Posted by: admin on Sun, Feb 8, 2009
The Enemy is After Our Faith: Part One
I truly believe one of the greatest thieves in our walk with God is unbelief! When the spirit of unbelief rules our hearts and minds, God is unable to give us the wondrous, supernatural blessings He so desires. His incredible blessings and miracles are stolen away from us by this deceitful spirit.
God is looking for believers who will look at their circumstances with eyes of faith - people who will, despite all odds, believe for what God can do in any situation. He is also looking for people who will encourage the body of Christ by reminding them of His great power.
Will you be one of those who bring God's viewpoint to His people?
A Different Kind of Spirit
A person of true faith is a rare commodity. There always seems to be five negative people to every one positive person. Have you ever noticed how it is much easier to see the negative? It seems to be the obvious choice, at times. The circumstances that surround us often scream our defeat. But if we take the time to look into God's heart on the matter, we will see it differently. We will see that all is not lost and He has a plan for our good (see Jeremiah 29:11).
Two positive reporters in the Bible were Caleb and Joshua. In Numbers 13 and14, Moses sent twelve men into the Promised Land to see what it was like and to bring back a report to him and the people of Israel. Twelve spies went in, but only two viewing the situation saw things from God's perspective. Caleb and his friend Joshua saw the land was good, and wanted to go get it! Indeed, there were giants in the land, but they knew their God was bigger than any giant. Unfortunately, their reports were contradicted by the negative reports of the other spies.
The ten negative spies saw only the barriers that stood between them and their promised land. They did not believe God was bigger than their circumstances. They said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us" (Numbers 13:31). But "Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it' " (v 30).
However, Caleb, try as he might, could not turn the people away from the bad report of the other spies; they refused to believe him. They continued to spread a bad report among the Israelites about the land they explored, saying, "The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants" (Numbers13:32)
That night all the people wept and complained about their situation. They grumbled against Moses and were ready to give up, even to the point of death. They cried out, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword?" (Numbers 14:2-3).
Of course, we know that God did not bring them to the wilderness to die, but rather to give them a great victory. But their hope in God had been deferred by the many bad reports they heard. Their faith had been stolen from them! Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." A spirit of unbelief had robbed the people of their faith in God and caused them to stumble and rebel against Him.
We see the same struggle today with the negative and positive people pitted against one another, fighting for the hearts and minds of God's people. Those with the positive reports, the ones who fight to declare God's goodness, are terribly outnumbered. But, oh, what a wonderful message they have to bring to God's people! They are the ones who bring the true GOSPEL, which is the good news.
Whether our situation is good or bad, we must have faith in God and know He is in control. Any obstacle that lies in our path is really just another opportunity for God to show us how much He loves us and what He can do. We can trust Him! No matter how bad a situation is, He is bigger. Tell Him it's impossible and He grins from ear to ear, because He devours the impossible and leaves us amazed. How could we even think for a moment the situation was impossible? "With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26b).
Caleb wasn't stupid. He could see the battle against the inhabitants of the land would not be easy. He saw the giants, but he also had a revelation of how BIG his God was. He said, "Do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them" (Numbers 14:9).
Even some Christians can come to us seeming to be very righteous, when in reality they have been sent by the enemy to discourage the people of God. They feel as though they have been given special insight as to just how bad the situation is. But it is not God's way to show us the negative circumstance without giving us an equal or greater revelation as to how He will redeem it.
Divine reporters view difficulty from God's point of view. They see the light of Christ even in the difficulties surrounding them, and know the favor of the Lord is with them. Refusing to be misled by fear, they allow faith to lead them.
We don't realize what affect our negative words have on God - how hurt He is by our disbelief in Him. He is not a bad God; He is very good and kind. And He wants us to believe and trust in His goodness. When we lead others to view God as "bad" or not in control, we cause them to lose heart and stumble. In doing so, we come under God's judgment, just like the ten spies who caused the Israelite people to rebel against Him.
God judged the Israelites for their rebellion, but His judgment against the ten "bad reporters" was much more severe. "As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land" (Numbers 14:36-38).
Thousands of people died in the desert because of the negative influence of ten men.
When God saw He was treated with contempt (see Numbers 14:22-23) He became very angry with the Israelites. Their disbelief in Him and their focus on their circumstances had caused them to offend God.
Caleb, on the other hand, had pleased God. "But my servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it" (Numbers14:24)
God is pleased with those who trust in Him. If He has shown you your promised land, then believe He will lead you into that promise. We need to take captive any thought, word or report that would raise itself above what the Lord has declared to be true. If God says you can do it, then you will!
Warning Against Unbelief
God equals the sin of unbelief to that of rebellion (see Hebrews 3). I have never been sorry that I have trusted in God, even if what I have believed for has not happened. However, I have regretted not trusting in Him. Our unbelief hurts God, so much so that He refers to it as a hardened heart (see Hebrews 3:15).
"For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:16-19 emphasis mine).
Many of the children of Israel were unable to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief. They saw the miracles God had previously performed, and heard the word of God He spoke through His prophets. "But the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard" (Hebrews 4:2b). Their unbelief led to their disobedience to God; it caused them to sin.
God is honored by our faith in Him. He takes it very personally, and rightly so. If we truly have a personal relationship with Him, we would know Him as faithful and true (see Revelation19:
Pray this with me:
Dear Holy Father,
Please forgive me for not trusting in You completely, and forgive me for my lack of faith and any discouraging words I have spoken. Help me to be an encouragement to Your people. I want You to be pleased with me, so help me to follow You with my whole heart.
In Jesus' Holy name, Amen!
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