Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy Of
By Maurice Perry
32 And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Ged"-e-on, and of Ba"-rak, and of Samson, and of Jeph"-thae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy of) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
What does it possibly take to be a man or woman of whom the world was not, or is not worthy of? How can this awesome status be the label of a person, people, or more specifically, the body of Christ?
"To be a man or woman whom the world is not worthy of is something that every Christian and the church of today should be striving for. It should be the declaration of the world (secular society) about us, the precious bride of Christ. And what is the world saying about the body of Christ at this very moment?
I believe the world is looking at the body of Christ as a disjointed entity that will never live up to the true message of Christianity. With the differences of biblical interpretation, due mainly to man-made denominational groupings, the body of Christ has become so segmented over the past 300 years that the body has become detached like "Voltron pieces"! (for those that are too young or too old to remember what Voltron was, it was a cartoon and action figure in the 1980's in which five different pieces came together to make one massive body or structure).
However, denominational struggles and disagreements is another subject matter in itself. What I want to focus on are the things that made the group of people mentioned in the scripture above men or women whom the world was not worthy of. Only then will we know the pattern or ways in which we too can also be seen as men or women that the world is not worthy of.
The first thing that we notice is that there was a level of faith that had to be within each and everyone of the individuals that were mentioned in order to be able to become kings and prophets, and to subdue kingdoms. They were so overly consumed with pleasing the Father that their faith was never on the brink of disintegrating and failing. These men loved God more than their own souls, placing their lives on the line in warfare and in the midst of severe persecution. And because of their total obedience and surrender to the will of God, verses 33 and 34 were able to come to pass:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
We, who carry the call of being Christian in this world that we live in must replicate this same kind of bold faith in order to persevere, conquer and take dominion and authority over the kingdom of darkness, principalities and powers that try to hinder our growth in the Lord, shake our faith, and hinder the flow of blessings that God has stored up for us. We must be consumed with being a blessing to God with the act of our faithfulness unto him, rather than being consumed with receiving a blessing. The kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom, meaning, that its characteristics are the absolute opposite of the characteristics of this world. One trait of the world, for example, is the "get mine mentality, a selfish trait that leads to covetousness and inevitably, idolatry. The Kingdom mindset is "give, and it shall be given unto you." The notion that "God blesses those who blesses themselves, or helps those who helps themselves is a lie straight from the pits of hell! If you have been using this saying, please stop, because it is not biblical. It is a selfish statement that is full of confusion and it is anti-Christian, rhetorically. The truth of the matter is that God helps those who help others God blesses those who bless others. It is the selfless act of humility giving which God honors and blesses.
Another very important reason why the individuals talked about in verse 32 (and Hebrews 11 in its entirety) were men and women whom the world was not, and is not worthy of is the fact that they lived a life of separation and sanctification, being totally devoted to ministering unto God and doing His will. And likewise, we, in the hour that we live in, must be totally separated unto God in Holiness, righteousness and sanctification as living sacrifices. Living holy, pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord is what separates us from the things of this world. Actually being counter-cultural, radical and going against the grain of secular opinion is what we are called to become and do. When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our mind and ways of thinking, our thoughts will then affect our actions, and our actions will become subliminally counter-cultural and Holy Spirit driven! The taste, aroma and mere presence that we leave with people or in a room will definitely create separation from the things of this world. We need to become reprobate to the things of the world, just as sinners are reprobate to the things of God (Romans 1:28).
To be worthy is to be valued or prized. If we think of ourselves as being of monetary value, we must ask ourselves, "Where do we spend ourselves? What makes us different from the world is how we handle "our money and what we do with it. Again, let's think of ourselves as being with monetary value. Are we spending ourselves on the things of the world, or on the things of God? Are we giving all we have and all of ourselves to the things of the world, or are we investing our time, talent and treasure, wholeheartedly, into the things of the Kingdom of God? We must always make sure that we are giving God all that we have, and use our money, and ourselves for the advancement and glorification of His Kingdom.
where your treasure is, there also is your heart
Another thing that we must know and understand is that this world is not our home and final destination. Our final destination is New Jerusalem (heaven, Revelation 21) with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for ever and ever. We must make sure that we do not allow ourselves to become complacent with the ways of this world and comfortable with the environments that we live in, in which are full of strife, envy, jealousy, murder, violence, immorality, sexual perversion, all of which are amongst other sinful actions that are contrary to the Word of God. The faithful individuals spoken of in Hebrews 11 may have wandered in the deserts, mountains and caves of this earth physically, but their hearts were always fixated on God, His commandments and promises for them. When we get to the point where we begin to live a life that is fixated on the things of God, this is when we will finally be delivered from the things and ways of this world and finally begin to walk completely in the ways of God and receive His provision, providence, promises and blessings.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Becoming over-comers is only possible through the name of Jesus and His blood that was shed on the cross, by our testimonies and stories of deliverance from past strongholds and pitfalls, and not loving the life that we live on this earth, but possessing a burning passion and desire for the life that we will live in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews states that there simply isn't enough time in the earth to talk about the many blessings that were bestowed on the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. Will our loved ones, family and friends be able to say the same thing about us when we die? Will they be able to say that there isn't enough time in the world to talk about all of the wonderful things that we did for the Kingdom of God while we were alive?
Are you a man or woman of whom the world is not worthy of?