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Faith Toward God (15)

In this broadcast, we shall append footnotes to the subject of eliminating unbelief. But before we do that, let us briefly review what we had discussed in our last broadcast. We have seen that God will do nothing, except through the faith of His people. Hence, every time they brought people to Him to heal, He always sought to involve the people in the healing or deliverance process, by getting them to trust in Him for the solution to their problems, either directly or by proxy (that is, where it is practically impossible for them to put their trust in Him; as in, if they are afflicted by demons or are dead). Indeed, the Lord will do everything possible, to help your faith in Him, by speaking to you about His attributes, His abilities, Who He is, and so on. This, He does to ensure that our faith is on the front burner, because, unbelief is a hindrance to the move of God. We have seen how Martha, could have confined her brother, whom she loved, to the grave, when it was Gods Will for him to be raised up. We have seen how she put a finality to Lazarus case by saying, By now he stinketh, when the Lord asked them to roll away the stone that covered the tomb where Lazarus body lay. In effect, the real obstacle to Lazarus resurrection was not the stone covering the tomb, but Marthas unbelief! Friend, unbelief will not only make you to disobey the word of God; it will also make you to work contrary to the word of God! And this explains why the Lord reduced to the barest minimum, the number of people who were present with Him when he went to raise Jairus daughter from deathactually, the Lord reduced the number to the essentials: Jairus and his wife (both interested Parties in wanting their daughter back), and three of His disciples (these were there perhaps, for the purpose of tutelage). In the same way, God prunes us and cuts off every vestige of unbelief in us, so that He can do what He wants to do in our lives.

One of the footnotes we want to append before we finally leave the subject of unbelief is that, there is a language or action that speaks or brims of faith, and there is a language or action that is abounding with unbelief. The language or action of faith, is one of optimism in the face of pessimism; of hope in the face of hopelessness; of possibility in the face of impossibility; of conviction in the face of utter despair; of life in the face of death. The language and action of unbelief on the other hand, is one of scepticism, of bleakness, of seeing impossibility in everything, of futility, and of despondency or depression. These two languages and actions are in conflict against each other, and the language that wins is the one we give voice to and ally ourselves with. So, when the Lord said to the people at Lazarus tomb, Take away the stonethe language of faith; Martha said, By this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.the language of unbelief. When the Lord said in Jairus home, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.the language of faith; but the mourners laughed Him to scornthe action of unbelief! If you are therefore to defeat unbelief, you must not only speak the language of faith, you must also take the action of faith, which includes, ignoring the voice of unbelief, doing away with acts of unbelief, and putting out of your life or situation, people who speak unbelief, regardless of who they are. This means that there are things you shouldnt discuss with people who are pessimistic and cynical; you dont need to be around people who see impossibilities all the time; you should avoid people who mock at the word of Godthe bible says in Psalm 1:1, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Avoid ungodly counsellors, sinners also (that is, people who keep on and delight in sinning), and for our direct purpose, dont be found around scorners or scoffers or mockers (people who make light, the things which God places emphasis on)! May we remind you that in Mark 2:1-11, when some four friends brought their paralytic friend to the Lord Jesus by tearing the roof of the building where Jesus was teaching, and lowering the paralytic right in front of the Lord Jesus, because there was no room at the door, it was their faiththeir action of faith, which the Lord saw and healed their friend. Hear what the bible says in v.4 & 5 about this matter: And when they could not come nigh unto him [that is, Jesus] for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Friend, when the Lord looks at you, what does He seefaith or unbelief?

In John 5:2-14, the bible relates the story of a man who had been lying at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel came once a year to stir the water, and whoever got in first, was healed. This man had been there for 38 years; meaning that thirty-eight times he had witnessed thirty-eight people receive their healing through the moving of the waters. So, he had reasoned that if only he could get a strong, agile, and committed young man who could come into his employ, and throw him into the pool at just the right time that the angel would stir the water, he would be healed. The arrangement he planned may have been that if the young man would see to it that he is healed by ensuring that he is first in the water, then he would be in a position to work and pay the young man, afterwards. Of course, with such a proposition, no one would accept to be engaged by him. But God, knowing what he had been going through, sent the Lord Jesus to go and heal him; but the mans unbelief could have made him miss his healing, but for the fact that God had decided to show him mercy, because, when the Lord Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made whole, thereby seeking to draw out of him, faith, the man replied with the language of unbelief: I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool. This man had settled in his heart that what he needed was a man who could carry him into the pool. So, when salvation came to him in a different way, he remained fixated on his own idea of resolving his issuethis is unbelief! There are some Christians today, who see debilitating diseases as unsolvable by man, and sometimes, even by God. Some other Christians actually believe that unless a particular man of God prays over such a debilitating disease, the sick cannot be made well; so you see them traversing land and sea to take their relatives and friends to crusade grounds and special anointing services; whereas, the solution they are seeking is right there in their mouth. In their unbelief, they have lingered long in a particular problem. Yet, the bible says in Romans 10:8-10, But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Brethren, the same word of faith which brought salvation to you and I, is the same word of faith which, when we believe (that is, are convinced about its efficacy), and speak with our mouth, is the same word that will bring healing, deliverance, death to sin and the flesh, spiritual growth and maturity, and so on. When the man at the pool at Bethesda was healed, it was the word which the Lord spoke which healed himnot a man carrying him into the pool! In John 9:6-7, the bible relates what transpired between the Lord Jesus and a blind man thus: When he [that is, the Lord Jesus] had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. Now, we see in this situation, that the blind man, who incidentally did not ask Jesus to heal him, simply did as he was told. The blind man could have behaved like many of us would: he could have said something like, Why are you putting that filthy mud mixed with your saliva in my blind eyes? O, so you are mocking me because I cannot see en? God dey! He could have said, Cant you see that I am blind? Why are you asking me to go and wash in the pool? or perhaps he could have said, Shouldnt you be leading me to the pool yourself? Isnt this an abuse of a poor helpless blind man? But no! He simply obeyed the Lords command (for that is really what the word of God isa command; not a suggestion), and he came back seeing! How many times has the Lord asked you to do something that you began by saying I cant or It is impossible or Cant you see that I cant move without help? and so on. The blind man acted in faith, and came back seeing; whereas, the man at the pool at Bethesda could have remained where he was, but for the mercy of God, because of his unbelief. Brethren, be not unbelieving, be believing. It is time to start speaking the language of faith, and living by faith toward God.

Another footnote that we want to leave us with, is based on a part of a sentence which was included in Mark 5:41-42: And he 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. The part of the sentence we want to focus on here, is a seemingly bland, and yet extremely informative notation, and this is, for she was of the age of twelve years. You will recall that the woman with the issue of blood had been in her situation of uncontrollable menstrual flow for twelve years. Is this sheer coincidence or was it by design that these two individuals would be involved with the Lord Jesus in one event, which seemed unrelated at first? There is clearly a link between the two, and it is not a coincidental link, indeed, it is a link by design from heaven, and it was put together to help Jairus eliminate any unbelief that may occur along the way, as it turned out.

If the bible had not told us about the age of Jairus daughter, we would never have known the significance of the duration of the illness of the woman with the issue of blood, and how that relates to Jairus. And even though we would not have known, Jairus clearly knew his daughters age. In fact, what seemed at first to be an interruption or delay in the procession of the Lord Jesus to Jairus home, by the woman with the issue of blood, was really a grand design in Gods plan to help the faith of Jairus! When the bible documents certain events and we read them, we tend to overlook very many intricate aspects of the documentation. For instance, in this case of Jairus, there is the tendency to assume that it was a short distance from the place where Jairus was informed about his daughters death, to Jairus home. But when we consider that there were already many people wailing and mourning in Jairus home by the time the Lord got there, it becomes clear that there was quite some distance between the place where Jairus was informed that his daughter had died and his home. This means that it would have taken some time for Jairus to have travelled from his home to invite the Lord; for Jairus daughter to have been pronounced dead; and, it would have taken some more time for the people who came to inform Jairus of his daughters death to have arrived at where they met Jairus to break the news to him. This is the point we are trying to make: God, Who knows all things, had known that Jairus daughter would die, and that Jairus would need all the faith to believe for his daughters resurrection. Therefore, God sent Jairus help in the form of the woman with the issue of blood, who came in the press, without invitation, without permission, to touch the hem of Jesus garment, and receive a healing. By the time the Lord was asking who had touched Him, and the woman came forward and told her story, and time seemed to be passing by, it would have been lost on Jairus that the woman with the issue of blood had been in her situation for as long as his daughter had been in the world! So, if the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years could be healed by the Lord, without invitation, and without permission, then, he too could hold on to the Lord, Who had consented to follow him to his house, that his twelve year old daughter would be raised back to life. When God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary to announce to her that she would give birth to the Lord Jesus, without the agency of man; in order to help Marys faith, the angel informed Mary that Elizabeth, whom everyone had called barrenmeaning that it had been concluded by all and sundry, that she would never be able to give birthwas with child. God was telling Mary that the same God who had made Elizabeth to be with child, is the same God who will make her give birth without the agency of man. When Naamans wifes maid told her mistress that Naaman could be cured of his leprosy by the man of God in Israel, no leper had been cured before then; but it was the God whom the maid knew about that she was referring to. God has not left Himself without a witness. In every generation, God leaves a trail of His acts and His abilities, so that we can hear about them and believe also for ourselves. Dont let anyone tell you that it happened in bible times, and it cannot happen now. Brethren, Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). He is the same God who healed Naaman, and He will heal you; He is the same God who opened the eyes of the blind, and He will open your eyesbe it physical, clinical, or spiritual; He is the same God who saved Saul of Tarsus, and He will save you from sin, the flesh, the influence of the world, addiction, and so on. Trust Him!

Let us pray!