“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7
FAITH BRINGS REST
Hearing, Believing, & Doing God’s Written Word
Most of God’s instruction and direction will be during our times of reading and studying the Word of God, privately or by hearing our ministers. Sometimes we hear His voice speak to us in our heart, but that voice must always be in perfect agreement with the written Word of God. They never, ever disagree. Why? Because God’s written Word is God’s will.
Faith begins where the will of God is known.
Faith comes during those times when we are hearing (receiving Kingdom knowledge) not only with our physical ears, but also hearing and receiving in our spirit.
Inner hearing is amplified to those who “hear with the intent to obey.” This is why some seem to be “just blessed with more faith,” but the truth is God wants every one of His children functioning in the full capacity of His promises. This pleases Father greatly for He loves to reward His children! Hebrews 11:6
Faith is the connector between God and man.
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25
The Wickedness of Unbelief: Grasshopper Mentality
Why does the Holy Spirit warn The Church to beware of an evil heart of unbelief?
Because even though we are born from above, we can fall into the same trap of being deceived by lies, just like the ten leaders who led 2-3 million children of Israel down the road of unbelief, cancelled dreams and cancelled destinies. This does NOT please our good Father!
The influence of unbelief that operates in the world around us today is on the increase. Sin is blatantly arrogant, not regarding the righteousness of our Father’s ways. Jesus said we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let us be bold and confident examples of purity and light!
ABRAHAM: The Father of Faith
You know our history: God called Abram to leave his country and follow God to a new land that He would show him. There God would make of him a great nation and bless him.
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:3
“In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” is the gospel. See Galatians 3:8
God brought Abram outside to look at the night sky and the multitude of stars... “So shall your descendants be.” Abram believed the Lord and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Twenty-five years later, through perseverance and faith, Abraham and Sarah gave birth to the son of the promise.
…“who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, 'So shall your descendants be.'
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
“That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God.) AMP
“Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed [granted and credited] to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead…" Romans 4:18-24
When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were born again and immediately given right standing with God. Our justification is not by our deeds but by our faith in Christ Jesus.
“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?; just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
“Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” Galatians 3:5-7
Back to the Wilderness: Faith vs. Unbelief
“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, 'Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.
“But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.’”
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.”
Of course they cried all night. They believed a lie. All hope and excitement for a new life was stolen from them. God was removed from the vision. What was left?
Hopelessness will always lead its victim back to Egypt…back to the ways of man trying to supply his own needs apart from God. It is a place of darkness, despair, depression and loneliness.
Possessing the Land
What would have happened if the children of Israel had chosen to believe the faith statements of Caleb and Joshua? They would have gone from slavery to landowners in just a few short weeks. Really? What about all those people, fortified cities that were so large, and those mighty giants, the descendants of Anak?
The Rewards of Faith in God: Caleb and Joshua Inherit The Land!
Let’s jump ahead 40 years. This time, new leader Joshua sends out only two spies.
Hear what Rahab the harlot said:
“I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
"For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
"And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:9-11
I Told You So!
Like Joshua and Caleb said 40 years before:
"The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.
"Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them." Numbers 14:7-9
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness…” Hebrews 3:7-8
“So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'"
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13
“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 3:19 & 4:1
What is the word of the Lord to His Church in our day?
“Fear Not! Do not fear the people of the land. Their protection has departed from them. God is with you!”
Don’t follow those who don’t follow Jesus in faith. Be like Caleb and Joshua.
They knew their God; they believed and trusted what He said He was well able to perform, just like their father, Abraham. Remember Saints, we have been grafted into that same tree. Read Romans 11:16-18.
Follow the faith of Abraham who was fully convinced that what God had promised He was able to perform.
"Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.
“For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
"Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands will wait upon Me, and on My arm they will trust.
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.
"Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation."
Isaiah 51:1- 8. You’ll enjoy the rest of this chapter too.
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The Church—The Lost—Elected Officials