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Faith Toward God (34)

In our last broadcast, we saw that besides the four cardinal faith killers of, seeking alternatives to God, unbelief, doubt, and fear; there are many other faith killers, which include, our present unpleasant circumstance, 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, relying on your own abilities, military prowess, being guided by feelings, swallowing up false teachings, reliance on historical antecedents, disobedience, impatience, and sin, to mention a few.

We have seen that to rely on your present unpleasant situation, the argument of science, and your reasoning faculty, is clearly not the way to go, as all these alternatives depend on human understanding, and Gods way of doing things is clearly divergent from the way man operates. While man depends on his senses, his power of observation and recording such observations to arrive at an inference, God on the other hand, does things based on what He wants, and there is no law that can stop Him. For example, scientists cannot imagine how the world was made in six literal days, and so have gone about to propound theories of evolution and the Big Bang. And really that is all that man can dotheorize. But God is not theory; He is real! He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth that we now see, by the spoken word, for He said, Let there be and there was! This is why we can, and must trust His every word if we are going to be able to relate with Him in all things. Indeed, God has not asked us to understand His wordthat is, the intricacies of how He will do what He says He will do, or how things will work outbut He has called us to believe Him! In John 20:30-31, the bible says, And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. Friend, this is the essence of the written word of Godthat you might believe that Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and, the Son of God; and that believing this you might have eternal life, which begins with the forgiveness of your sins, and culminates in everlasting life with God in heaven, after you have lived here on earth according to Gods word. We do not come to God on any other basis, but on the basis of His word, which He has given to us as documented in the bible.

We shall now take another look at the prophecy of Elisha in 2 Kings 7, concerning the end of a severe famine in Israel, which we began to look at in our last broadcast. We have already seen that our present unpleasant situation, can deter us from trusting God, as we may think that an unpleasant situation encountered in the course of doing Gods will is Gods way of telling us not to continue on the path that we are going. In so far as what we are doing is the will of God, the devil will try to frustrate us by making things difficult and even sending discouragement our way. But always remember that discouragement does not come from God; so, when next you feel discouraged, you should know that it is the devil who has brought it about. Also, we have seen that the argument of science cannot stand in the face of Gods word; for while science relies on a series of observations and inferences therefrom, the word of God calls those things which be not as though they are (Romans 4:17). Indeed, while scientists are busy theorizing about how the earth came about, God has clearly said in Hebrews 11:3, that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. And in 2 Kings 7, we saw how a man on whom the king of Israel depended on, dissuaded the king from believing the word of God concerning the end of the famine and the immediate abundance of food supply. The scientific mind of the kings adviser could not accept that a famine could end and food supply will be so abundant, that prices will crash! The law of economics does not support this, neither does the dynamics of agricultural production, nor yet, the principles of foreign trade. Friend, the word of God does not acquiesce to any scientific proposition. Once it is spoken, it is as good as done, no matter how scientifically impossible it may seem. Finally, we saw how the faith of the king of Israel was also killed by reasoning. By trying to figure out God, many people have not trusted in Him for their salvation, deliverance, and eternity in heaven, and have ended up in hell; permanently estranged from God. Ours is to believe God and His word; not to argue the word of God out, or try to figure out how God will do what He says He will do.

Now, as we look at the story in 2 Kings 7, and the faithlessness of the kings adviser and the king himself, we can also see that the faithlessness of the king, and indeed of many people who say they are Christians, stem from their reliance on the opinions of experts. There are many people today, sadly, including some Christians, who are more inclined to go with what the experts say, than with what the word of God says on any matter. The king of Israel in this story, chose to rely on the opinion of the expert on whom he depended upon, who said that, even if God were to make windows in heaven, it could not be possible for food supply to flood the entire nation of Israel within 24 hours of the end of the famine. You see, unknown to this expert, Gods plan had already taken effectit began with God making the invading army to hear a noise and flee in haste, leaving behind all that they had brought with them; food, money, jewellery, etc. The plan of God also involved some lepers who were moved by the Spirit of God to go to the camp of the enemy, where they discovered that the camp was deserted, and had helped themselves to some of the booty, before it dawned on them that God had led them there to tell the nation that the siege was over, and that there was abundance of supplies in the camp of the enemy. Experts can never know what God is doing, and how God is going to accomplish what He intends to do. It takes us simply believing Gods wordnothing more, nothing less! Then, there is also the reliance on man as a faith killer. Even if the king did not rely on this adviser of his because he had a scientific mind, or expertise in affairs of State, he indeed relied hima mere man as he was! How sad it is when a man puts his trust in another man. It is like a blind man depending on another blind man to lead himthe bible says that both of them will fall into a ditch. In Jeremiah 17:5-6, the bible says, Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. The bible is here saying that when you trust in man, not only does your heart depart from God, but you will not be able to see when God is bringing good your way. There are Christians who seek advice from their friends and even mentors, but never go to God in prayer. Even though the advice from their friends and mentors may seem to make sense, yet if God speaks differently, we would be following their counsel to our detriment. Indeed, the Psalmist says in Psalms 60:11 and 108:12, Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to put your trust in a man. Friend, do you know that even if your own bossom friend makes a promise to you, and intends to keep that promise, yet, he does not have the power to keep his life so as to fulfil his promise to you, because he may die before being able to fulfil his promise. Truly, vain is the help of man, therefore turn to God, for He alone can truly give help!

While the king of Israel leaned on a man; there are those who think that relying on many men, and even powerful nations, is the way to go. So many Christians have ruined their faith because they leaned on the ability or military prowess of nations, like the United States of America, Russia, China, etc., only to find these nations playing politics on the world stage, or have their entire security operation breached by a schoolboy computer hacker. The bible says in Psalm 36:6, Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him. At the time this Psalm was written, the nation of Egypt was a powerful force to reckon with in the world. But when God brought opposition against Egypt, the nation crumbled like a pack of cards! Trusting in military might may make sense, yet it is froth with danger and losses; but trusting in God is where you have eternal guarantees. In Psalm 33:17, the bible says, An horse [which is figurative of strength and even victory in battle] is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength and in Proverbs 21:31, it says, The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. Indeed, vain is the help of men, armoured tanks, nuclear weapons, etc.; true safety is in the Lord God Almighty.

In Proverbs 3:5-6 the bible says, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. When you trust in your own abilities or even in the abilities of other men, you will not be able, or willing, to trust in God; hence God warns against trusting in our own abilities, but rather, to lean on Him in all that we do. Many people think that every job that offers a fat pay is from God, and they dive straight into it without asking God, only to regret taking the job in the end. Meanwhile, there are low paying jobs which hold strong prospects for long-term eternal blessings, but because low paying jobs will never grab the attention of the carnal man, many carnal people who say they are Christians have missed out on the plan of God for their lives. The bible says, in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. A way may seem right to a man, it does not mean that it is the right way. It is only when we trust God to lead us that we truly find the way of peace.

In Genesis 13, there was unrest between Abram and Lot, Abrams nephew, and so Abram told his nephew to choose which direction he would go, so that they could separate and avoid the bickering and unrest between their servants. Lot did an eye survey of the terrain and chose the well-watered land of Sodom and Gomorrah. By relying on his sight, and the power of deduction, Lot thought that he had him a good deal; however, he did not realize that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked before God; that a war was about to make him a prisoner of war; and, ultimately, that Gods judgment was going to befall the land he had chosen. Friend, all that glitters is not gold! Abram on the other hand, who was left with a seemingly unattractive terrain, was blessed by God in the portion Lot left for him, which did not seem to be much at the time. Brethren your eyes can deceive you into making a wrong decision. God told Samuel when he was going to anoint a wrong person on the basis of physical appearance in 1 Samuel 16:7, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Brethren, we cannot be making decisions on the basis of what we see physically. We need to go to God to let Him make the right choices for us on the basis of what we cannot see. The bible makes it clear that if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you should not walk by sight, but by faith; that is, trusting in God and in His word only! Many Christians are today, making the choice of spouses, where to live, where to work, what business venture to embark on, and so on, based on sight, rather than on what God is saying; and they are presently living in regret in their marriage, choice of residence, job, business, etc. A man who is sitting on the 25th floor of a building has a far better and more distant view than a man standing on the 3rd floor of the same building. God sees far, far, more than you can ever think of seeing in your lifetime, so turn to Him, and dont let your vision deceive you into making the wrong decision.

Friend, there is only one place where you can find confidence for a turnaround in your life, your decision-making, your choice of a life partner, and so on, and it is not in your own ability, the help of man, the opinion of experts, or, military prowess of nations; rather, it is simply by trusting only in God. I want you to note that if Moses had to rely on any of these faith killers, he would never have left Egypt with more than two million slaves, let alone cross the Red Sea, and live in the wilderness even one year, not to talk of 40 years, without first calculating how much it would cost to feed his two million congregation every day. It was simply faith in God that got Moses and the whole of Israel, out of Egypt. It is faith in God alone that can deliver you from sin, demonic attacks, and worldliness.

Let us pray!