“Jesus said, ‘Have faith in God.’” (One Mindedness.)
"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:22-24
Faith and Doubt Cannot Mix
Doubt holds up a STOP sign to your faith.
Last week’s teaching was on the reasons for and the effects of being double-minded. Being double-minded means we found God’s good promise, we believed God’s good promise, and then, for one reason or another, decided to let God’s good promise go. “It just isn’t working for me, Lord.”
All of us have had experiences like this. But God has provided help for us: Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith! See Hebrews 12:2
Just because we didn’t achieve desired results in the past doesn’t mean that we should give up on the life of faith. No! We persevere because:
“The just shall live by faith. But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38
Although God will never leave us, living this life fully depending on the natural world system to meet all of our needs will cause an inward conviction that we are not fully pleasing our Father. And if we’re not depending on Him we’re depending on a system that is far below Heaven’s rights and benefits. Psalm 103:1-5
Leaving faith on the shelf doesn’t bring us into the realm of perfect rest and contentment.
Why? God will not allow those who doubt His good word to enter His rest.
“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, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.
“Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'they always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.'
“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.
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence (faith) steadfast to the end, while it is said:
"Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
Doubt and Unbelief are evil.
Doubt says: I really have a problem with that; I’m just not really sure about it.
Unbelief says: I absolutely do not believe that is true!
I can still remember the awful feeling I had as a child telling my mother the truth and she not believing me. I’m sure you have experienced this as well. It leaves you devastated because what else can you say? You have spoken the truth. What else is there?
How much more should our heavenly Father, who is the creator of all life and holds our next breath in His hand, how much more should He be trusted and believed?
TRUST IN THE WRITTEN WORD: THE PREREQUISITE TO FAITH
“God has magnified His Word above His name” Psalm 138:2
“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
“The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. “ John 6:63
Seeing Miracles Does Not Guarantee Lasting Faith
The children of Abraham were led out of Egypt after seeing and experiencing protection from the ten plagues of judgment on that nation of wickedness and idolatry. They saw a sea open for them. They walked on dry ground and looked at the waters: a wall of water on their right and on a wall of water on their left. Imagine that! And they saw God crush and defeat all of Pharaoh’s mighty army as Moses stretched out his hand and the waters returned.
See Exodus 14:21-31
Wow! Surely they would never doubt God’s willingness and absolute power to deliver them.
So Moses and the children of Israel rejoiced in the Lord and sang and danced, that is until just three days later out in the wilderness looking for water and finding none they began a pattern of complaints that proved their lack of trust until the final transgression:
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.
“And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them,
‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!’
“Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims?
“Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt…? (or the world’s system for our provision)?
“So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.’" Numbers 14:1-3
Did you notice they called God a liar and a murderer?
Ten wicked unbelieving men led 2-3 million people down the wrong path. There’s a price to pay for close associations with those who doubt God’s Word.
What started as complaining and doubting escalated into unrestricted unbelief and accusations against the God of all that is good. God had better plans for them than being slaves to an evil system.
God’s plans for us always provide deliverance from slavery and bondage.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Unbelief’s goal is to produce a hardened heart against God. A hardened heart is the devil’s playpen.
So we can see that God’s patience and miracles of provision for the Israelites did not produce real and lasting faith.
“Then the LORD said (to Moses): ‘I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD;
"because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times,
“and have not heeded My voice,
"they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.’” Numbers 14:20-23
And so God gave them what they spoke; they died in the wilderness.
Read Hebrews Chapter 4
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest…”
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Life Application Suggestions
We should always have specific faith projects in our lives. Make a list of what you are believing God for and the promise from His Word that you are standing on.
Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by God’s good word—Romans 10:17—read the word out loud when you are studying. Also, make sure the teachers who preach the word to you are spirit-led people of faith themselves.
Meditate on the scriptures that promise what you desire. Last week’s lesson talked about your imagination. Use your imagination to see yourself with the outcome promised. David saw himself triumph over the giant before he slung the first stone. See your Father answering your prayers.
Monitor what you let in your ears…it will eventually get into your heart.
“Jesus said, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
"For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’" Mark 4:24-25
Your faith is progressive, Saints. Use it or lose it.
Pray for Your State.
The Church—The Lost—Elected Officials
Jesus says, "Have faith in My Father. Begin to do the greater works!"