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Delivered By
Bob Petersen
Delivered On
September 16, 2018
Description

Dealing With Doubt

 

WHAT REALLY IS FAITH?

I’ve heard it said that when I sit down in a chair I have faith that the chair will hold me.

  • This is actually trust based off of past experience

 

Faith is doing something because someone tells you to do it when you don’t understand how it will work.

  • When you see how it will work it’s not faith anymore, it’s then knowledge or understanding.

We gain understanding and knowledge in areas that were once faith to us.

  • So, we must continue to stretch or build our faith or we’re not operating in faith but knowledge and understanding.
    • It’s the same in weight lifting or exercise where your muscles and body get used to a certain level.

Many Christians hit this point after a short time and when they do they stop seeing miracles.

  • Failed past experience
    • When manifestations or miracles (small or big) stop they then allow doubt to build based off of what is not happening to them anymore.

THE ROOTS OF DOUBT

What causes doubt?

  • Familiarity
  • Failed past experience
  • Watching & listening to doubters
  • Natural wisdom such as, “You don’t just get out and walk on water.”
    • Faith trumps even natural law
    • James 3:14-15 NKJV 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

Is doubt and unbelief the same thing?

  • Doubt is produced from unbelief

 

  • Familiarity

Matthew 13:53-58 NKJV 53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?" 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."  58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. 

  • Here is what Luke recorded of this same account:

Luke 4:23-27 NKJV 23 He said to them, "You will surely say this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.'"  24 Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.  25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;  26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.  27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."

Faith draws miracles & doubt pushes them away

Vs 23 - Faithless people want a miracle BEFORE they believe

  • Jesus illustrated that prophets that they supposedly followed were only sent by God to faith and not to need or want.

 

 

 

 

 

Complacency because of doubt crept into God’s people all throughout the OT.

God’s people would not commit with Elijah until they saw a miracle.

1 Kings 18:20-40 NAS 20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. 23 "Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it.  24 "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people said, "That is a good idea." 

25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it." 26 Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, "O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. 27 It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened." 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention. 

  • When faith stops, religion and dead religious activity take over.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name." 32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. 33 Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood. 34 And he said, "Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." And he said, "Do it a second time," and they did it a second time. And he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water. 

36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 "Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again." 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God."

  • Watching & listening to doubters

There are and will be people among us that will not take the steps of faith need to be healed and delivered.

  • They will say what Jesus said His home town people would say, “We though we were in a house of healing and deliverance and nobody has helped us.”
  • Jude 18-21 ESV In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions. 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.