WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
TOPIC: BEWARE OF UNBELIEF
BY T. O. BANSO
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:11 New King James Version).
The main reason human beings are denied the best from God is unbelief. It started in the Garden of Eden when God told man not to eat of the fruit of the tree, which was in the midst of the garden. He told them not to even touch it otherwise they would die (Genesis 3:2).
However, they chose not to believe God who put them in the garden but rather believed the serpent who told them they wouldn’t die. “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (verses 4-5 New King James Version).
In other words, the serpent was saying God was a liar. And unfortunately, Eve believed him. She acted in unbelief towards God, ate the fruit and gave Adam, her husband, to eat. He ate it rather than believe God’s Word that they shouldn’t eat or touch it otherwise they would die. Adam and Eve died spiritually after eating this fruit.
Humanity has not fully recovered from this act of unbelief, even after Jesus had died for the sins of the world. Many are yet to receive Him as their Lord and Saviour.
My focus in this message is unbelief towards God. Beware of it. Many people disobey God because of unbelief. Get rid of unbelief in your life. Believe the Word of God. Believe whatever God says even if you don’t understand it or it doesn’t make any sense to you. The word of God is true; His Word is the Truth (Psalm 119:160; John 17:17) even when it doesn’t make sense.
For instance, the LORD said through the prophet Isaiah that the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). That didn’t make sense. How could a virgin conceive? But that was the Word of the LORD. He knew how to fulfil it and He did.
The life of the children of Israel was characterized by unbelief. They disobeyed Him because of this. For example, when the LORD told them to go and possess the Land of Canaan having promised that He had given the land to them, they acted in unbelief. The ten tribal leaders who were part of the twelve spies sent by Moses came back with an evil report that discouraged the people. Therefore, they rebelled against the word of the LORD to go and possess the land.
Moses recalled this incident: “Likewise, when the LORD sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, ‘Go up and possess the land which I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and you did not believe Him nor obey His voice. You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you” (Deuteronomy 9:23-24 New King James Version).
Because of the unbelief of that generation of Israelites, the LORD said no one who was twenty years old or older out of the Israelites He rescued from Egypt would see the land He had solemnly promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Numbers 32:11). They perished in the wilderness. Hebrews 3:19 says they could not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief.
Not only the Israelites were guilty of unbelief; Moses and Aaron, their leaders, were guilty as well. Because of this, they were disqualified from entering the Promised Land. They contravened the instruction of God when He asked them to bring water for the Israelites out of the rock.
Numbers 20:10 says, “And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, ‘Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?’” (New King James Version). This was not God’s instruction.
God’s instruction was, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals” (verse 8 New King James Version).
But in contravention of God’s instruction, Moses, after saying what God didn’t tell him to say as seen in Numbers 20:10, lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Despite Moses’ disobedience, water still came out of the rock.
Verse 12 of Numbers 20 says, “Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (New King James Version).
Hebrews 3:12 warns, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (New King James Version).
The passage continues, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’” (verses 13-15 New King James Version).
Believe the Word of God. Meditate upon it. Speak the Word of God in faith, not in fear, unbelief or doubt. The Bible says he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind; he won’t receive anything from the LORD (James 1:6).
The people of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, refused to believe Him. They rejected Him. He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. “But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:57-58).
Similarly, John 12:37-38 says, “But despite all the miraculous signs he had done, most of the people did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: ‘Lord, who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?’” (New Living Translation).
The apostle John continues: “But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, ‘The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts — so their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them” (verses 39-40 New Living Translation).
Beware of unbelief. It is evil. It will rob you of God’s best for you. If you don’t believe Him and His Word, you won’t get the benefits that you should. 2 Chronicles 20:20 says, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (New King James Version).
The Bible says if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). The next verse adds that refusal and rebellion will result in being devoured by the sword.
Beware of unbelief. When the disciples of Jesus asked Him why they couldn’t cast out the devil from the boy in Matthew 17 who was epileptic, He told them it was because of their unbelief. “So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting’” (Matthew 17:20-21 New King James Version).
Also, after Jesus’ resurrection, He rebuked His disciples for their unbelief. “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen” (Mark 16:14 New King James Version).
In the book of Romans, the Bible says of Abraham and Sarah, his wife: “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:19-22 New King James Version).
Repent of unbelief. Not to believe the Word of God amounts to calling Him a liar. “God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a human, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:19 New Living Translation).
Repent of unbelief today. Don’t let it continue to rob you of God’s best for you. “Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it” (Romans 11:22-23 New Living Translation).
Believe the Word of God; speak it and act on it, believing that the Word will do what God says He will do.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of unbelief. I will study and meditate on Your Word. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall speak Your Word in faith. Holy Spirit, help me not to act in unbelief even when I don’t understand the Word of God or it doesn’t make any sense to me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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