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Thursday, March 27 2014
DOUBT- The Thief of God's Greater Blessings Text: Matthew 13:58; 14:22-31; 17:14-20; Mark 4:35-40; 11:23, 24;
Introduction: I trust we have all been writing our tickets with God since our last meeting. We still have some days left in the year and of course years to come in order to benefit immensely from this experience. We will be considering a very essential and important topic in this series today (titled above). The dictionary definition of Doubt is;
1] To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
2] To distrust.
In each of the scriptural references read so far, it can be clearly seen that doubt caused people to receive something less than the best God has for them. In fact, doubt can prevent someone from not receiving anything! The Lord Jesus also rebuked every single person for their doubt and unbelief. We pray that our faith will be encouraged as we walk through this series so that we will not fall victims of Doubt - The Thief of God's Greater Blessings in Jesus name. Amen.
God’s Best: Receiving By Our Own Faith.
There are instances in scriptures where the Lord intervened by His divine sovereignty. When Peter cried out to Him to save him as he began to sink (Matt. 14:30). When His disciples cried out and awakened Him during the storm in the ship (Mark 4:38, 39). However, God’s greatest desire then (and indeed now) is for His disciples to receive by their own faith. An account of Peter walking on water in Matt. 14:25, 28 and 29 is a proof of this.
Don’t Look at the Circumstances.
As bible students, we know that the reason why Peter began to sink in the account of Mar 4 above was because he took his eyes off Jesus and instead focused on the circumstances (boisterous wind). He began to see things happening around him and quit looking at Jesus and what He said.
Faith is acting upon the Word of God. As soon as Peter stopped acting on what God had said, he started sinking. Now, that was doubt because Jesus said to him in Matt.14:31;
“…..o thou of LITTLE FAITH wherefore didst thou DOUBT?”
Peter’s faith only carried him for a little while. Though the miracle of walking on water began, but it was not consummated. The same way, many miracles have begun in people’s lives but have not been consummated because they took their eyes and focus off God, and concentrate them instead on circumstances or symptoms. Jesus refers to this as “little faith”. Doubt robbed Peter of the best that God had for Him. Let’s take our eyes off the situations or circumstances (symptoms) and focus on God (His Word) which is far superior!
Don’t Criticize Others until You’ve Walked on the Water Yourself.
Jesus didn't intend for Peter to sink just as He never, and will NEVER intend for us to sink also. Jesus meant for him to be able to walk back to the ship with Him. But don't criticize Peter (or your brother or sister) until you've successfully walked on water without sinking! Then your criticism will be accepted. Besides, when you criticize others, it hinders your own faith.* don’t use Peter's failure to believe as an excuse for you to be able to doubt God.
Doubt and Fear Rob People of God's Blessings
Doubt and fear go hand in hand while faith and love go hand in hand.
....perfect love casteth out fear..." [1 John 4:18].
Faith gets the job done!
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. [Matt.13:58]
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.[Mark 6:5]
In Jesus' hometown, only a few people were healed under His ministry. The Amplified Bible mentioned the fact that there were "a few sickly people" healed. A bible dictionary says the Greek shows that there were a few folks with minor ailments who were healed. What happened in Nazareth was the fact that doubt (distrust) robbed the people there of God's best.
And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching.[Mark 6:6 Amp].
The unbelief of an entire congregation can keep God from working. This is the reason why Jesus take people aside, from the multitude in order to pray for them (Mark 7:32, 33).
Not a Lack of Power - A Lack of Faith [Matthew 17:14-20; Matthew 10:1]
By comparing the two scriptures above, we can comfortably and unequivocally conclude that the disciples could not heal the boy not because they lacked power, but simply because they lacked faith. When they asked Jesus why they couldn't cast out the devil, Jesus didn't say it was because they didn't have the power to do it. He said it was because of their unbelief.
Kenneth Hagin further mentioned that for years, he's heard many Full Gospel people say they needed more power so they could cast out devils and do the works of Jesus. He said lack of power is not what the trouble is at all. People miss the point by saying such because if you have the Holy Ghost, then you have the power (Acts 1:8). People think that if they had more power, the Word would automatically work. Wrong! The Word works by faith!
What’s hindering people is lack of faith - not lack of power. Doubt is robbing many of the blessings of God. It doesn't matter what you receive from God's Word. God’s Word still only operates by faith. Salvation is the greatest gift you can receive from God. Being born again is the greatest blessing a person can receive. But you still have to receive salvation by faith. And after you are born again, you must have and operate in faith in order to enjoy the blessings and benefits of salvation. The benefits of your inheritance in Christ just don't fall upon you like ripe cherries off a tree.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 Cor.5:7]
The baptism of the Holy Ghost is a mighty gift that God has for His children. But just because you are filled with the Holy Ghost doesn't necessarily mean you are a successful Christian. There are Spirit-Filled Christians with real Spirit-filled experience all around us, who are not successful. But the power they have received in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues is still utilised through faith. And if there is a lack of faith in appropriating the promises of God, then they are simply ignoring the powerhouse that is in them. You don't need any more power. You need to learn how to put the power you already have to work for you.
P.C. Nelson or "Dad" Nelson, founder of South-western Bible Institute, said that more people lose their healing over a counterattack than any other one reason. He was actually saying that the devil is going to come back against you with symptoms to make you think you didn't get your healing in the first place.
But if you'll stand your ground in faith on the Word of God and say that you are healed, then the devil will flee from you. The Bible says that we should resist the devil and then he will flee from us (James 4:7). Whatever you receive from God, you receive by faith and you hold on to by faith.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
Please Note: This teaching is an extract from Kenneth Hagin’s Book - FAITH BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Thursday, March 27 2014
Introduction: Doubt is to hesitate to believe, to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely.
Your confession of Satan's ability to hinder you and to keep you from success gives Satan dominion over you. Your confession of your fear or doubt gives fear or doubt dominion over you. If you confess fear, your fears become stronger and you get more and more into bondage to the enemy. But if you will boldly confess your Father's care and protection, and confess God's Word and declare that what God says about you is true, you will rise above satanic influence every single time. Matt.14:31; “…..o thou of LITTLE FAITH wherefore didst thou DOUBT?”
Today, we are looking at seven steps to the highest kind of Faith. This is the faith which takes God at His word and gets results.
“For the word of God is QUICK, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Moffatt's translation reads, "For the Logos [Word] of God is a living thing. . . ." You see, "quick" means alive or living. And so the Word of God is a living thing. But it will only come alive to you and work in your life as you accept it and act upon it. Therefore, the first step to attaining the highest kind of faith is to settle on the absolute integrity of God's Word. The Word of God should be of foremost importance in your life. Sometimes
people feel that God hasn't spoken to them unless they have received a message in tongues or a prophecy, but God's Word - the Bible - is God speaking to us! And tongues and interpretations or prophecy are not to be put above the holy written Word of God. Say it out loud: "God's Word is God speaking to me."
“12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [able] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 WHO HATH DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Another translation of verse 12 reads, ". . . which made us ABLE to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light"! Thank God, we are able to be partakers of our inheritance and we can enter into our inheritance in Christ. Now read verse 13: "Who HATH delivered us from the POWER of darkness. . . ." This verse does not say God is going to deliver us; it says He has already delivered us when we were born again into God's Kingdom. The Greek word translated "power" here means authority. In other words, we could read that scripture, "Who has delivered us from the authority of darkness....". Now that word "darkness" means everything that Satan is - the kingdom of Satan. But in Christ we have been delivered from the power or authority of Satan's kingdom. Notice Colossians 1:14 says, "In whom we have redemption through his [Jesus'] blood. . . ." Therefore, Satan cannot lord it over the believer, for we have been redeemed!
Let's look again at Revelation 12:11. “And they overcame him [the accuser of the brethren, Satan] BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY....”
COLOSSIANS 1:18 “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the”
FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Jesus is the firstborn from the dead (Rev. 1:18). We are begotten of God, but Jesus was the first One who was begotten of God (Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:5). Peter said, "Being born again begotten] not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).
Thank God, we are begotten of God. We are born of God. We are children of God. We are heirs of God. We are joint or equal heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17). We are not magnifying ourselves when we talk about our inheritance in Christ; we are magnifying God and what He has done for us through the Lord Jesus Christ. We did not make ourselves new creatures; God made us new creatures. And Jesus is the Author and the
Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). Thank God, we are new creatures created by God in Christ Jesus.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his RIGHTEOUSNESS: that he might be JUST, and THE JUSTIFIER of him which believeth in Jesus.”
The same Greek root word that is translated "righteousness" here in Romans 3:25 and 26 is also translated "just" and "justifier" in this same verse. The margin of my Bible reads, "that he might himself be righteous" (Rom. 3:26). The words "just" and "righteous" or "righteousness" can be interchangeable terms. What is this verse in Romans 3:26 telling us? That God has declared His righteousness to us through Jesus. And that God Himself is righteous and He has become my righteousness. God is the righteousness of all who have believed on Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). This is not theory but a Bible fact. 2 Cor. 5:21.
1 CORINTHIANS 6:19,20 “ What? know ye not that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost which
is IN you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
We need to become "God-inside minded." In other words, we need to just simply take God at His Word. We need to believe and act like the Bible is true when it says, ". . . greater is he that is IN you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4)! "He that is in the world" is the god of this world, Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). But, thank God, He who is in us, the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, is greater than he who is in the world!
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called UNTO THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”
The very heart reason for redemption is fellowship. The highest honour that the Father has ever conferred upon us is to be "jointfellowshippers" with Himself, with His Son, and with the Holy Spirit in carrying out His
dream for the redemption of the human race. But relationship without fellowship is an insipid thing. It is like the marriage relationship without love or fellowship. Fellowship is the very mother of faith. And fellowship is the parent of joy. It is the source of victory. And God has called us individually into fellowship with His Son. If you have fellowship with God and you are walking in the light as He is in the light, then prayer becomes one of the sweetest and one of the greatest assets to which we have become heirs in Christ.
God has given us the power of attorney to use the Name of Jesus. This means we have power in that Name over Satanic forces. Jesus said, ". . . In my name ... they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18). Jesus said, "... whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (John 15:16). We have authority to use that Name. The Name of Jesus carries authority on this earth. It is not a matter of faith, but it is a matter of knowing your legal rights in Christ and taking your rightful place as a son or daughter. It is a matter of taking your place in carrying out God's will in the earth. Getting us to cooperate with God is the biggest problem!
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Please Note: This teaching is an extract from Kenneth Hagins Book - FAITH BIBLE STUDY GUIDE