Numbers 26.64 observes, there was not a man among these who had been among those numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai.
Why did the group of adult Israelites whom God had miraculously freed from slavery in Egypt fail to enter the Promised Land? The reason for God’s deliverance was to bring them into the land He had promised their forefathers as an inheritance for His people. So why did they fail to receive God’s promise, the purpose of His activity in their lives?
The adult Israelites who left Egypt with Moses to enter the Promised Land didn’t experience their destiny because they failed to live by faith in God while moving from Egypt to the Promised Land. This failure should serve as a warning to all those who claim to be Christians, all people who believe they will go to heaven, but fail to live by faith on earth.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, the Bible warns elsewhere. Likewise, God describes Himself as the same yesterday, today and forever in His nature, character and ways. Therefore, He Who did not take Israel into the Promised Land because of a lack of faith cannot be counted upon to take those who continue to live without faith on earth into heaven after they die.
What does it mean to live by faith? It does not mean to live with a belief in God. The evil ones believe in God but will not live eternally in His presence with all those who have loved God and obeyed His commands.
This is the practical definition of faith: obedience. It is practical because it incorporates the belief that God is and that His ways are best then orients our behavior around those truths trusting His ways are the best ways. The child who believes his parent that the stove is hot and then obeys them by not touching it exhibits faith in their parent’s goodness and wisdom. The child who fails to believe their parent, touches the stove and is burned.
God has told us how we are to live, when we obey Him we demonstrate our belief in Him and faith that the result of our obedience is for our health and His glory on earth resulting in our acceptance by Him upon our judgement before Him. God showed us how to live by faith when He lived among us as one of us in Jesus. Jesus obeyed the Word of God perfectly then told us to follow Him.
We love God, Jesus said, when we obey His commands. Faith is practiced when we obey God’s commands. If we wish to live forever with God and all those who love Him we must have faith in God beginning with following Jesus as Savior.
Proof of our faith will be taking up our cross and following Him by obeying everything He has commanded us.