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Faith Toward God (11)

In our last broadcast, we said that the word of God is the basis for our faith toward God. We also saw that the word of God is personified in Christ Jesus. Hence, when He speaks it is not to be taken lightly, because the entire Universe and all that are therein, are supported and upheld by His word, which is powerful and cannot be contravened. Our faith must, therefore, be based on every word that the Lord Jesus utters. Today, the Lord Jesus speaks to us through the written word of God, as contained in the bible. And if we would but yield to His word and obey Him, we shall not be overwhelmed, perplexed, disappointed, discouraged, nor ashamed! When the Lord spoke to Jairus after Jairus had received the news that his daughter was dead, the Lord Jesus was challenging Jairus not to let go of the confidence he had in Him when he left his home to seek and invite Jesus to come and heal his daughter, by saying, Be not afraid, only believe. The word afraid has the connotation of worry, fretting, anxiety, apprehension, trepidation, panic. These words describe emotions that people generally release when they receive certain news. For instance, when a person hears a report from the doctor that he has only a few weeks to live, his entire being is most likely to express in one form or another, one of these emotionsworry, anxiety, apprehension, trepidation, panic, fretting. In such a state of mind, people are generally not given to sound judgment. They act on their worries, anxieties, apprehension, trepidation, and panic, and are unable to focus on the Lord Jesus, and His word. This is the reason why the bible says, in Philippians 4:6-7, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. When the peace of God guards your heart, you will be able to focus on Christ and His word, and in so doing follow His instructions. David said in Psalm 56:3, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. This should be your dispositionwhenever, you are worried, fretful, anxious, apprehensive, in trepidation, or, in a panic; you should turn to God in trust and pray to Him; seeking His help which can come by His direct intervention or by Him giving you a word which you will need to comply with. This is how faith works to destroy unbelief. The Lord Jesus said, in Matthew 6:31-34, Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Too many people who claim to be born again or children of God, are busy in worry, anxiety, fretting, apprehension, trepidation, and panic; instead of simply putting their trust in God. The Lord has spoken, and as we have learnt, ours is to obey; and this is what He has said, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. In line with what we said earlier about yielding to the word of God, what you should be doing now is to seek the kingdom or the things that pertain to God, and also to seek Gods standard for living; instead of focusing on your concerns, or anxieties. I know that many messages today, suggest that you should put your focus on what you will eat, what you will wear, where you will live, and the like; but what the word of God says, is to seek God, His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these other thingsclothes, food, drink, accommodation, job, marriage, children, business, and so on, will be added unto you! So, is the Lord asking you to be docile? No! What He is really saying is that you should direct your energies to seeking God and His standard for living, and all other worries that you have, will be taken care of by God. We may not know how or when; but rest assured that God always keeps His word. In Numbers 23:19, the bible says, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? A few things come to light here:
1. God is not a man that He should lie: Anything that a man tells you that is not supported by the written word of God is a lie, but God cannot and does not lielying is not in His nature!
2. God is not the son of man that He should repent or take back what He had earlier said: God does not say one thing now, and take it back again. Once He has spoken, He has spoken.
3. Hath He said, and shall He not do it?: When God speaks a word, He is able to bring it to pass.
4. Hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?: There is nothing that God has said that He has not made good. There is no promise that God has made that He has not delivered on.
So, my dear beloved friend, whatever the Lord tells you can be depended upon. So, stop being anxious, stop being apprehensive, stop fretting yourself, stop being in panic mode. Every time things are not going according to plan, just turn to God in prayer, and whatever He asks you to do thereafter, dono matter how unreasonable it may seem to be from a human stand point. So, when the Lord told Jairus Be not afraid, what He was saying to him was Dont be apprehensive; dont fret yourself; dont enter panic mode; dont be anxious; dont worry; and then He added, only believe. Now the question is, only believe what? to answer this question, let us turn our attention to the exchange between Martha, Lazarus sister, and the Lord Jesus, in John 11:21-27Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. In this exchange, many of us can see ourselves in Marthas shoes, having a back and forth with the Lord; seemingly speaking the language of faith with our mouth, but never really believing with our hearts, what we are saying. When the Lord told Martha that her brother shall rise again, Martha said, yes, I know he will rise again on Resurrection Day. But what the Lord was really saying was that her brother was going to be raised up that same day! The Lord then told Martha that He is the Resurrection and Life; in other words, He is the One who can raise the dead and Who gives life to those who are living. Let us read that portion again: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? To this question, Believest thou this? Martha gave a typical theological answer, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. Like Martha, many of us can believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of mankind from sin, the Son of God; but we find it hard to believe that He can raise the dead, or solve the biggest problems that pertain to us. What even made it harder for Martha, was that Lazarus had been dead for four days, and had been buried in a tomb as was their custom. For Martha, the finality of Lazarus demise couldnt be more final! Of course, the Lord was to disprove Marthas assertion that Lazarus would rise on Resurrection Day, for the Lord raised him up that same day. But the question which the Lord asked Martha is a question which many of us must answer: Believest thou this? Brethren, what do you believe? Jairus was being told by the Lord to believe in Him; to put His trust in Him, the Lord Jesus Christ; to believe that his daughter, would be raised up again from the dead. This is what the Lord wanted Martha to believethat He being the resurrection and the life, would raise her brother back to life that same day! But instead, Martha gave a theological answerI believe you are the Christ, the Son of God.

There are some things which the Lord had told you when you prayed to God; in the course of studying the bible; as you were listening to a message in church, or during a counselling session; or, on the radio, like this one; and so on; but did you believe what God told you? In other words, Believest thou this? What answer did you give? Did you, like Martha give a theological answer, which is not the appropriate answer the Lord was expecting? What the Lord wanted Martha to say was, I believe that my brother shall live, even now! but she gave an answer that had no bearing on the matter on the table. Indeed, the Lord wanted Martha to be part of the miracle of the resurrection of her brother, and so He wanted her to believe or be convinced that her brother would be raised up that daynot on Resurrection Day. There are many people today, who believe that someone else can receive a miracle, but not them! They can stand in the gap for other people, many of whom they dont know, but when the focus shifts to them, you hear them say something like, I know that God can do it and they never say it convincingly. Really, what they should be saying is, I know that God can do it, and He will do it! Do you believe that your brother who is on drugs can be delivered, even now? Do you believe that your sister who is into prostitution can be totally free? Do you believe that your father or uncle who is heavily invested in the occult can surrender his life to Christ, even now? You see, what you believe about what God has told you is critical because it is what will determine the outcome of the miracle you are expecting from God; although some times, the Lord can do those things without our faith being involved, because He wants to do it for His glory. In Mark 9:14-27, a man had taken his son to Jesus disciples for them to heal him of a demonic affliction, but they could not. So when the Lord came on the scene, and the boys father pleaded with Him to do something, if He could; the Lord told the boys father, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Friend, if you can believe what the word of God says about you, about the Lord, and how you can be delivered from the stranglehold of sin, the devil, and the world, then you shall be delivered! What the Lord said to Jairus simply was, Dont be apprehensive; dont enter panic mode; dont be anxious; stop worrying; stop fretting; only believe, or just trust, that I will raise your daughter from death!

My brothers and sisters, be not unbelieving, but believing. It is easier to believe than to disbelieve. In order to believe the Lord, all you need is to simply accept as truth, what God has said, as written in the bible. Friend, Only believe! Do you know that what the bible says about the Person and power of God, about the Person and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and about the Person and power of the Holy Spirit is absolutely true? Do you know that the devil has no power beyond what the Godhead allows him? Do you know that sin has no power over all those who are in Christ, and who walk not after the lusts of their flesh? Believest thou this? Then you shall see it happen in your life; as the Lord told Martha, in John 11:40, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Whilst the world tells us that Seeing is believing, the Lord tells us that Believing the Lord Jesus, will result in your seeing the expected outcome. Believest thou this? Then thou shalt surely behold with thine eyes what the Lord hast said unto thee!

Let us pray!