Welcome to another exciting moment of sharing the divine meal of God’s Word on this platform of TOTAL EXPERIENCE. We’re still dealing with the theme of FAITH generally and specifically looking at the ENEMIES OF FAITH. Why it is important for the Believer not to undermine the enemies of faith is that his or her victory depends on it. In every battle, while the capacity and strategy of the Warrior is crucial, his victory does not entirely depend on these. The secret of victory is actually in how much of your enemy you know. When you understand the capacity and strategies of your enemy then you will be able to spot the weak spots you can take advantage of and win the battle. In the same vein, in the Believer’s fight of faith, it is our ability to identify and defeat the elements that constitute themselves as enemies of faith that actually translate to the triumph of our faith. Faith is the life line of the Believer. It accounts for the survival of the believer in this complicated and complex world. HEBREWS 10:38 tells us the just shall live by faith. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
Therefore, if faith is the life wire of the Believer then everything that stands in the way of faith is aiming at strangulating that life. That’s the objective of the enemies of faith, to kill or weaken your faith and by that strangle or intimidate or just regulate the quality of life you live. We must not allow the enemies of faith. It is the personal responsibility of the Believer to identify and deal with every enemy of the faith.
Enemies of faith (2)
In the previous edition of this series, we identified two enemies of faith, namely; Ignorance of God’s Word and Fear. Today, we want to bring to fore more enemies of faith that the Believer must watch out against.
Anxiety is a condition of the heart that negatively affects the expression of faith and the results it can produce. Anxiety is a feeling of worry about something. Anxiety is a concern for something to happen. Anxiety is an enemy of faith. God is never in a situation of anxiety but faith. God is not moved by how much you worry but by your expression of faith in His infallible word. Anxiety is one of the traps of the devil against the people of God. Even though anxiety is not exclusively a religious problem, the enemy is always targeting at the faith of the people of God to reduce them to every human’s level. The Believer must consciously guard against anxiety. Our God sees the end from the beginning. He sees and knows what you are going through. He cares about our concerns much more than we can ever imagine. MATTHEW 6:30-33 says, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Worry is not necessary in the life of the Believer. It does not solve any problem instead, worry actually complicates the problem we seek to solve by it. In PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 the Bible says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known, unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In MATTHEW 6:8 Jesus says, “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him”. Don’t be like everybody, or anybody who thinks wallowing in anxiety and worry is the way out of challenging situations. It appears to be the prevalent condition of our world today. There’s so much depression and pressure because of anxiety. Many people are wondering where the answers will come from. However, as Believers we need to understand that we are recreated in Christ as different species of being. We cannot think and act like everybody. Our disposition to life is different because of what we believe.
You can rely on the word of God; it’s infallible and immutable. The word of God is eternal and must be the source of your strength and hope in life. The word of God will build you up and catapult you to your next level of success. Many people have lost their lives because of anxiety. The word of God is a timeless truth that guarantees a future. MATTHEW 24:35 says “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”. The Psalmist says in PSALM 119:89 ”Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven”. The word of God can solve “ALL” and not some problems-whether they are marital, academical, financial, medical, political or economical. The Apostle Paul tells us all things are upheld by the word of God’s power in HEBREW 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”. The word of God contains the solution to every problem you are facing today. Stop being anxious for things; let’s settle down with God’s word by faith and enjoy unlimited lifting on every side.
This is another formidable enemy of faith. Faith is paralyzed in an atmosphere and condition of discouragement. Discouragement has to do with loss of confidence and enthusiasm. It is when the confidence of the Believer is so depleted that he or she loses the courage to act on the word of God in a situation. Discouragement is a weapon of the enemy to slow down the spiritual speed and pace of the Believer. In a condition of discouragement, the Believer simply marks time. You just hang there but doing nothing practical to make progress in the faith. The Church of today is full of many discouraged people. They have the forms of faith but you can’t feel or see the impact of faith through their lives.
For faith to produce, courage to act on God’s word is a necessity. This is why God told Joshua to be courageous. JOSHUA 1:5-9, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Courage is a must-have for the Believer. You need courage to enjoy the assured Presence and Power of God. You need courage to step into and settle in your heritage and inheritance of faith. You need courage to obey God and live by the precepts of His Word.
Why are people discouraged?
There are many things that can cause discouragement in the lives of people. However, in the context of our discourse, we will narrow it to one or two factors. Many times discouragement comes when you are faced with disappointing results. In other words, when you have not learnt how to manage failure, disappointment, difficulties and delayed expectations, the result will be the tendency to be discouraged and lose the enthusiasm to forge ahead. We saw this in the lives of the Israelites while they traveled through the wilderness to the promised land. Several times they were so discouraged that they desired to return to slavery in Egypt. This was in spite of the great and precious promises of a better future God had made to them. This was also in spite of the demonstrations of the awesome power of God they had seen in the past. This is what happens when a Believer allows discouragement. He loses his spiritual taste glands. Zest for life is depleted. Life loses meaning, considerations for the values of faith and spirituality are abandoned. When your life as a Believer is focused on your external circumstances and conditions, you will definitely see disappointing realities. There are definitely areas you may not be meeting up and if you allow that get the better part of you then you have opened the door to discouragement. The Apostle Paul admonished us, in order not to lose hope, to stay focused on the things that are invisible and eternal. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:15-18 says, “For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.”
Beloved, take responsibility for your life by building confidence in God’s word. Do not give room to anxiety and discouragement, then you will be able to fight the good fight of faith and win.