Devotional: The Impulse of Faith
When reading Hebrews 11:4, we are brought back to Genesis 4, the story of two brothers –Cain, the elder, and Abel, the younger. In the Genesis narrative, Cain grabs the center of attention. If this were acted on a stage, Cain would dominate the stage and be the character you can’t take your eyes off. His presence is felt in almost every verse. Cain’s name is mentioned sixteen times while Abel’s is only mentioned eight. Abel comes across as more of a supporting character–he comes across as ordinary and pedestrian. From a modern-day perspective, Cain was trying his best to be noticed–loud on social media, attempting to be an influencer, flaunting what he felt like would draw people’s attention. Abel, on the other hand, leaves no social media imprint. Yet, there was one thing that Abel had that made all the difference: faith. Cain tried to please God on his own terms while Abel pleased God on God’s terms. And because of that, Abel’s sacrifice is still yielding a reward for him today. He was one of the first people to die and see God in Heaven, but every time someone reads his story today, his life still testifies to a life of faith, and still brings him a heavenly reward.
Questions for Meditation
- An impulse is a driving or motivating force behind an action. What was Cain’s impulse when asked for an offering from God, and what was Abel’s?
- In our lives, sometimes we respond with the impulse of the flesh and sometimes we respond impulse of faith. What are some moments that you responded with each?
- Faith recognizes and responds to the presence, power, and provision of God. What are other times in the Bible that the impulse of faith is shown?
- In what ways do our impulses reveal our hearts? How have you seen this in your own life?
- What was the notable difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s offering?
- In your life, how can you strengthen your impulse of faith in the coming weeks?