Monday, September 13, 2021

Believers Are Giants

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt by the mighty hand of God their faith in God became the biggest issue that they faced. After seeing God's hand of protection while Egypt struggled under the plagues we see something in the scriptures that reveal God's true nature even before Israel began their journey to the Promised Land. First, we see God provision and favor on His people, "Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold. And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians." (Exodus 11:2-3) Next, we see God's desire and power to heal, "He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes." (Psalm 105:37) 

Take a moment to think about these things. Israel spent 430 years in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41) were oppressed for 400 years (Acts 7:6) at the hand of Egyptians taskmasters (Exodus 1:11-14). Yet when they departed Egypt they left with the silver and gold of the Egyptians and not one person was lacking in physical or mental strength; none were frail or weak in any way. In brief, during their journey to the Promised Land, God leads them, protects them and preserved them from hunger and thirst, yet their faith or trust in God was little at best. The apostle Paul tells us that during their journey, Israel lusted after evil, some became idolaters, some committed sexual immorality, some tempted Christ and some murmured against God. Paul also tells us that these things should be examples that believers should not follow. (1 Corinthians 10:6-11)

There is one particular account of Israel's travels in the wilderness that I want to focus on. It deals with the twelve spies that were sent to spy out the land. Numbers 13 tells us that after 40 days of spying out the land they returned to the camp to give their report. (Numbers 13:25-26) At first, the spies report sounded exciting, "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit." (Numbers 13:27) This was the report that came from God even before Israel's deliverance from bondage in Egypt. (Exodus 3:8) However, ten of the spies rejected God's report and gave a report based solely upon what their senses understood rejecting God's Word, what He had said, "Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan." (Numbers 13:28-29) "...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." (Numbers 13:31-33)

The results of this bad report were the cries of doubt, fear and unbelief and the idea that being in bondage in Egypt or dying in the wilderness was a better alternative than believing that God was able to give them what He had promised. (Numbers 14:1-3) The sad thing concerning this entire account is that God's will for them was life and blessings not death and curses, (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) and in an unfortunate way, God permitted them to have what they asked for, "And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them,'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you..." (Numbers 14:26-28) Finally, the ten spies that gave the bad report were the first to die, but two of the twelve spies who believed God, Joshua and Caleb, remained alive. (Numbers 14:36-38) Remember, the apostle Paul told us, all that Israel did in the wilderness were examples so that believers do not repeat their mistakes, more importantly, that believers do not live in fear, doubt and unbelief as Israel did.

What giants do you face that seem to be so ominous in the natural that have robbed your faith in such a way that you also give a bad report as the ten spies? I hear church leaders all to often give a bad report that somehow God Himself has brought a trial such as sickness, disease or some sort of trauma into their life or the life of someone in the congregation that they serve. There are several reasons why this happens. I believe the main reason was spoken by the prophet Hosea, "My people are destroyed because they don't know me..." (Hosea 4:6 TLB) John's gospel reveal an important key to knowing God, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also..." (John 14:7) "He who has seen Me has seen the Father..." (John 14:9) "God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son...who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person..." (Hebrews 1:2-3)

Jesus is God in the flesh. Everything He did or said is an exact representation of the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan. (Hebrews 1:1-4) There is not one time revealed in the ministry of Jesus shown in the Gospels that He ever brought a trial such as sickness, disease or some sort of trauma into the life of anyone. As a matter of fact He did the exact opposite, because He was doing the Father's will, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." and "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) If you look deep enough into the scriptures you will see that God's Plan of Redemption began immediately after the fall of man (Genesis 3:15) and His redemptive plan was progressively revealed throughout the Old Testament until it was fulfilled through the meritorious work of Christ's death, resurrection and glorification.

If the Father's redemption of humanity began at the fall and was fulfilled in Christ and Christ did nothing but reveal the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan, how can anyone honestly believe that our heavenly Father would bring a trial upon one of His children especially in the form of sickness, disease or some sort of trauma? The fact is, trials are either brought on by the believer (James 1:13-18) or by the devil (Job 1:6-19, 2:7) not God! God however will permit these things happen because believers still have the freedom of choice plus the devil looks for opportunities to get place in the believers life although Paul warns us not to give him the opportunity (Ephesians 4:27) A trial is a place where the believer rises up as a giant in the land, believes and acts upon God's Word and in the name of Jesus stands victorious filled with joy. (James 1:2).

I myself have prayed the Word of God over a situation many times and believed for the answer only to see things grow worse. Did God do this? Certainly not! I know that I have an adversary that tries to oppose me and sway my faith. (Ephesians 6:12) However, I know that faith is not confessing and agreeing with the problem, but confessing and believing that God gave His Word and the blood of Jesus to overcome every circumstance no matter how large or small the circumstances may be. (Revelation 12:11) Sometimes our prayer may not see immediate results, but it certainly does not mean that God did not hear our prayer or that He has not sent the answer, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)

The question comes down to, where is our confidence, in ourselves, in the problem, in others or what God said? Are we doing what Jude exhorts us to do, "...I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend (to strive for the mastery) earnestly for the faith..." (Jude 3) You see these things come down to an individuals faith. Have you contended earnestly for the faith, that is believed God's Word without contradiction, without question? Honestly, sometimes what we have asked of God comes immediately but sometimes it doesn't. When it does not manifest immediately, you must continue thanking and praising God for the answer even though it has not manifested. When we thank Him we are acting in faith, believing that His Word is true and that we have what He has promised even though we have no tangible evidence, "Abraham 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." (Romans 4:19-22) We are acting like Abraham.

What I am revealing is true faith as the scriptures teaches. We are to believe God's Word even when there is not one shred of evidence in the natural. We believe because God said! This is what makes a believer a giant in the land. This is what makes a believer refuse sickness or disease to ravage their body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is what separates Christianity from every other religion on earth, we believe and act upon God's Word period! "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak." ( 2 Corinthians 4:13) I want to encourage you that no matter how long you have been struggling with the issues that try our faith in this life, simply go to the scriptures. For in them you will find the solution to every problem. Then do as the apostle Paul said, "I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak." So speak to that mountain. (Mark 11:23) Call those things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17). Then begin to thank the Lord that He has not only heard your prayer but has answered it even if you do not see the evidence immediately. Let's do as Abraham. Do not consider the natural although it is real, but "give glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform." Amen...            

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