“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Heb. 11:8)
The biblical definition of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1…”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is described in action in Abraham traveling from the city of Haran to the Promised Land of Canaan, wherein God displaces whatever normative plans Abraham might have pursued in Haran with a completely unique and divinely crafted life-script according to the higher ways of God (Isa. 55:8-9).
This concept…of God displacing our ways with His ways…is easy to understand once we see it…yet is one of the most eternally profound concepts in all of reality. It defines the right of a sovereign king of the realm…in this case God…to have His will, plans, and agenda followed. Analogous to past and present worldly political kingdoms…also easy to understand…the concept of God displacing our ways with His ways…starting with the biblical example of Abraham the “father of faith”…also separates and divides the populace into followers and rebels.
This concept of the two basic dichotomies of our ways and God’s ways…in turn creates the space…the gap…between where we are within ordinary, worldly conventional life-scripts of “occupy till I come” (Lk 19:13) as Christians according to our innate abilities…and the huge difference created within a God-composed adventure of faith that has outcomes that are far beyond our capacity to actualize…like the divinely authorized biblical examples of producing a son-of-promise Isaac, or becoming governor of Egypt as a past Hebrew slave like Joseph…or delivering the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and parting the Red Sea like Moses…or becoming the most unlikely Christian missionary evangelist to the first-century Greco-Roman world…like Saul/Paul the fearsome persecutor of the early Christian church.
This concept of a spread…a gap…a displacement…in terms of discernable units of light on the vertical graph-line of goodness…between worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and the divine features of a challenging adventure of faith according to God’s higher ways and thinking…outside of our capacity to imagine or contrive on our own…is not a new teaching or doctrine. It is as biblically sound and as fundamentally orthodox as can be.
This is simply an early 21st century insight into biblical understanding of the nature of real faith…biblical faith…as invented and ordained by God.