He That Cometh to God – Hebrews 11:6
By Fred Pruitt
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb 11:6)
(Taken from a previous longer post)
“Unbelief,” as I am meaning it, is a word we could use to describe the opposite of the passage quoted above. Before I go further into Heb 11:6, I want to explain that “unbelief” is not something in itself that people “get” or “acquire,” but simply misdirected faith. Like fear is negative faith. Instead of believing the Living God, we are beset by fears which we take as truth. We are believing in the negative as a power in itself, when in actuality there is no power in any negative. That’s why it is called “negative,” because it is devoid of power.
That’s why in electricity there are two poles, positive and negative. Positive has the outgoing energy, and the negative side is simply the receiving port. It receives all of its power from the Positive. If we were to affix our faith on the negative side, the “not” side, that “not-ness” becomes our truth, our reality. So the things we believed we were justified to fear, start to become “our” truths, and begin to fix us in those fears. To affix that same faith to the Positive, Christ in us, rather than the negative, swallows up the negative into it, and uses the tension in that transition to release the power of God.
I am certain that, at least in circles where personal faith is encouraged, this is one of the most often quoted verses in Scripture. I have always loved this verse, but been mystified with it, too. For a long time I did not really “get” why the Spirit phrased it that way. It seemed, first of all, to have a wisp of specific requirements in order to “get God’s approval.” It does, after all, start with, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him.” So the writer is unabashedly telling us what “pleases” God – faith!
Ah but, is He not already pleased with us? Have we not established that? This verse can seem like there have been some additions to the requirement of simple “believing on Him,” that we have known from the beginning.
It isn’t that, but more like a little bit of growing up. “Believe” is now being more narrowly defined. Not just “believe” in a general sense, but that included in “believing on Him” is now this further understanding of what that is. All this is simply another “step up” in consciousness, as the Spirit moves us from glory to glory and faith to faith.
The writer lays out two parts or understandings in believing on Him. First, that HE IS. Second, that HE IS a rewarder, or One Who keeps His Word. That might seem rather a strange requirement, not only that we believe that HE IS, but that we also must believe He is a rewarder as well. What does all that mean?
To believe that HE IS.
I think as long as I have been conscious of the term, “God,” I believed in God. Nothing especially holy or anything like that. I just thought He was part of the fabric of my childhood world. Of course so was Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. However, early on I let Santa and the Easter Bunny go, but not God. I knew Santa and the Easter Bunny were make-believe, but I did not have the same sense about God. I didn’t “know” Him yet, but I believed He was around somewhere.
I have always said I do not believe in atheists. I believe people think they are atheists, but I have never met a person who called himself an atheist that I really believed was actually an atheist. Lots of people who claim to be atheists are often mad at God or disappointed because they thought God would do something that He didn’t do, so they decide not to believe in Him anymore out of anger.
But I do believe every human being has some place of inner knowing that “God IS,” which could be available to them. It isn’t empirical knowledge, but the earnest of the Spirit Who draws all to the Light of Christ if they will have it.
Even the devils believe, and tremble at the name of Jesus. To believe that He IS, is the first “requirement” in the believing, but it only gets us halfway there. The devils believe, too! So if we both “believe,” all the devils and me, that HE IS, what is the difference?
That is the second part, and where we part with the devils. Satan believes God is a tyrant, and is just as self-for-self as he is. He cannot see anything but himself, so everything is seen in that darkness. He sees God as a taker, a promise-breaker, One Who causes suffering! Nevertheless, Satan cows before Him, as all His cohorts do before Jesus.
Now we see what the writer is getting at! Ah, what is the “nature” of this God in Whom we believe?
He is A blesser, a Promise-keeper, a Lover! The only way we can KNOW that is to experience it! We might read it in a book, hear it in a sermon, or even hear the word in our inner self, but when Adam knew Eve, his wife, she conceived. When we “KNOW” Him, we are “one” – mixed as one.
So we must believe that HE IS, and that HE IS a Love Person! How do I get that? Because the normal relationship one would have with a False God, as well as most human potentates, is that we believe that He is, but that we also believe He is a Punisher, because we fear Him. We fear what He can do to us. We are expected to give our lives over to him (false gods and human potentates), rather than he gives his life over to us.
There’s a scene in a film from a few years ago, called “300.” The film is about the famous 300 Spartans, who stood together in Thermopylae Pass against the entire Persian Army under King Xerxes. The Persian King mocks King Leonidas by pointing out his numerical superiority and fact that, “All these men are willing to die for me.”
Leonidas answers, “My men follow me because they know I am willing to die for them!”
That is our God! Our God’s purpose is to lift US up, rather than we lifting Him up. People might misunderstand what I am saying, since it might sound like I am saying don’t give glory to God, give it to man. I am saying the opposite. We certainly give glory to God. All glory forever to the Living God, the Father, Who is above all, through all, and in all.
The only way for this second aspect to be actual is that we are fixed in HIS (not “our”) glory. When we are fixed in God’s glory, we realize He is pushing us to the forefront, encouraging us to take up the mantle of our Sonship. Then we realize that Glory now resides in us without measure, just as Jesus said it would. “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be One, even as We are One.” (John 17:22).
So, let’s remember we’re living it then. Get used to it!
******** (Remember, He’s doing it! — and it lives out in you, sanctifying everything, God’s purposes ongoing.)