. I must keep the end game in mind, when I face my Lord, I want to be included on that list of those saints that walked with God, and not the world. I want to be in God’s Hall of Fame.