Trusting God Beyond Our Unbelief

 Trusting God Beyond Our Unbelief

God sees the end from the beginning. He has already been where we are going. He already knows the future. He talks to us from the perspective that we already have victory over our enemies.

         To Gideon hiding God called him a mighty man of valor, or valiant warrior because God saw his future. Gideon wondered who God was talking about? Gideon could not see what God saw in him.  And that is our problem too.

         In fact, Gideon argued with God. “If God is for us then why are we not seeing breakthroughs yet, why are being robbed by the enemy.

         God declares to us as well that we are mighty men and women of God, that we have the victory, we are victorious in this life, we are overcomers, we have abundant life!

         We respond, “O yeah. Then why don’t we see a breakthrough in our finances? Why are we still struggling to have health? Why don’t we have a growing anointed ministry? You fill in the blank ­­­­_____.

         Many who are born again have assurance they are going to heaven when they die. But the problem is they are having trouble believing and experiencing the KOG now! WE wonder why breakthroughs have not happened yet or are not happening now?

There is a natural ebb and flow in the life of the Spirit. When things are flowing there is acceleration and a lot of change. Then we all have times when it seems like nothing is happening, times of dryness and dullness.

It’s like we are in God’s waiting room. Anyone God has used to do special things has had their own time in God’s waiting room. Moses waited 40 years in the wilderness before God used him. David waited 29 years to become king and fifteen of them hiding from King Saul. Joseph spent five years as a slave and ten years in prison. Abraham waited twenty years before having the child God promised.

Like it or not part of the Christian life is learning to wait on God and trust His timing is perfect. What are you waiting on God for?

There are two ways to wait in God’s waiting room:

1.   Wait, wear out and give up. Your strength slowly ebbs away until you are drained and give up. This hopelessness.

Hopelessness always produces a need to escape.

To escape the world, our circumstances we cannot change we seek an altered state of existence. We may use drugs, television, or other things to escape reality and to try and comfort our pain. It deceives us to think it makes things feel right even though everything is getting worse.

2.   Wait, store up, stand up and speak up.

Whatever we wait for needs to have hope as the basis for waiting. There needs to be a reason to hope.

“I wait expectantly for the Lord, in His Word I do hope.” Psalm 130:5

David said the reason for waiting on God was the Word that God had spoken to him. He stored up – he remembered what God had said and at times would stand up and speak it to himself.

Ill. Do you stand up to the devil? The enemy comes at you with voices in your head about doubting God will come through for you and tries to torment your mind with all the bad that could happen. Do you let him run through your mind without doing anything? You shouldn’t. You should stand up to him and speak the promises God has given you about the situation.

The Bible was the spoken Word before it was the written Word. It is now the written Word so it can be the spoken Word – by you!

If you are being plagued with hopelessness – you need to start speaking up! Use the weapon God gave you. It is called the sword of the Spirit for a reason. Use it!

What causes hopelessness in a believer?

The same thing that causes hopelessness in an unbeliever.

There is a scripture written as a warning to us that it is possible for a believer to have unbelief. The example is Israel delivered by God from Egypt but could not believe God enough to enter the Promise land.

This should be one of the most frightening scriptures in the Bible for believers.

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:12-13

If you see a sign that says “Beware of Dog” how would you respond?

PIC OF SIGN: Some other beware signs I like: Forget the dog …

PIC OF SIGN: Forget the dog beware of wife:

PIC OF SIGN: This property protected by 357 magnum 3 days a week, guess which days?

Note that this evil heart of unbelief is not in unbelievers but in believers!

Note what it does:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:12-13

An atheist or unbeliever has already departed from the living God in his mind.

-       Did you know there is a National holiday declared for Atheist? National Atheist Day is April first!

“The fool has said, there is no God.” Psalm 14:1

-        The fool is saying no God for me. He departs from faith.

-        God never leaves believers, but according to this scripture believers can depart from the Living God!

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:12-13

We can’t leave His Presence but we can stop abiding in Him, stop depending upon Him, stop expecting from Him.

-        We don’t see Him doing anything. It has been a long trial and nothing seems to change, or maybe it gets worse – we depart.

-        Things look impossible and there seems to be no way- we depart

I think it is a slow gradual departure that others may not notice in others.

How does this happen to a believer?

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13

Deceit =  concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; the act of representing as true what is known to be false; a trick; something that is done to mislead.

Eve said the serpent deceived me and I did eat. Gen. 3:13

Rev. 12:9 “The serpent who is called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world.”

Mark 4:19 Jesus describes the “worries of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things enter in us and choke out the Word of God in us.”

-        Satan is a great deceiver and he is after your heart.  

3 ways sin deceives us:

1.   Sin promises us something it can never deliver.

2.   Sin promises what happened to others will never happen to us.

3.   Sin creates a desire for something that can only hurt us.

A little voice in our head says, “go ahead”. We know we will suffer for it – but we take it, just like Eve, and eat it and we have been eating ever since! We know it is going to hurt us – but we do it anyway!

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:12-13

-        We are fighting a good fight of faith to walk by faith and not by sight.

-        We are also told the church is the place to come and get encouragement from one another.

-        For no other reason to come to church, you should get encouragement to keep trusting, keep believing God, keep on abiding in faith from the people sitting around you.

Ill. Today through television you can go to church 24/7. Why go to a building with a bunch of strangers when you can sleep in, watch church on TV in your pj’s?

Ill. A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper complaining it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone to church for 30 years now. I’ve heard over 3000 sermons but for the life of me I can’t remember a single one. So I think I am wasting my time and the pastors are wasting their time too.

         This started a controversy in the letters to the Editor column until one person wrote this clincher. “I’ve been married now for 30 years. In that time my wife has cooked some 32k meals. But for the life of me I can’t the entire menu of one of those meals. But I know this: They nourished me and gave me strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

“Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but LET US EXHORT ONE ANOTHER, especially all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

God expects us to participate in the local church. Find where God feeds you and plant yourself there. If you are waiting to find the perfect church to join then the moment you join it it will no longer be perfect!  

The difference between a church attender and member is commitment.

The Christian life is not just a commitment to Christ, it is a commitment to the well being of the church – the “one another’s” of the Bible.

God expects the church to be a place you get your encouragement. People need to know you and you need to get involved. We need daily encouragement ourselves and we need to give daily encouragement to one another to trust God and don’t give up. If you don’t know what God wants you to do with your life – you do know this much!

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:12-13

Ill. Imagine what it was like for Israel, over a million people to miraculously survive living in the desert for 40 years and their shoes and clothes never wore out, and they were supernaturally provided food and water and protection. Finally, they reach the edge or border and can see the promise land that God told them was their new home.

         Twelve spies go into the land and come back with some of the fruit of the land to show it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey just like God said. Yet ten of twelve spies say we can see no way to take the land even though God said we can.

-        It doesn’t look like we can take over this land. Maybe it’s not time. Maybe we need to get stronger first. Some of them were looking at things in the natural more than listening to what God said!

-        We are tired, and just don’t have the strength to fight these enemies to reach our promise land. Let’s just settle here for now.

Only Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. Listen to Caleb in the middle of all the naysayers. Caleb silenced the people and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it!” Numbers 13:30

-        The end result was the majority died short of receiving the promise land they waited for all their lives. Two received the Promise. The reason the majority died in the wilderness short of the promise?

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13

An evil heart of unbelief = belief (faith) with restraints or conditions.

Unbelief is still belief like unleaded gas is still gas without the lead. Unbelief is belief but something is missing. Ill. The man with the demon possessed son confessed “Lord, I believe but help Thou my unbelief!”

Unbelief in a believer is belief without submitting to God. It is knowing what to do but not doing it.

-        I know I should not say this but . . . gossip anyway.

-        I know I shouldn’t do this but. . .

-        I know I should witness to this person but I don’t feel like it.

-        I know I should help out but I don’t want to.

The HS is leading you and showing you something He wants you to do but you override His will and refuse to submit to God.

The result of unbelief in a believer is a hardened heart:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13

Satan says it won’t matter. Soon you start to hear his voice in your mind and the voice of the Lord that you use to hear so well becomes more faint. It is like arteriosclerosis is happening in your spiritual heart. It is so subtle you don’t feel anything. You just don’t feel God anymore.  

Here is the danger. You are running out of time. Look at this warning.

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13

“Today” = lit means while time lasts. It carries a sense of urgency.

Ill. An old TV commercial was very effective in illustrating this.

Scene of a living room with husband and wife sitting in easy chairs in living room. Fire place with Xmas tree and a window with snow falling outside. Wife says, “Honey have you taken care of our life insurance yet?” No, but I will as soon as Christmas is over. Scene changes and now birds singing outside the widow. “Honey have you taken care of the life insurance yet?” No, but I will after I pay the taxes. Scene fades back to the same living room, same two chairs, this time the wife sits alone, the husbands chair is empty. A voice says,

“You may not run out of excuses, but you will run out of time!”

Concl: Consider this a warning from God’s Word today. He will help us all if we humble ourselves before Him. He is waiting to meet with you here, “Today”.   

-        You should really consider coming to the altar alone and talking to God about what you just heard.