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Obstacles to faith

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God wants us to use the faith that he has given us to receive his promises, and we must use our faith in the proper way. Many times, we have a role to play in receiving God’s blessings. We have been given faith, but we need to use that faith according to the instructions that God has given to us in his word. God will not force us to receive his promises, we must obtain them. Do not expect God to work apart from our cooperation with his word.

Many times, God works in our lives despite of us. We are protected from dangers that we know nothing about. However, what we can do, God expects us to do. Take the example of one of the greatest miracles recorded in the Bible, the parting of the Red Sea. The children of Israel were being pursued by the Egyptians. Moses and his people reached a point where Pharaoh’s army was behind them, and the Red Sea was in front of them. They were trapped, and the people began to panic. We read in Exodus 14:15-18 the instructions that God gave to Moses:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Moses did as God instructed, and Pharaoh’s army was destroyed when they followed God’s people through the Red Sea. But the point that is being made is found in the first verse. God asked Moses, “Wherefore criest thou unto me?” Moses had something to do. If Moses did not put his faith into action, this great miracle would not have happened. God was telling Moses, “Look, I have given you the power. It is now time for you to act.”

God gives us the tools, and we are to use them. Many people are waiting on God, but God is actually waiting on them. If you are a parent, how would you feel if you set up a bank account for your child with millions of dollars in the account, and your child comes to you and asks you to pay their $60 electric bill? They have a bank account, a debit card and plenty of financial power; but they come to you asking for you to do something that you have already given them the power to do. Many parents would not pay the bill, and the child’s electricity would be turned off. This is what happens to many of God’s children. They wait for God to do something that God has already given them the power and authority to do. And, as a result, their lights get shut off. This is a very hard fact, but God will often not move when we do not follow his instructions and step out in faith.

We have been given faith; it is a part of us. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3, KJV). And it only takes a very small amount of faith to see God move in our lives. “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:6). So, the issue is not with our having faith; the problem occurs when we do not use the faith that we have. This does not mean that we should not cultivate our faith by meditating on God’s word. But, we must be aware that God has thoroughly equipped his children to handle any problem that we could ever face.

We have to receive God’s promises, or we will not experience the blessings of God. Hebrew 6:12 says, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” We have to use both faith and patience to obtain the manifestation of God’s promises. Patience referrers to an active abiding and not to simply waiting. The picture is similar to that of a man patiently chipping away at a huge wall with a sledge hammer. Some Christians confess God’s word for a short period of time and then give up when they do not see God’s word fulfilled. We are to patiently apply God’s word until we see the manifestation of our confession. And our confessions have to be spirit based.

Have you ever heard of the expression “shooting blanks”? Imagine shooting at a target with blank cartridges. You would not hit anything. If your confessions come from your head instead of from your heart, you are shooting blanks. Your confessions contain no power. You can be saying the right words, but empty words have no power to create. A similar problem is to confess God’s word out of desperation. This is speaking out of fear and not from a standpoint of faith. You must meditate on God’s word in order to have power behind your confessions. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7). Another problem is stagnant faith.

Some Christians have faith, but they do not release that faith. Faith is released in different ways, but the most common way is through words. In Mark 11:23, Jesus tells us to speak to our mountain, a problem or obstacle that you are facing. You must add action to your faith in order for it to be released. Do not just tell God about your mountains, speak God’s word to your problems. For example, instead of saying that you cannot pay your bills, say, “God will supply all of my needs from his supply in heaven. I can pay any bill that I have, Philippians 4:19.” Proclaim the truth of God‘s word. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” (James 4:2).

Correctly use the faith that God has given you, and you will see the promises of God become real in your life. Empower your confessions by meditating on God’s word, and speak God’s word into your life. Ask God for wisdom concerning your part in obtaining your blessing. And when God tells you what to do, do it.

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