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Faith Toward God (33)

For some time now, we have seen that the fear of anything and anyone other than the reverential fear of God will lead us to exhibiting no faith toward God; and consequently, fear, which manifests as dread, terror, fright, respect for man more than reverence for God, worry, anxiety, fretfulness, trepidation, timidity or cowardice, is a faith killer! We have seen that the re-assuring presence of the Holy Spirit in a mans life is the antidote to fear, if he must manifest faith toward God. To enable a Christian banish fear, the Holy Spirit fills the Christians heart with the love of God, which casts out fear. So, every believer in Christ should be mindful not to compromise the presence of God by His Spirit in his life. To ensure that the Holy Spirits presence is not removed from our lives, the bible thus warns us in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, to Quench not the Spirit and in Ephesians 4:30, to grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. To heed these injunctions of the bible, it is incumbent on every Christian to see that he totally and completely yields to the leading, counsel, and direction of the Holy Spirit in his life. For as long as the Holy Spirit is indwelling the believer in Christ, the love of God will fill his heart, and eradicate fear! But if the Holy Spirit is quenched or grieved by ones continuous sinfulness, and He (the Holy Spirit) withdraws, the Christian will become estranged from God and fearful, and, his conscience will trouble him and make him restless, and if he still persists in sinful living rather than repent before God, then fear will dominate his life, and may even restrain him from returning to God in repentance. A troubled or restless conscience is a warning sign which God has given to every man to know when he has sinned against God. So, even if a Christian is not immediately aware that he has sinned against God, the troubling of his conscience becomes the indicator to him that something is amiss; and as such, he should go to God in prayer, and God Who knows all things, will tell him what he has done wrong, so that he can repent, be cleansed of his sins, and return to God. Once this is done, fellowship with God is re-established, peace returns to his heart, which is again filled with the love of God by the Holy Spirit, the joy of the Lord will return to his life, and, fear will once again be banished from his heart. Brethren, let us refrain from doing anything therefore, that will make our closest Ally, Friend, Companion, Advocate, Helper, Adviser, Counsellorthe Holy Spiritto ever leave or be estranged from our lives. Rather, let us be determined to do those things that please Goddoing His Will, denying ourselves for Him, carrying our cross daily and following after our Lord Jesus Christ, not seeking the preservation of our lives here on earth to the detriment of our eternal security with God in heaven. Let us begin now, to live free of fear, full of Gods love, and exhibit faith toward God!

Besides the four cardinal faith killers which we have been looking at for some time now, namely: seeking alternatives to God, unbelief, doubt, and fear; there are several other faith killers. Generally speaking, these other faith killers include: our present unpleasant situation, the argument of science, reasoning or always wanting to make sense of things that happen around us, taking cognizance of the opinions of experts, relying on what you see with your eyes, and, on your own ability, military prowess, being guided by feelings, swallowing up false teachings, reliance on historical antecedents, disobedience, impatience, and sin, to mention a few. In this broadcast, we shall attempt as briefly as possible to discuss some of these.

Let us begin with our present unpleasant situation. A lot of Christians are engrossed in their present circumstance, particularly, when they are considered unpleasant, and use such so-called unpleasant situations as the yardstick for concluding that God is not with them; that God does not like them; or that things are not going well, and as such, they either abandon the pathway which God had charted for them, or lose heart in the word of God, and pay heed to soothsayers, and the like. If we look at the condition in which the disciples of the Lord found themselves in Mark 4:35-40, after the Lord had said to them, Let us pass over to the other side, when suddenly a storm arose, it would have seemed appropriate to have concluded that God did not sanction their crossing over to the other side. But we can see from Scripture that as soon as the disciples landed on the other side of the sea, after the Lord had calmed the storm, there met them, a man possessed with demons, whom the Lord delivered; which really was the object of their crossing over. Hence, the devils goal for raising the storm at sea, which was meant to deter them from bringing deliverance to the man possessed by demons was aborted. Friend, it is not every time that God will reveal the whole picture to you; in fact, God rarely reveals very much; for it is a walk of faith that we are called toa walk that requires that we trust God absolutely, every step of the way. We must walk based on the word that God has spoken to us, and not on the basis of what we are experiencing; we must walk on the basis of the light that is revealed to us at any point in time, rather than seeking to see the whole picture. Hence, our present unpleasant situation should never be allowed to dissuade us from continuing in faith toward God, rather, it should drive us to seek comfort and affirmation from God in the place of prayer. May we state here that when God asks you to do something, it will not necessarily be without challenges! Many people have erroneously assumed that once they are involved in doing the will of God, it will be smooth sailing all the way. The truth is, the devil always attacks the will of God, and when he finds someone who is willing to do the will of God, he will seek to make life very difficult and discouraging for that individual, so as to make the individual abandon doing Gods will and turn away from it completely. This was why in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus prayed three times, for an hour each time, against the discouragement and attack of the devil against His doing the will of His Father, which was, to die on the cross for the sins of the world! Please note henceforth, that when God asks you to do something, and discouragement sets in, remember that discouragement is never of God! In 1 Corinthians 16:8-9, Paul, writing by the Spirit of God, said, But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. You see, the door of opportunity which God opened unto Paul to preach the gospel was met with opposition from the adversary on many fronts, but this did not dissuade Paul from continuing; instead, he said, I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. Brethren, if your present circumstance seems to be unpleasant, as you are doing the work of God, tarry at that place and do the will of God, and in the end, you will rejoice in the good thing which the Lord is doing through you.

Now let us look at deferring to the argument of science. Science is a faith killer because it never relies on Gods word! Science relies on its ability to explain things, and predict the occurrence of events with a degree of certainty through repetitive trials or experiments which produce the same end results. But the word of God is beyond scientific explanation of any sort, and cannot be predicted in the way science would consider it a part of science. And, in any case, the word of God is greater than science, for it has been, before science! Whereas science works with the operation of repetitive observations it has made over time, to obtain particular results, the word of God does not lend itself to any human explanation or experimentation whatsoever. For example, it took scientists centuries and extremely lengthy calculations to prove that the earth is round; whereas, in the bible, the word of God told us between 740680 B. C., that the earth is round. In Isaiah 40:21-22 it is written: Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: Tucked in at the beginning of v.22 is the word that tells us that the earth is roundIt is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth. Left to science, there are no calculations to prove this, and so unverifiable, and cannot be accepted. In 2 Kings 7, the bible tells us about the word of the Lord which came to Elisha regarding the end of a famine, which had decimated the nation of Israel. The famine was so severe that a birds excrement was very expensive to buy, and, mothers were killing their children for food. It was under such a dire circumstance that the word of God came to Elisha. Let us read the account in 2 Kings 7:1-2: Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. Friend, unless you have faith in God, it will be very difficult to believe the word of God. Elisha did not allow the present unpleasant circumstance to stop him from speaking forth the word of God, concerning the deliverance of the nation of Israel, in spite of the famine caused by the siege against it by an invading army. But the lord on whom the king leaned, who would represent science, in the form of an expert in famine related matters, or a professor of economics, agriculture, foreign trade, etc., was unable to see past the present unpleasant circumstance, and his scientific mind. This was the man whom the king leaned on, trusted, relied on, or depended on. Based on the science of economics, it is impossible for a famine to end in 24 hours, and prices be ridiculously low instantly, for the law of demand and supply does not make that possible. Based on agriculture, it would take the best part of nine months to get any local production of food going immediately after a famine. Based on foreign trade dynamics, it would take at least three months to get food supply from foreign nations by ships to feed a whole nation. But based on the word of God, the abundance of food supply was going to happen in 24 hours! Now, one may empathize with the lord on whose hand the king leaned, for he was ignorant of the power that accompanies the spoken word of God. In the end, it happened exactly as the word of the Lord spoken by Elisha had saidwithin 24 hours, food was indeed abundant and very cheap in Israel! You will need to read the whole of 2 Kings 7 to see that God had caused the invading army which laid siege on Israel, to come for the invasion with all manner of foodstuff, and then got them to hear a noise, which made them to flee and abandon not only their foodstuff, but also their financial resources. Sadly, the lord on whose hand the king leaned saw the abundance of food, but died soon after. A warning to those who would make light of the word of God, not to do so.

In this one instance, we can also see how the faith of the king of Israel was killed not only by deferring to the argument of science, but also, by reasoning or trying to make sense of what God has said. Indeed, what Elisha said did not make any sense at all, but because it was the word of God, it was surely going to come to pass. Many people try to reason things out, or make sense of things which God says He will do, like the lord on whose hand the king leaned; but the bible makes it abundantly clear that God cannot be figured out, neither can anyone, through reasoning, understand what God is doing, or how He will do what He says He will do. In Isaiah 55:6-9, God said, Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. People try to understand how God can forgive a man that no one will ever be able to forgive, but God is past finding out. Even though it may be difficult for men to forgive, yet God guarantees us of His forgiveness, if we would come to Him in true repentance, calling upon His Name. Are you that man who thinks that he has done things which God can never forgive? Let us assure you that God can, and will, forgive all your sins, if you truly repent from a penitent heart, and make up your mind never again to go back to that way of life. But dont try to reason out God, or make sense of what He has said, simply trust His word!

Let us pray!