How Not to be Tempted With Unbelief (Part 2)
27 Jun 2018
Many contemporary Christians seem as if they do not know how to get manifestations of God’s promises. One example of a powerful manifestation is given to us in the Old Testament, when Abraham believed God despite overwhelming contradictory evidence in the natural realm. Abraham had a choice whether to focus on the physical situation or the supernatural promise; this applies to us today when we are faced with temptation. Like Abraham, we can successfully overcome temptation when we think about what God says to us more than what the world says to us. Temptation is pressure applied to the flesh, and as long as we consider the problem, the pressure will continue. However, we cannot be tempted by something we do not think about. To consider is to deliberate, ponder, or give attention to something; temptation loses its power over us when we refuse to examine or meditate on anything contradictory to God’s Word.
- God’s promises will show up in our lives when we consider them over anything else.
- Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb (Romans 4:18, 19).
- This refers to the manifestation of God’s promises.
- Instead of considering the problem, Abraham chose to consider the promise.
- The first step in overcoming temptation and failure begins with our thoughts. The battle is won or lost in the mind.
- By considering the problem, we give our authority to the enemy to allow him to cause trouble in our lives.
- Three ways temptation can enter in is through ignorance of the Word, disbelief, and unbelief.
- Ignorance is eliminated by learning and accepting the truth of the Word.
- Disbelief comes from wrong-teaching, and it is the refusal to depart from erroneous doctrines.
- Unbelief comes from what we see and hear in the natural realm. The five senses are where the enemy focuses his attacks.
- We overcome this type of unbelief that comes from our physical senses through fasting and prayer.
- And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting(Matthew 17:14-21).
- The disciples tried to cure the boy, but their physical senses in the natural realm hindered their belief.
- Sometimes the devil himself is behind a situation. Efforts to counsel or medicate the issue out of the person are unsuccessful, and the devil must be cast out.
- The disciples considered what they saw and heard more than the authority Jesus had given them.
- Jesus was not talking about the demon itself going out by prayer and fasting, but rather this type of unbelief going out.
- Fasting retrains our bodies to respond to God’s Word and to our born-again spirits. It breaks down the dominion and control our bodies exert over us.
- Focusing on the problem distracts us and opens the door for the enemy to enter.
- But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
- God blessed us with our five senses so that we could enjoy what He created for us, but they were never supposed to govern our lives. His Word is what should lead our lives.
- The enemy tries to introduce doubt, fear, and worry through our five senses.
- When we get stuck in a problem, we must ask ourselves how long we have been considering the problem instead of the Word. There is a promise for every situation.
- God has us covered and is well able to take care of us, but He cannot force us to consider the promise. That is up to us.
- Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?(Mark 8:14-21).
- Even as believers, our hearts can still be hardened, depending on what thoughts we harbor and spend our time thinking.
- A hardened heart results from a lack of wisdom, judgment, and understanding.
- What we spend more time contemplating is the thing to which we will be more sensitive. Alternatively, what we do not spend our time thinking about is the thing to which our hearts will be hardened.
- It is unfortunate that some Christians spend much time regarding the problem, and little to no time with the promises.
- Jesus chided the disciples because they were so concerned with a lack of bread—the problem—that they forgot about what He did previously when there was insufficiency.
- When God does something for us, we need to remember it.
- We can consider either the problem at hand or the promise. Our choice has an impact.
- For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened (Mark 6:52).
- If we wonder why we are not seeing manifestations in our lives, we must think about what we are thinking about.
- When a thought that contradicts the Word slips unbidden into our heads, we must fight back by verbally confessing the Word that deals with the issue. Words are powerful.
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21).
- Powerful though our words are, our thoughts are even more powerful.
- Focusing on the problem causes worry, which is negative meditation; meditating on the promise, instead, gives us success.
- This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8).
- My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings (Proverbs 4:20).
- Out of all the things to which we could pay attention, we are told to pay attention to God’s Word.
- What we consider is what will come to pass.
- Spiritually, we must move past the infant stage and become mature Christians.
- For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:13, 14).
- Christians who are not yet skilled in the word of righteousness are still spiritually immature.
- Spiritually mature people do not rely on their physical senses; they allow the Word to govern their lives.
- But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law (Hebrews 5:14, AMPC).
- We can use the Word of God to train our senses.
- The world says, “What you see is what you get.” God says where we direct our attention is where our hearts are.
- And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming (Mark 9:20).
- For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also(Matthew 6:21).
Romans 4:18, 19
Hebrews 5:13, 14
Hebrews 5:14, AMPC