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In verse 2 of Hebrews, chapter 11, the Holy Spirit continues to describe the behavior of faith. The verse says, "For by it (that is, by this tenacious, committed, unrelenting faith that knows what it wants and won't give up until it receives it!) the elders obtained a good report."

According to this verse, Hebrews 11 is not really a chapter about faith itself, but it is a chapter about examples of Old Testament elders—patriarchs and matriarchs who walked in faith—and what great things they accomplished with their faith. The verses that follow are commonly known as "The Hall of Faith," and they describe the exploits of faith these elders experienced during the course of their lives.

These verses tell us about Old Testament patriarchs and matriarchs—who moved in bulldog faith, who came into divine alignment with the plan and purpose for their lives, and who never gave up or let go of their word from God until they saw it fulfilled in their lives and for their generation.

Here is a more proper translation of Hebrews 11:3 (my paraphrase):
Through faith we understand that different time periods, different decades, centuries, millenniums, different generations within the past history of mankind have been completely altered, remolded, and reshaped by those who received a word from God….
This paraphrase makes sense, especially if the Greek meanings of these words are studied! This whole chapter is about people who received a word from God and obeyed it! This chapter is about people who had a bulldog faith, people who knew they heard from God, and despite the discouragement of others, despite opposition, despite the odds that were against them, they knew they had received a word from God and were not going to let go of that word—EVER—until they saw it fulfilled just as God had spoken it!

Because of their bulldog tenacity, these men and women changed history! Their actions, their behavior, and their faith in and obedience to that word from heaven took their existing time periods—their decade, their generation, their century, perhaps even their millennium—and completely and radically changed the world in which they lived into something brand, spanking new!

For instance, Noah received a word from God about a flood that was going to destroy the world of his day. Noah's word from God wasn't a lengthy word. It was short, concise, and to the point. Furthermore, there is no Biblical record that Noah had ever received a word from God before or after he received this word. As far as we know, this may be the only specific word Noah ever received from Him.

God basically gave Noah a very simple directive: "Build a big boat because a flood is coming. Collect two animals of every kind and get ready for the ride of your life!" It wasn't a fifty-page word from God, but simply "a word" from God that was simple, short, and to the point.

Yet, because Noah believed what God had said, and because he determined in his heart to "stand by that word from God" regardless of the opposition, the accusations, the slander, the allegations – because he knew he had heard from God and committed himself wholeheartedly to do what he had heard, and he never, ever gave in or gave up—this one little man, in his own time, his own generation, in the world of his day, completely altered, remolded, and reshaped the history of mankind. And all of this happened because Noah stood by a word from God!

How about Moses? When Moses encountered God in the burning bush on the backside of Mount Horeb, he, too, received "a word" from God. Like Noah's, his word was not a lengthy word. It was simple, short, concise, and straight to the point! God told Moses, "I want you to go see Pharaoh and tell him to let my people go!"

Moses shuddered to think of going back into Egypt after so many years, and he even argued with the Lord, but when the conversation between Moses and God concluded, Moses knew he had heard "a word" from God.

Because this one man, in his day, in his hour, in his generation, stood by a word from God, his obedience permanently changed the history of mankind—even toppling the ancient Egyptian Empire's hold upon the world of his day! All of this happened because one man stood by a word from God!

Hebrews, chapter 11, goes on to name other men and women—just normal, regular human beings—who during the course of their lives received a word from God. We magnify them in our minds and think of them as being superhuman, super-special people. But they were just people like you and me—until they received a word from God! It was their behavior of faith—this do or die, hold on and never let go, no-nonsense kind of faith, that refuses to relent, that is obstinate, inflexible decision to stand by a word from God—that made them the champions of "The Hall of Faith."

The Bible is full of people who heard a word from God, believed it, came into divine alignment with it, and ultimately saw it fulfilled in their lives. They were no different from you and me. And because of their commitment to do what God said, and to see and possess what God had promised, they changed history!

If you believe what God has told you with all of your heart, and actually do what God has instructed you to do, just like Noah, just like Moses, you can see your business changed, your family changed, your church changed, your city changed, your nation changed—even your generation can be dramatically altered, remolded, and reshaped for the glory of God—if you will but believe what God has told you, and then do what He has instructed you to do!

Rick Renner Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God's plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart's desire to enter full-time ministry.

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