Don't Believe the Devil." I called it a no-brainer because who in their right mind would willingly believe the devil? Yet in spite of that, we often find ourselves believing his lies & deceptions more than God's truths.
Now I have another no-brainer for you: Believe God!
Ask any Christian, "Do you believe God?" and the answer will assuredly be, "Yes!" We even call ourselves believers after all. But are we really believing God the way He commands us to?
I have had areas where my faith has been tested before and I have seen God prevail every time. God has always shown Himself faithful, even when He didn't answer in the ways I thought He should/would. Knowing this has emboldened me to stand up straighter & stronger in subsequent trials, but has also shown me how much more I have to learn about this area called "faith."
"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:22-24
Cast any mountains into the sea lately? I mean really. Do we think Jesus was just joking here?
How do we believe? How do we change our hearts to remove all doubts? How do we adjust our eyes to see the way that God does? How does faith in God go from being a mere proclamation into becoming a matter of substance? How does our faith extend beyond our inner hope into becoming the evidence of even what is not seen?
evidence: a proof, that by which a thing is proved or testedI am not trying to be flippant here; however Jesus never spoke of faith as being this ethereal, wispy, notion that we must simply grasp unto. He spoke of faith as a living reality that had power to tangibly impact the very world in which we live.
Are we walking in that type of faith? Are we praying with that type of faith? I tell you, I have exercised the most faith when I simply was too ignorant of other things to know any better. I wasn't "smart enough" to know why such and such wouldn't work; I just believed God. Or sometimes you come by such faith only when you have exhausted every other option and failed. Being too wise in the things of the world doesn't build faith; it just breeds fear and frustration. We don't need to know a lot of stuff, we just need to know God. If you want to increase in faith, then spend more time in God's word.
We must have the faith of a little child - who doesn't know how Dad will do a certain thing - but believes nonetheless because He has said that He would. That is how we need to come to God and what it is to rest in Him. Not running around scurrying trying to make sure we figure and work it all out, but having a knowing in our inner man that God is in control and every word He says is true. Yet doing this will often require us to turn away from all that we think we know.
In a trial, the world around you may be saying you will fail. Their reports say things are getting worse, not better. The tangible things you see, touch, hear, feel tell you there is no hope. The devil may be literally bombarding you with his reports of defeat. Yet, as I told my husband recently, "Faith is not just about believing in what is as of yet unseen. It is also believing in the midst of and against ALL that speaks to the contrary." We have to actually look at what some may call the "reality" of our situation, deny it, and believe instead what the Lord has said...because we know that HIS truth is actual reality and not the mirages & lies of the devil.
reality: the state or quality of being real; a fact; something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.Even the world defines "reality" as something that exists independently of all other things. My friends, there is only one who fits that bill and such is God Himself. Please take a moment to consider that. Reality is not what we see, hear, touch, smell, feel each day as we live in this world; that which is real is only that which comes from the Father. This is why we are to walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). If we understand this, then it will help to keep us in the peace of Christ when we face the storms of this life.
How do we walk in the midst of this and yet put no trust in it and not be deceived by it? Our mind must stay on things above and not below so that we can be empowered supernaturally to fight the good fight of faith. It takes the Holy Spirit of God.
"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark 9:24
Like the man seeking deliverance for his child, we need to be honest with God. Don't walk in religious posturing boldly proclaiming how the devil is under your feet if you are still bound by sin or you melt into a puddle of flesh when hard times begin to come. Even in your weakness, ask God for mercy and grace to help in the time of need. He doesn't expect us to be supermen or superwomen; He only expects us to depend upon Him. There are times when I have had to tell the Lord, "Jesus, I have believed as much as I can. Please help thou my unbelief! I am having doubts. I am fearful. I am worried. I need the gift of supernatural faith from your Holy Spirit to believe in spite of what I see." Did you realize that even faith is a gift of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:9)?
I am mentioning this because many are going through trials where the stark "reality" of what we "see" is enough to overwhelm if we let it. Yet, I want to encourage you to ask God for eyes to see as He does. I want to remind you that what's real is what God has to say in a matter, not the world. This is not about "naming it & claiming it" or pretending that a situation does not exist. I am speaking about trusting God for the outcome in any situation. Hold on to His words and do not be deterred by what is stirred up by the devil. But again, doing so may require you to look past what is happening around you and instead trust God's words.
But then the Scriptures say that Peter saw the "the wind boisterous" and began to sink. Isn't that always the way the devil is? He is boisterous, loud, forceful, a blow hard, a wind bag. He will stir up a hurricane around us if he thinks it will distract us from Jesus and fill us with fear so that we begin to seek to save our own lives (Matthew 16:25). Jesus' response? "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:31)
Notice though, Satan had no power to stop Peter or make him sink. Satan had no power to take Peter's life! If he had such power, he would have done so. Satan's only resort was attempting to get Peter's focus off of Jesus so that Peter would sink by his own faltering faith. This is why Jesus later said to Peter that He hoped his faith would not fail (Luke 22:31-32). That is an important lesson for us. Satan may stir up a bunch of raucous around us; he may try to make it seem that the way is impossible and we will never make it, but he has no power to stop us as long as we keep our focus on Jesus Christ. God is more than able to uphold us through any storm and keep us if our eyes are stayed on Him. Peter only began to sink when he gave heed to the boisterous wind.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3
Jesus is also bidding us to come. Come closer to Him, being upheld by faith in God's words. All Satan can do is stir up trouble around us, but those troubles do not have the power to touch us...and he knows that. They only work if we start giving heed to them; if we start believing the false reality he projects versus letting our reality be shaped by God's words. When we come to God, we must believe that He is able and willing to do all that He has promised for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Seek the Lord today, for He alone has the answer to your situation and the path for you to get through it unto victory.
"...Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36b