Are you “living” by faith? Let me explain what I mean. We will either live by faith or by sight. We will either make our daily decisions based on what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears through the many voices of our times. Whether it is the media, family and friends, co-workers, etc. Or we will make our decisions based on the Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, through prayer, and through hearing from those who also have been consistently living by faith. Regarding this,
I am convinced that the more we choose to reject the nudging of the Holy Spirit, over an extended period of time, we end up losing “discernment.” And if we continue to harden our hearts to His “voice” we eventually end up blind and deaf. Therefore, today, if you hear His voice…do not harden your heart. This is not a message to the unsaved, but to the Christian. Therefore, stay awake…
The Word of the LORD through Isaiah: “Stop and take some time and wonder [at this prophecy], Blind yourselves and be blinded [at its fulfillment by your spiritual incompetence]. They are drunk, but not from wine; They stagger, but not from strong drink. For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed your eyes, [you who are] the prophets; And He has covered your heads, [you who are] the seers. The entire vision [of all these things] will be to you like the words of a scroll that is sealed, which they give to one who can read, saying, “Read this, please,” he shall say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book will be given to the one who cannot read, saying, “Read this, please.” And he will say, “I cannot read” “Then the Lord said, “Because this nation approaches [Me only] with their words And honors Me [only] with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me is a tradition that is learned by rote [without any regard for its meaning],” (Isaiah 29:9-13, Amplified version). Therefore, they cannot understand or discern what God is doing.
Do you know anyone like this? They go to church on Sunday, carry a Bible, and talk the talk, but they have no interest in the things of the Lord, nor are they aware of His coming? Why is this. What are they seeking? What are they looking for in the Church, or from Jesus? Why are there those who have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior and have been a part of bible studies, and small groups, and faithfully gone to church and sang the worship songs, and even faithfully served others. But when something suddenly comes at them, they respond not as a child of God, but as the World, or as a child of Adam, in other words, an offspring not of God but of Satan! It is like they are serving Christ and others with a different motivation. Like they never understood the confession of faith which they made. Maybe they never understood what claiming Jesus as both Lord and Savior meant? Or…maybe it’s just that they can no longer discern truth from error! Because they have refused His nudging’s?
What I have considered over the last couple of years is the way we respond to threats which seek to overtake us. It made me think of these verses this morning. This is regarding when twelve spies went in to check out the land which the LORD had “already promised to the nation” and which He had already (by grace) given to them. They just needed to accept it (by faith). But when they had returned from examining the land and reported to the whole camp of Israel, only two of the twelve gave a good report, or a report “by faith”. Here it is: “But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them” (Num. 13:30-33).
Who are you listening to? What report are you “hearing.” The news media, the scientific community of “specialists” (which is fine, as long as they hear from the Lord). Did and do you get your insights from the “World” or do you get it through prayer and His Word? It is very true there are “giants” in our land. There are things which threaten our faith and trust in God to take care of us, to provide and to protect. But “who” do we listen to normally, where do we get our daily “report” from. If we listen to the news and the voices of the world we will no longer discern the voice of the Lord eventually. The longer we listen the more it influences our beliefs. What I mean by “listen” is “to trust their word, or reports,” on almost anything these days. They are incredibly deceptive, like Satan, and twist words and information. And they are very convincing! But if we have our ears “tuned” to the Lord we will not be deceived.
How are we going to keep our eyes and ears where they should be? How are we going to stand firm against the current lies of the enemy and hold up our shield of faith and wield our sword of the Spirit? By this:
Therefore, let us exhort one another to press on towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14). Fixing our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). Let us encourage one another, as long as it is called “today,” to press on in faith by the grace which is already provided and available to us! Let us not “shrink back” in fear, using human wisdom, and our physical eyes to see with. But let us encouraged one another to “look up” in expectation of the return of the Lord. And to “walk by faith” because “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:9-11).