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Faith Toward God (20)

We shall, in this broadcast, continue with our discussion on Josephs resolute trust in God and His word, which impacted his approach to sin and enabled him to eventually fulfill Gods plan for not just himself, but also for his brothers and their respective families. This discussion is in relation to how doubt creeps in on us to weaken and even kill our faith in God and His word, by making us double-minded even on matters that God speaks against.

So far, on the issue of doubt as a faith killer, we have seen that whenever God speaks a word to a believer in Christ, doubt will seek to arise in his heart; by way of:
1. The devil tricking him to question the veracity and inerrancy of the word of God, and even the sincerity and integrity of God Himself; and,
2. The contrary events he sees with his own eyes or the news he hears that seem to contradict what God has said.

This second aspect formed our discussion in our last broadcast, in which we noted that, had the Lord Jesus not been certain and resolute about what He had heard from His Father in heaven, that Lazarus sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God, He would have given up hope when death actually came and took Lazarus away. However, because He knew, and was assured that God cannot tell a lie, He was able to go on ahead and raise Lazarus back to life, four days after Lazarus death! The Lord Jesus was able to trust God in this situation, which would have thrown someone else off balance, making that person to second-guess himself, and even God, and which would have eventually caused that person to doubt God, because He (the Lord Jesus) was confident that He heard God, and that God is incapable of telling a lie.

If you are sure that God is incapable of lying, then you should trust whatever God says. The only issue then would be whether or not you are sure that God told you a thing. And this is where doubt takes advantage of us and kills our faith in God. To believe what we see or hear, which is contrary to what God has told us, is to believe that a mirage is real! We noted in our last broadcast that a mirage is an illusion, or as one dictionary describes it, a mirage is an optical phenomenon that results in a false or deceptive visual impression. A mirage is what looks like a body of water that has covered a portion of the road, or cut a road in two, which you would see at a distance when travelling in a car or even walking, on a straight and lonely road, on a hot day. If you believe what you see with your eyesthat the road has been flooded with wateryou will turn back and return home; but if you continue on your journey, you will discover, that it was only a miragean illusion; a false or deceptive visual impressionfor a river did not overflow the road! For this reason, we should believe the word of God, which is substance, over what we see, or how we feel, which can be a mirage! The bible says in Hebrews 10:38 that God has no pleasure in any man who draws back from living the life of faith; which is what a man who succumbs to doubt doeshe prevaricates between the word of God and other opinions like science, logic, philosophy, medicine, etc. Thus, whenever God says something, even though it is not supported by what we see with our eyes, neither by any other opinion, we must of necessity hold on to, and believe the word which God has said absolutely, otherwise our faith will not be toward God!

This matter of believing God and His word, even when events would suggest otherwise, led us, in our last broadcast, to look at Joseph: a young boy who had two dreams given to him by God, which spoke essentially of him being the deliverer of his fathers house in a time of famine. And even though his own brothers sold him off to Ishmaelite traders, who in turn sold him off to an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, in whose house he became a slave, and was later imprisoned on trumped up charges of attempted rape, what God had told Joseph through his two dreams, eventually came to pass! And even though many of us would desire to become the most powerful man in the worlds most powerful economy, most powerful industry, or most powerful establishment, we must never forget that Joseph did not desire where he got to in life; it was God Who had ordained that position for him. It was no personal dream or ambition of self-grandeur that took Joseph to the heights in his time, rather, it was God, who ordained it for him. More importantly, we must never forget that crucial verse of scripture in Psalm 105:19, which reads, Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. This verse speaks of how the word of God which had come to Joseph in two separate but related dreams, was put to the test by the circumstances which God Himself had orchestrated, to not only test Josephs trust in Him, but also to help Joseph develop the attribute of resolute faith in the word of God, regardless of lifes opposing circumstances. And because Joseph believed God, rather than the circumstance he found himself in, he refused to lie with Potiphars wife, even though she made advances at him, because he knew that to lie with Potiphars wife was a great wickedness and sin against God. We thus concluded our discussion in our last broadcast, by noting that when we resolutely believe God and His word, no situation will give us the impetus to sin against God!

To continue from there in this broadcast, may we note that, sadly, the teaching of sin as a great wickedness before God is now an extinct doctrine in many churches, even though very many people who throng these churches weekly, sin daily against God. The reason for this is not farfetched: members of churches (for that is how they really see themselvesnot as children of God, but as members who are loyal to their church leaders) and the ministers in these churches do not believe the word of God which holds us to live by Gods standard. These ministers and their members doubt Gods own standard of righteousness, and are thus, living by a standard that is below Gods standard. Josephs standard of holiness was Gods standard; not the standard of Egypt, nor of Potiphars wife! And by engaging in such a warped teaching of sin, many so-called ministers and their members now doubt the very word of God, which is able to save them! Now-a-days, we hear teachings which do not challenge us to trust or believe the word of God; but which teach a grace that has no foundation in Scripture. Brethren, if you are not resolute in your belief of the word of God as contained in the bible, you will be misled by preachers and propagators of false doctrines. These false doctrines may make sense to the carnal mind, but they are contrary to the word of God! These false doctrines, which may come in the form of motivational messages rely on the ability of the hearer to reason things out, but the word of God is not to be reasoned; it is to be believed and heeded! Doubting the word of God is majorly responsible for sin among those who claim to be believers in Christ. In prevaricating between opinions, they end up following that form of teaching which pleases the sinful nature, but which never satisfies the hunger for righteousness in man. The bible says in 1 John 3:2-3: Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. I tell you the truth; if you believe the word of God without doubting, you will work at purifying yourself, even as the Lord Jesus is pure! Indeed, the true message of the grace of God is found in Titus Chapter 2 where the Holy Spirit urges Titus through Paul, the apostle, even as He is now speaking to us today, thus: But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine [and please note what these things are]: [1] That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. [2] The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach [3] the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. [4] Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. [5] In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part [that is, an unbeliever] may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. [6] Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again [that is, not talking back to their masters or madams]; Not purloining [that is not pilfering or stealing], but shewing all good fidelity [that is, loyalty or trustworthiness]; that they may adorn [that is, put on as clothing] the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. [Now we see why the Holy Spirit requires us to live like this] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us [we now see the true teaching of grace] that, [1] denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, [2] we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [3] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ [grace teaches us to be expectant of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ]; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Sadly, these wholesome words are not being taught in many churches today. Many of the teachings we now hear of in our churches, and over the airwaves, are teachings from the pits of hellthey sound like the truth, but they are not the truth. Indeed, these messages are themselves a miragethey are deceptive and an illusion! They are of no eternal value or benefit to the hearers! The word of God says in 2 Timothy 3:12-15: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Beloved, do you believe that Gods word is able to save you, or have you been deceived and misled by unscrupulous men and women, to believe something that is not the word of God? Have you been deceived into believing that it does not matter that a woman cover her hair in public worship? Have you been deceived into believing that it does not matter that a man wears a cap (including the so-called bishops cap) in public worship? Have you also been deceived into believing that sin is not an issue because Jesus Christ has paid the price for sin? Have you also been deceived into believing that, to divorce a spouse can be appropriate based on certain criteria? Have you been taught and come to believe that a woman does not have to submit to her husband? Have you been taught and come to believe that a husband does not have to love his wife? Have you been taught and come to believe that, Honour thy father and thy mother is an irrelevant Old Testament teaching? Indeed, the bible tells us that Honour thy father and thy mother is the first commandment with a promise: that it may be well with thee and that thou mayest live long on the earth!

Hear counsel today, whatever it is that you believe; make sure that it is the word of God, and not an interpretation by some man of God who really is no man of God, but an agent of the devil! We make bold to say that anyone teaching a doctrine that is contrary to the word of God, or giving an interpretation to the Scriptures that feeds the fleshthe sinful nature of man, like the love of money, sensuality, immorality, and so onis not a servant of God, but an agent of the devil. Even Peter, Jesus foremost disciple, was once addressed by the Lord Jesus, as Satan because he was propagating a counsel that came from the devil, and was more interested in carnal and worldly things than in the pursuit of the things of God! (Matthew 16:21-25)

Today, I want to challenge you to believe and hold on resolutely to the word of God, regardless of what may be happening to the contrary, and you will surely see that what God had spoken to you shall surely come to pass in your life. Doubt has only one purpose: to derail your faith in Goddo not surrender to doubt; rather, fight the good fight of faith, and hold on to the word of God no matter what may be happening to the contrary!

Let us pray!