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Faith Toward God (16)

In this broadcast, we shall move on to discuss another faith killerdoubt! But before that, let us do a quick recap on the footnotes we made in our previous broadcast, regarding dealing with the faith killer of unbelief. We noted essentially that:
1. There is a language or action that speaks or brims of faith, and there is a language or action that is abounding with unbelief. Whereas 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 life in the face of death; of conviction in the face of utter despair; the language and action of unbelief is one of scepticism, of bleakness, of seeing impossibility in everything, of futility, and, of despondency and depression. Whichever of these languages you speak is indicative of whether or not you are living by faith toward God. Your faith toward God, must therefore reflect the language and the action of faith; which is enhanced when you ignore the voice of unbelief, when you do away with acts and individuals that speak unbelief, and, when you do whatever the Lord asks you to do, regardless of whether or not it makes sense, which it usually doesnt!
2. When we have to face the daunting task of believing God in the face of starring impossibility, God always makes a way for us to exercise faith toward Him, by enabling us to hear the testimonies of people who have had to believe God under similar circumstances. So, while you may be wondering how God will perform certain things, or whether or not certain things are possible, God arranges for you to meet with people who have experienced Him first-handit may, for instance, come in the form of hearing about how God sustained someone who had nothing to hold on to except God; thereby letting you know that since God sustained that individual who had nothing, He would do the same for you, if you would hold on to Him! This was why God arranged for the woman who had been menstruating for twelve years to obtain a miracle, without permission, and without invitation, when the Lord was on His way to Jairus home to heal Jairus daughter who was twelve years old. The twelve years was no coincidenceit was a divine orchestration to encourage Jairus to hold on to God, even after word came that his daughter had now died. This was the same thing God did with Mary, after the angel told her that she would give birth to a son without the agency of manGod arranged for Elizabeth, who had been pronounced barren by medicine, tradition, and everyone in general, to be pregnant with child around that time. So, whatever your situation, if you would just focus on God, He will soon bring you in contact with someone who had relied on Him, and for whom God came through, to help you hang in there. Remember that, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). He is the same God who was with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the Old Testament; He is the same God who was with the saints of the early days of the New TestamentPeter, John, Paul, Andrew, Matthew, Luke, and so on. He is the same God Who is still working effectually in the lives of all those He has calledthose who are His people today! He has not forsaken anyone who has called on Him yet; neither will He forsake you, provided you hold on to Him. His faithfulness and mercy endures foreverthough He be angry with you when you sin, yet He will forgive if you would go to Him in true repentance, to ask for forgiveness, and obtain help from His throne of grace.

Now, to the discussion in this broadcast. When we reviewed the story of the Lord Jesus curse of a fig tree, and the comments He made afterward regarding the matter of faith in Mark 11:22-26, one of the things we noted was that in v.23, He said For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. The emphasis we want you to note is and shall not doubt in his heart If you believe the word of God without doubting, whatever it is the word of God says about you and to you, shall surely come to pass; but if you have doubts in your heart regarding what the word of God says about you, and to you, it shall surely not come to pass! Hence, doubt is a faith killer!

To doubt is to have reservations about a matter; it is to hesitate about whether or not to do something; it is to be unsure about a thing, and hence be unwilling to engage in that thing; it is to be unconvinced about a thing; and, it is to procrastinate about doing something because you are not sure or convinced about it. To doubt is to prevaricate between two or more opinions. James 1:5-8, gives us a clearer picture of doubt. James 1:5-8If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. The bible is telling us here that God will give to anyone who asks Him for wisdom, provided he does so in faith, and does not waver; a term used to denote someone who is neither here nor there, or who is undecided on any matter. This is doubt. A man who doubts is also referred to as a double-minded manthat is, a man who is unsure of a thing; or, a man who tries to take a step forward, only to withdraw his foot at the last minute. Such acts of indecisiveness, is usually based on what is happening around him. For example, if God were to say to such a man that he should go and preach to someone, and on getting there, he find that the person he has gone to preach to is not responsive, he immediately begins to doubt whether God really spoke to him or he just thought it up. A person who doubts second-guesses himselfhe is unsure of anything, and takes no decision on anything. The bible tells us in the passage we read that such a person is a double-minded man, and is unstable in all his waysnot in some of his ways, but in all of his ways. The bible further says that such a man should not think that he will obtain anything from God. Friend, you cannot be doubting and obtain anything from Godwhether it is the promise of eternal salvation in heaven, or the promise of a blessing from God on the earth. People who are prone to doubting, are people who have refused to be established in God through the agency of the word of Godthese are people who depend on things being in conformity with what they feel or think, as the basis for believing or trusting God. In other words, if there is something contrary to the word of God, happening in their lives, they immediately disbelieve the word of God. In Matthew 13:20-21, the Lord describes such a person when He gave the interpretation of the Parable of the Sower, thus: But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. The individual described here is a man or woman who heard the word of God, but then when conditions arose which were contrary to the word of God which he or she had just heard, he or she is offended, and then they fall away, from following after God and His word.

In a sense, doubt is a forerunner to unbelief! And this was why the Lord Jesus made the statement, whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. When you have spoken the word of God, even if the situation arising thereafter is contrary to the word of God which you have spoken, as long as you believe the word of God which you have spoken, and not the contrary circumstance which has arisen, what you have spoken concerning the word of God shall surely come to pass. The truth about dealing with doubt is that unless you are convinced or fully persuaded about God and the efficacy of His word, doubt will continue to frustrate your attempts to exhibit faith toward God.

Mark 4:35-40: And the same day, when the even was come, he [that is, the Lord Jesus] saith unto them [His disciples], Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? One significant truth that this passage of scripture brings to light is that even when God has spoken a word, the events that occur next may in fact contradict or work against what God has spoken. In this instance, it was the Lord Jesus Himself, the very Word of God, Who said, Let us pass over unto the other side. One would very easily have assumed that because Jesus has spoken such a word, there can be no event occurring to the contrary. But this passage of scripture indicates differently. And had the Lord Jesus not been sure of what He was sayingthat is, going over to the other side of the river, He Himself would have led the charge to return to shore! Indeed, we should expect that when the Lord speaks to us about certain things, which usually, will lead to our salvation or the salvation of others, there will arise storms to dissuade us from proceeding further. If you take a look at Mark Chapter 5, from verse 1 to verse 20, you will discover that after the boat landed on the other side, there immediately, met Jesus and His disciples, a madman. This madman eventually received his deliverance from the Lord Jesus; and was, in reality, the object and subject of their crossing the river. It was this mans deliverance that the devil therefore, through the agency of the storm, was trying to prevent. For many of us, if we had experienced what the disciples had experienced in that boat as water was pouring into it, we would have said, Perhaps this is not Gods will, and that is why the storm has arisen to prevent me from making this journey. Many a believer have turned back from embarking on a journey that would lead to either their own permanent deliverance or the deliverance of someone else. Many a believer have left small churches which God had specifically told them to go and be a part of, and have gone to mega churches, and up till now have not grown in the things of God. Doubt is something that many so called Christians engage in on a regular basis, because they choose to believe what they see with their eyes, rather than what God says. For you to effectively deal with doubt in your heart, you must address the issue of your convictions about God and His word. In Romans 8:35-39, Paul the apostle wrote, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. How convinced or persuaded are you about the love of God which is in Christ Jesus about you? Are you fully persuaded that God is able to see you through lifes challenges whatever they may be? You see, unless you arrive at the place of this personal conviction about God, you will be at the beck and call of so-called deliverance ministers, who think that everything is about deliverance. Beloved, the deliverance that you need is the deliverance from ignorance, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your heart about all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for you. The bible says in Colossians 2:14-15, And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Do you believe this? Are you convinced about this truththat every ordinance that was written against you have been taken away? If you say Yes, then why are you going from one church to another; from one prayer house to another; from one pastor to another; from one deliverance minister to another; seeking what you have already been delivered from? Beloved, stop doubting; just trust God!

Let us pray!