Fear, The Harmful Way To One’s Doubt

Fear, is a thing that eats the emotion, destroys the body and mind, and ultimately controls the lives of those who feed on it. A spirit, the Bible calls it by name, is not given by God, but by the enemy of the soul. Through the spirit of fear, doubt takes over the mind and leads us to a hardening of the heart toward truth. A dangerous place to be, for it is there that we will lose the chance to repent, if we keep hardening our heart toward God. A dangerous wall made of lies, keeping truth unacceptable, blinding the eyes and hardening the heart.

The spirit of fear does not work alone; it has many other spirits working along with it. It is by the hearing that doubt penetrates the soul; it is seeing and not believing that the heart closes itself to truth. In the days of Noah before the flood, God gave that world 120 years to repent through the warning of judgement, for He is a compassionate God, not willing that men should perish. But the message Noah passed on to the people was to them as if a tale told children. Wherever there is truth, doubt is sure to hide in the heart and in the mind. The danger of doubt is the hardening of the heart. In Romans, Paul warns us concerning that. When God gives the doubter up in their doubt, for refusing to hear the truth, nothing will change that, but the repentant heart.

Fear, working its way to bring doubt in the heart of men, has led many to eternal destruction, because when our forefathers chose to accept the message from the serpent, doubt entered not only their hearts, but the entire world suffered the consequence. In choosing to believe Satan’s message, they forfeited God’s message and the world became Satan’s kingdom. We see the evidence of it all around us. Antagonism, hate, jealousy, envy and many more spirits permeating human as well as in the lives of the animals. For fear of the truth, doubt found an opened door to control the mind; for not wanting to believe truth, men rejected it. The spirit of unbelief attaches itself onto the spirit of doubt. Whenever we doubt God’s words, we manifest the spirit of unbelief residing in our mind. The disciple Thomas was rebuked by YAHSHUA when he doubted His resurrection. Because he saw he believed, he was not praised for that, but rebuked by our Lord YAHSHUA saying, reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but believe (John 20:27).

Remove the Stone

(John 11: 39-43)

Lord, by this time he stinks, said Martha. Take away the stone, was the command of YAHSHUA to the crowd. So they did. And Yahshua lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that you have heard Me (vs.39, 41).

YAHSHUA lifted up His eyes and prayed after the stone had been removed. This is an important observation to be noted. Even though YAHSHUA could have removed the stone just by a command, He told the crowd to do it. For that, it required faith and obedience, for Lazarus had being dead four days. Martha’s word and of those  of the crowd expressed doubt but YAHSHUA ignoring their unbelief, confronted Martha with the question Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? (vs. 40) YAHSHUA, before entering the place where Lazarus was, He assured Martha of Lazarus’ resurrection; He assured her that He Himself was the Resurrection and the Life… (vs. 25). Lazarus was dead, yes, but that did not matter in the scope of Whom YAHSHUA was and what He could do. He wanted Martha to believe Him in spite of the reality of her brother’s death.

Lord, Help My Weakness of Faith!

(Mark 9:21-24)

Faith, the vital and most important armor of defense, is often overlooked in our times of trouble. We look for the tangible to provide the solution for our physical and emotional problems, because we seem to think that in the touching and seeing, our faith is developed, as it is  often said, “Seeing is believing”. Thomas, one of the disciples of YAHSHUA, seemed to have believed that way. When the disciples told and kept telling him of the resurrection of our Lord YAHSHUA, these were his words: “Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it]. Why was Thomas so contrary and so emphatic in his unbelief? What was there to gain? He expressively detailed the conditions he would believe: “Unless I see the marks of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the nail prints, and on His side, I will never believe”. The adverb never implies permanent condition of disbelief. The Lord rebuked him saying, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe? Blessed are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed on Me (John 20:27, 29).

But Thomas is not alone. We too turn faith into a dilemma in our challenging circumstances. When we fall ill, the first thought to come to mind is to see a doctor.  Nothing wrong in that, humanely speaking ; but what does the Word say about that?  Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders. And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name; and the prayer of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess to one another therefore your faults, and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (James 5:14-16). The Bible does not say, in sickness call in a doctor, but call in the church elders; it does not say, to give drugs, but it says, to pray over the sick, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. The results will be that the prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will restore him. The first thing to do to experience restoration is to confess our sin to one another. In offending my brother or sister, I have offended God also and I have suffered the consequences. By admitting my sins to the one I offended, I have taken the first step to my healing, because that has opened heavens and called the attention of God to bless me with restoration and deliverance from that which has caused my illness. God will always do what He has promised in our obedience to His word.

A Life’s Journey of Faith

It comes with determination, perseverance and endurance. All these are needed, in this earthly life, for it is a life of constant battles. Sorting things out that matter on our journey, is essentially important to achieve blamelessness and purity in the sight of God. The Patriarch Abraham leads us in his determination, perseverance and endurance, when he kept the faith in God’s promises, even though it took twenty-seven years for the first one to be fulfilled in his old life time. A life’s journey of faith is a slow and difficult journey, needed of much patience. Many are the giants, the mountains, the fires and many other obstacles we will face. The destination, however is beyond that which we can imagine. It is so wonderful, that all the pains we suffer here are not to be compared to the glorious experience at the end of our journey to that beautiful place, called heaven! The apostle Paul, on his journey of faith never gave up in all his sufferings, because he knew where he was going; he knew that he was not a citizen of this world, but of heaven, as are all who have trusted the Lord for their salvation. He went hungry, he went thirsty and cold, slandered and defamed, he was made rubbish and filth of the world and taken for dead. Paul looked beyond all and stayed the course of his destination. At the end of his life, he could well say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (II Tim. 4:7).

In Addition To All, Take Up the Shield of Faith

(Ephesians 6: 10-19)

The writer to the book of Hebrews gives the most definite and solid meaning of faith: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Who can understand faith, when never gone through difficulties? The measure of faith in one’s life is seen through hard times. Everyone has a certain applied degree of faith outside the spiritual. It is an important ingredient essential to life. Faith removes the doom and gloom of today’s when one has faith for a better tomorrow. Faith is a lifter upper brightening hope in whatever we hope for. But faith is much more than that when its shield is taken up in the spiritual battle field. The Bible says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. That is, not against humans. It is against the devil and his forces. Paul uses the Roman armor example to symbolize the armor of God’s proficiency in its use in every spiritual battle.

Faith is used as a shield. A shield means protection. The Roman shield was a very important piece of the armor used for that purpose. But it was not only used for protection, it was also to push out the enemy. It was made of wood-covered in hide. When wet it extinguished flaming arrows.  The Roman shield had an impressive size: almost three and a half feet tall and three and a half feet wide; its curve provided means of deflection against the enemy’s attacks.

According to the Promise of Life

The word promise bears a wonderful meaning, especially in times of trouble. It assures us of better things; it brings hope to the soul, strengthening it when all seems gloomy and hopeless. I am referring in particularly to the promises of our Lord YAHSHUA, promises that will never fail us. Paul, God’s faithful servant, who suffered much persecution, and was taken for dead, endured all because of God’s promise. He wrote, For I know Him Whom I have believed (II Tim. 1:12).  For knowing God, Paul without a doubt, believed His promises. The word know according to Webster, is to have a clear perception or understanding of. YAHSHUA said that will take knowing Him personally for one’s entrance to heaven. Not by work of miracles, not by work of uttered prophecies, neither by the casting of demons. He said, Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven (Matt. 7:21). “Depart from Me, I never knew you” will be the words those who did not do the will of God will hear.

Paul’s life, when YAHSHUA revealed Himself to him through a bright light, on the road to Damascus, was changed forever. Now an apostle of Messiah he pursued a deep relationship with God. His words, For I know Whom I have believed, is a solid statement of his faith. In a letter to the Philippians, he expressed his desire to know God by saying, [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed to His death (Phil. 3:10). At the time when the day for his departure from this world was approaching, he said, I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that day… (II Tim. 4:7,8). Paul endured all, never losing his faith, for the love of God and the promise of his victor’s crown.

Faith and Reason- Journey of the Soul

How does one reason God’s way, plan, and His fulfillment? We sinned; He gave us His Son to ransom us from its penalty with His life. While being nailed to the tree, YAHSHUA prayed a prayer of forgiveness for those who were nailing Him to the cross. How can one reason God’s love for us to the point of not only dying in our stead, but wanting us to live in heaven with Him? The soul, in its journey of reason, wonders clueless to the fact that there is no answer to these questions. Reasoning is good for us to understand the whys of the matter, but it takes faith to calm the heart and the mind, when there is no answer to the questions. Our rational conclusions do not always line up with faith, if we so depend on it for our understanding of things. The acceptance of Scripture without regard to reason and logic is a step of faith outside human’s interference.  Faith, true faith, that is, relies on confident expectation. Think, for example, Abraham, who had to wait for twenty-seven years before God fulfilled His promise to him of a son. Not only that, the fact that he and his wife were past the age of childbearing, opened the door to reasoning to step in, as he asked the Lord the question: “After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord, being old also? And shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? And Sarah, who is ninety-nine years old, bear a son?” (Gen. 17:17b). But God is not limited by impossibilities; in fact, nothing is impossible to Him, as He confirmed it to Abraham with these words: Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son (vs.14). Here we have God reasoning with Abraham, leading him to apply faith on that which seemed to him unreasonable.

Be Still… and The Winds Calmed Down

(Matthews 8:23-27)

YAHSHUA, after teaching the famous sermon on the mount, came down with a multitude of people following Him. From that crowd, a leper shows up and begs Him to be healed, as he prostrating himself and worshiping Him said, “If You are willing, You are able to cleanse me” … YAHSHUA then responded, I am willing and healed him. His day begun reaching out to a spiritually hungry and thirsty crowd. These were as if sheep without a shepherd. They always seemed to know where to find YAHSHUA. It was as if they had an appointment with Him. That day was no different. On His way to Capernaum, a Centurion came up to Him begging Him to heal his servant. He expressed the anguish of his servant by saying, Lord, my servant boy is lying at the house paralyzed and distressed with intense pain (Matt. 8:5-6). This Roman Centurion, without out a doubt, had heard about Him and now came to Him believing Him. It only took the first step for him to receive the result of his faith. In fact, YAHSHUA marveled at his faith and as a result, his servant was healed. Entering Peter’s house, He found Peter’s wife sick with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. After that, many who were under the power of demons came to Him; He drove out the spirits with a word and restored to health all who were sick. The Word of God concludes, Thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases (vs.14-17). Those were very busy days for Messiah YAHSHUA. Compelled by love, compassion, He healed diseases- all kinds of diseases, He freed many from the power of demons.  Those were physical, emotional, and spiritual storms people brought to Him. None who came to Him left emptied handed or disappointed. Out of His fullness, as John said, they had received one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift upon gift (John 1:16).

The Victory That Conquers the World

(1 John 5:4; Hebrews 11:1-3, 6; 4:14-16)

Everything having been regenerated of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith; who is the one overcoming the world except the one who believes that YAHSHUA is the Son of God (I John 5:4, 5)?

Faith is the victory that conquers the world; faith, even the size of a mustard seed, has the power to move the hardest mountain; faith is the most essential ingredient in the recipe for spiritual success, for it is generated from God and it is the foundation and pillar of our belief. When YAHSHUA imparted His Spirit to the believer, He imparted faith, because He is faith. The greater the faith that we have, the more of Him that we have. We can only have the fruit of His Spirit and experience the true joy, and peace through faith, the root of hope, and all that pertains to the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Faith is the seed of the Holy Spirit planted in our spirit, giving us spiritual life, so we can bear His fruit of righteousness, as in characteristics of joy, peace, love, patience, goodness, kindness, humility, self-control, faithfulness. Using the example of an apple, we see that although it is one fruit, it has many characteristics: it is sweet, or sour, small, or big, ripe or green; it is red or yellow, or green, but only when we eat it we can define its taste. Like all fruit that God created, it has the most important part to reproduce –seeds. The seeds are the life of a fruit; inside that tiny seed there are many possibilities of tall or short trees with many thousands of fruits. Faith is like the seed in a fruit, it is the life, the essence of our belief; the Spirit of Faith is the HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF, giving life to whomsoever will, instructing the believer to bear fruit with the same characteristics of His fruit. We can only experience joy and peace, when we have experience Him in our spirit and soul.

Stand Firm in The Faith to be Able To Stand

(Isaiah 7: 1-9)

“If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7: 9b). The confederacy planned against Ahaz King of Judah could not succeed because the Lord emphatically had said that it would not happen; It was emphatic because He had it said it twice. Two, or three, even four against one is powerless when the Lord God is not on their side. No king is saved by the great size and power of his army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength, a horse is devoid of value for victory; neither does he deliver any by his great power. Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him, who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving kindness (Ps. 33:16-18). The Lord assured King Ahaz of his deliverance with a warning: If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all (vs.9b). Faith was the factor for King Ahaz to succeed, and it is for us today. Faith, the Word of God says, Is the victory that overcomes the world. It is the victory that overcomes any challenge that comes to us. Standing in faith is having a shield covering to protect us against the enemy. Paul admonishes us to lift up the shield of saving faith, upon which we can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. When the plans from the evil one against us are without basis, they will not succeed, for we are secured in God’s shelter.

The Word of God said, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all!” It is faith that assures us the equilibrium we need to stand firmly in place.  YAHSHUA assured Peter His prayer for him, when the devil asked Him permission to sift Peter, as wheat is sifted. He said, I prayed for you that your faith will not fail. These words from YAHSHUAconnect well with the words we read above. Faith is a very important factor in our daily lives for us to see the results we are looking for. When we approach our Lord, we must approach Him in faith, believing that He exists and there is nothing impossible for Him.  Faith that moves mountains does not have to be big; YAHSHUA describes it as big as a mustard seed. Faith is very powerful when exercised by the believer in his prayer. The Bible says that the earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available. Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months (James 5:16b-17). Faith is an active part of the armor of God, for it is the weapon that will quench the flammable darts of the enemy. Faith makes things move in direction to God and compels Him to act in our favor. Without faith, we cannot apply the full armor of God, which is essential for us to take the first step against the enemy. And without it, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).