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Faith Toward God (14)

In our last two broadcasts, we digressed from our main discussion on Jairus and the raising of his daughter, and the parallel story of Martha, and the raising of her brother, Lazarus, from the dead. In our digression, we elaborated on the matter of the Lord Jesus wanting to bring Martha, as He does with us also, to the place where she could put her trust in Him, to raise her brother, Lazarus, from the deadin other words, the Lord wanted Martha to partner with Him in bringing about the miracle of the resurrection of her brother, when He told her, in John 11:40, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? So, we noted that since believing precedes seeingthat is, faith precedes physical manifestation of what is believedwe ought to focus on faith rather than on what we can see. Hence, from Mark 11:21-26, we observed that:
1. The faith that precedes the manifestation of Gods promises must be in God; not in our own abilities, including our ability to pray, our ability to fast, our ability to shout, or even our ability to recall scripture; if we are going to be able to say to a mountain be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea.
2. The faith that precedes the manifestation of Gods word, should be a simple trust in God. It is this simple faith in God that God responds to; not the trumping of how long we have been Christians for; how old we are biologically; or, our position in our church hierarchy.
3. The faith that precedes the manifestation of what we have asked of God in prayer must be without doubting. We should be absolutely certain that, not only is God able to do what we have asked of Him, but that He will actually do it. There should be no uncertainty in our hearts; neither should we reason that what we are asking from God may not be possible; rather, we should settle it in our hearts, and be fully persuaded or convinced, that we shall receive what we have asked!
4. The prayer that brings forth the result which faith manifests, can only come from people who have truly repented of their sins before God. Anyone who hides or tolerates sin in his life, cannot receive anything from God through prayer, because sinunconfessed, hidden, or secretand iniquity, blocks God from hearing our prayers!
5. The faith that precedes the physical manifestation of whatever we desire in prayer, must also recognize and submit to the sovereignty and prerogative of God to grant or not to grant our request, because we trust Him to do what is best for us.
6. The faith that precedes the manifestation of what we have asked for in prayer, cannot result in any manifestation whatsoever, for as long as there is unforgiveness in our hearts, towards others. In fact the only thing that an unforgiving person can expect is torment in hell!

So, let us turn to our discussion on the Lords desire to annihilate unbelief from our lives, as He seeks to incorporate us in bringing about a miracle, healing, or His wonders to perform in our lives, and on our behalf, having resolved these intricate matters of our faith toward God. In Mark 9:23, when the Lord told the father of the boy who brought his son to be healed of a demonic affliction, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth He wanted the boys father to be an active participant in the healing of his son. What the boys father did next is what we all need to do, as recorded in Mark 9:24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Brethren, there is nothing wrong in admitting your unbelief, and asking the Lord for help! And following the boys fathers cry for help to believe Jesus for his sons deliverance, the deed was done! Certain things should be noted here:
1. God wanted the boys fathers involvement in the process that would bring deliverance to his son.
2. The means for the boys deliverance was through faithfaith by the boys father, in the Lord Jesus ability to deliver the boy.
3. An admission of unbelief is not a weakness, but an act which enables the Lord to speedily heal us of unbelief, and bring about a miracle.
What is crucial here to our study is that everything we want God to do for us can only take place through our faith in Him. For example, the bible says, For by grace are ye saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8). So, the salvation for your loved one; the salvation of people who flock to our churches with one need or another; the deliverance of a loved one from an addiction; and so on, require the operation of faiththeirs or ours. This was why the Lord wanted the boys father to exercise faith, since the boy was under demonic affliction and could not himself exercise faith; and why He tried to get Martha, Lazarus sister, to exercise her faith in Him, in order to expedite Lazarus resurrection, since Lazarus was in no condition to exercise faith. So, when the Lord told Martha, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? He wanted her to simply trust Him that He could, and would, raise Lazarus back to life, even though Lazarus had been dead for four days, and buried! Unfortunately, rather than Martha simply believing what the Lord said about raising her brother back to life, she gave a typical religious and theological response, which could not amount to much. And when the Lord went further to mention that He is the resurrection and the life, He wanted Martha to see Him in a light that she hadnt seen Him in beforeshe had seen Him as a healer, a teacher, and the Son of God; but she had not known Him as the resurrection and the lifethe One who raises people from death and gives them of His life to continue to live on to eternity! Friend, when the Lord introduces Himself to you, by one of His names, which usually is a description of His attributes (something that speaks of His ability), His primary purpose is to get you to believe Him in that light; so that you can believe Him, and He can do for you what youve asked of Him. This was the same thing the Lord did with the two blind men who came to Him for recovery of sight: He asked them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? and when they said Yes, He touched their eyes saying, According to your faith be it unto you. Their eyes were opened by the Lord, but it was according to their faith. Beloved, is it possible that each time the Lord tries to get your attention to be focused on an attribute of His, you think that you have now found the lyrics of a song? Indeed, there are many Christians today, who sing praise songs to God, but who dont believe even the songs they are singing, otherwise, the level of unbelief in our churches would not have reached the extent it has reached.

This was why the Lord took only Jairus, the father of the dead girl, and three of His disciples with Him to Jairus home, after Jairus had been told that his daughter had died. All other persons were no longer required to followtheir unbelief would have been a hindrance. Having a large number of people in church does not necessarily mean that there is a large quantum of faith, if we may use the expression. In Luke 18:8, the Lord Jesus asked, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Indeed, when the Lord comes into our assemblies, does He find faith? This is actually more of a scolding of Christian assemblies, than a warning to men generally. The bible says that where two or three are gathered together in the Name of Jesus, He is there in their midst. So, when we gather in our churches during our various meetings, and the Lord comes into our assemblies, does He find faith? When He comes into our assemblies to give us direction for His next move, does He find faith; does He find people, including pastors, who simply trust His leading, as foolish as it may sound to the intelligent? This explains the reason why the Lords work is seen in very few lives, and in very few ministriesbecause not many have faith!

And, when the Lord arrived at Jairus home, and saw the mourners gathered, and told them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth, they laughed mockingly at Him, thereby exhibiting their unbelief. The Lord knew that He had to put them all out! And this He promptly did. Beloved, when God wants to do something for you, He will get you to the place where you can believe Him to do that thing. This may happen over a period of time, in which the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will begin to eliminate all the things that make for unbelief. This will include reducing the number of people who can influence you negatively; a display of the utter impotence of science; the fallacy of depending on historical antecedence; and so on. Brethren, dont think that by attending several church meetings or going all over the world seeking a solution; that it will come. No! The more the merrier is not a Christian expression. Indeed, what is a Christian expression is there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few (1 Samuel 14:6). If you will recall, God used only 300 men with Gideon without the use of weapons to defeat the Midianite army of 300,000. It may be that the Lord is reducing the size of your church to get rid of the unrepentant unbelievers in it! Indeed, the Lord is pruning you for more fruitfulness, as He said in John 15:2, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Friend, unless we rid ourselves of every vestige of unbelief, we will not be able to receive the things which God has spoken to us about in His word; we will not be able to receive answers to our prayers; and, we will not be able to be fruitful in ministry in a manner that glorifies God. After the Lord had removed the unbelievers from Jairus home, He then invited Jairus, and Jairus wife (both of whom had a vested interest in the raising of their daughter back to life) and His three disciples into the room where the young girl had been laid in preparation for burial. Like the father of the boy who was afflicted with demonic oppression, even if Jairus and his wife, found it hard to believe, at least their desire to receive their daughter alive, was good enough for the Lord! Mark 5:41-42, And he [that is, Jesus] took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. With unbelief out of the way, the Lord was able to raise Jairus daughter back to life. Remember, that the Lord could not do many mighty works in His hometown because of their unbelief!

In Marthas case, not only did she give a typical religious and theological response, but she also, almost hindered the resurrection of Lazarus. But for the fact that Lazarus resurrection from the dead, was primarily for the glory of God (John 11:4), Lazarus may have remained dead, because, when the Lord asked them to roll away the stone with which they had sealed the tomb where Lazarus was buried, Martha said, By now he stinketh; meaning that, it would be a waste of time and energy to roll the stone away, seeing that Lazarus had been dead for four days, and buried, and was even now decaying. Beloved, unbelief, which rides on the back of factswhat is evident to the human eyewill not only make you disobey the word of God; it will also make you work contrary to the Will of God!

Friend, there are many things that the Lord would want to do in you, and for you, that He is unable to do because of your unbelief. The bible records how the Lord wept over Jerusalem, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:42-44). Brethren, there are many, who claim to be believers, who dont know what will bring them peace, neither did they know the times when God had come to visit them with His salvation, His healing, His deliverance, etc., nor yet, that as bad and evil as things seem to be, that this indeed, is their day of salvation! The reason for our unbelief is because we want to see rosy things before we can believe that this is our day; we want everything to look normal before we can believe that God has come to visit us! Remember what the bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. My brothers and sisters be not unbelieving; only simply believe! Jesus is coming soon. He said in His word that His return shall be as in the days of Noah, when they were marrying and giving away in marriage; they were carrying on as usual; until the rain came and they were all wiped out, saving Noah and seven others! Remember the question the Lord asked in Luke 18:8 when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Shall the Lord find you believing in His return when He returns? Shall He find you prepared or shall He find you indulging in the pleasures of this world?

Let us pray!