Monday, December 17, 2012
Overcoming Unbelief - The Enemy of Faith
by Pastor Tim Burt
Psalm 34:7 “For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear Him, and He rescues them.”
Are you safe? Do you feel safe? Are you under attack? Does you life feel under attack in some area? Are you in trouble? Do you believe that God wants to protect you? Should you believe that? Whatever your answers are to any of these questions, know this as a truth: You desire to be safe. You want to be protected. You desire for God to protect you. How can I say that? It’s easy; God has put that desire within us. Our ability to protect ourself is like using bullet proof vest - better than nothing but still too much exposure. There are hundreds of scriptures revolving around man’s desire for protection and God willingness to be our refuge and help in times of trouble. God is the only one and I mean thee only one who can fulfill that desire. And, that desire can only be fulfilled through the realm of faith.
People hear of tragedy of every kind every day and don’t want to be a victim of it. Consequently, you may have prayed for God to help you out of trouble at some time in your life. You may have prayed for His protection over you or your children or perhaps over your travels. In praying for His protection, it is possible that you may have prayed a wishbone prayer? Do you know what a wishbone prayer is? It’s a prayer requesting something but having no real faith that God will do it. It is a prayer that isn’t really rooted in knowing what God wants. It’s a prayer not rooted in faith. It’s rooted in the equivalent of the expectation you would have for a wish to come true when you break a wishbone. It’s really a prayer of unbelief.
Unbelief hinders God answering prayers. We read in Mark 6:5-6 that Jesus could do few miracles within His own home town because of the unbelief of the people there. “And because of their unbelief, Jesus couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”
God’s Word is full of secrets. They are truths and covenant promises that the world thinks are just words, fables, myths, or whatever – anything but truth. The Apostle Paul along with others were being used of God to help those that believed in Jesus, understand the secrets of God - “… as mere servants of Christ we have been put in charge of explaining God's secrets.” (1 Cor. 4:1) It isn’t that God wants His ways to be secret. He want to reveal them! But, He won’t reveal His truths to those that would mock and trample them in unbelief and greed. As Jesus said, “Don't give what is holy to unholy people. Don't give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6)
So, now that you understand this, let’s take a deeper look into the original intent of what God has always wanted for His people – something that is really a secret only revealed by scripture and the Holy Spirit. Why is that important to know? Because, as I have said and will continue to say, when you understand what God wants for you – His will, then you will apply your faith to what you know He wants for you. Your faith will change the very trouble-filled circumstances that are contrary to His will for you. As 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
What a powerful secret to learn! This is what brings God’s life-changing power into our lives. It not only changes our circumstances, it changes us! It changes our way of thinking and our character. It turns us into people that truly trust God and have true heart faith!
So again, what is it that God wants for us? What is His will toward us? What did God declare He wanted for His children? Well first He promised to help them out of the troubled place they were in, and then to protect them.
When they cried out to God for help, God brought help through the person of Moses. God promised to deliver them from trouble, prosper them, and protect them if they’d trust in Him. We read it in Deut. 6:22-25. “Before our eyes the Lord sent miraculous signs and wonders… But He brought us out from there (their place of trouble,) to bring us in and give us the land that He promised on oath to our forefathers. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive (protected,) as is the case today...”
The key to these promises manifesting in the lives of the Israelites coming out of Egypt was that they had to believe in and trust in Him. That is also our key. God promises that if we obey Him in our life style and have faith and trust in Him, faith in what He promises us will protect us. We see these promises over and over in God’s Word. Psalm 9:9-10 says, “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You.” We see this again in Psalm 37:39 “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.” And again in Psalm 34:7 “For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear Him, and He rescues them.” To not understand these things is to experience troubles from the adversary of your soul that God wanted to protect you from, as we see in Hosea 4:6. "My people are being destroyed for a lack of knowledge..."
The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons. That means His promises apply to us all. We are also told that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That means He still feels the same about us today as He has toward all His children always. He loves us and wants His best for us!
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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