By: David Wilkerson
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:1-2).
The book of Hebrews offers a strong, vital word to all who are “partakers of the heavenly calling.” This “heavenly calling,” is this: that you hear heaven calling you.
Even now heaven is calling for a people who are free from the materialism and foolishness of this world. This word is to Christians who are not living for the world, but who wake up each morning and hear Jesus calling them to Himself. They look at all that surrounds them and cry inwardly, “Jesus, my heart is not here, my future is not here. Nothing in this world satisfies me. You alone, Lord, are my life!”
I believe there are many in the body of Christ who truly are not bound to anything on this earth. You could take away their house, bank account, job or business – everything but the clothes on their back – and yet still they would love God with all their heart.
But faithfulness to God does not just mean a willingness to lose everything for His sake. In fact, Scripture says you can give your body to be burned at the stake as a testimony, but without the proper motive – without love in your heart – you will die in vain (see 1 Corinthians 13:3).
Some think of faithfulness as simply living without lust and getting victory over sinful habits. Others think it means being constant in Bible reading, prayer, giving and church attendance. Still others think of it as going about doing good, or keeping pure by avoiding all that is evil and wicked. But these things can never make us faithful to God.
You ask, “Do you mean all my striving against sin, all my sanctified service to God and crying out in prayer are not considered faithfulness? If that isn’t being faithful, what is?”
All these wonderful things indeed are commanded by the Word – and we will do them if we are faithful. But they in themselves are not the essence of faithfulness. You see, faithfulness to God is impossible unless it springs from a trusting, believing heart!
I want to make a very simple statement – yet it is one we cannot overlook if we are to be faithful to God: You Cannot Be Faithful to God if You Allow Any Unbelief to Take Root in Your Heart.
Unbelief in even its slightest form is hateful to God. It is a damning sin, one that destroys the soul. It hinders God’s work in us – and it is the sinbehind all departure from God.
You can be totally weaned from all worldly possessions and long in your heart for Jesus’ coming. You can sit under strong preaching and sing God’s praises in His house. You can devour the Word of God every day. But unless you’re praying, “Oh God, let me hear this word in my inner man; let me believe I can apply it and that it will become life to me,” then it has no effect whatsoever. What you hear must be mingled with faith.
“But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). Let those words sink in: “Unless what you read and hear preached is not mixed with faith, it is of no value to you!”
Scripture says, “(Jesus) was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:2). In what way was their faithfulness measured? How were they truly faithful in all things?
They were counted faithful because they never doubted the heavenly Father’s word to them. They knew that what God said He would do, He would indeed fulfill. You see, faithfulness is simply believing that God will keep His Word.
In this sense, Jesus and Moses “held the beginning of (their) confidence steadfast unto the end” Hebrews 3:14). They didn’t have an up-and-down, hot-and-cold, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow kind of faith. Their faith never wavered to the end!
And just as Jesus was faithful in His confidence in the Father, our faithfulness will be measured by the same standard: “But Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6).
As our trials increase and the battle grows more intense, our flesh can become weary. And over time, many Christians allow fear and doubt to creep in. They lose their abandonment to God, their childlike faith in Him. Instead, caution and questioning invade their hearts.
As I look down the road that remains of my life, I see limited time. And I want more than anything to be rejoicing in hope, firm to the end. I don’t want to go out like so many believers I’ve seen, whose years were wasted because they didn’t know where they stood in Christ. When the end came for them, I thought they’d have a certain strength, something that would refresh them to know they were nearer to meeting the Lord. But instead, they went out with a whimper – because they didn’t hold firm to the end.
Let me share with you how to become faithful to God and to hold fast your confidence all your days. If you want to be as strong in your last day as you are now in His presence, then take three things to heart:
1. Don’t Listen to the Lies of the Devil.
We must remind ourselves daily, “I have an enemy who is out to destroy me. He is a liar, a deceiver and seducer.” Jesus said, “The devil…was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Jesus has exposed to us the “father of all lies” – the instigator of every deceptive falsehood. All lies are birthed in Satan’s bosom! And God clearly warned His church that, especially in the last days, the devil would spend all his time “accusing the brethren”:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…for the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:9-10).
The devil stands before God twenty-four hours a day, accusing us and spewing out lies against us. His lies are meant to disrupt our peace and confidence in God. Scripture says he “cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman [the church], that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood” (verse 15). This flood is a flood of lies! And the devil seeks to carry us away with it by planting doubts in our minds.
Satan doesn’t waste his time lying to sinners; they’re already captive, held prisoner by his deception. No, Satan lies to those believers whose hearts are set on the Lord. He plants lies in the minds of the true
seekers, God’s holy ones. In fact, we can narrow this down even further: Satan Uses His Most Subtle, Convincing Lies Against Those Who Are Determined to Enter God’s Provided Rest!
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:9-11).
“Rest in God” means a place of total trust in His Word. It is a place of faith where there is no struggle, fear or doubt. It is a settled rest, a continuous confidence that God is with us, that He cannot fail – and that He who called us will see us through to the end.
Yet just when you think you are about to enter a new life of total rest and trust in the Lord…just when you think your flesh is crucified, that you no longer trust in your own works and instead depend on the Lord…along comes the old serpent with a pack of newly concocted lies and accusations. He gets the ear of your conscience – and using horrible lies out of hell, he excuses or accuses everything you do!
Satan’s direct target is your faith in God. He knows that your faith, if allowed to grow, will make all his lies ineffective. And when you stand before God and say, “I don’t want anything in this world but Jesus,” the devil knows it. He knows it not just by your words but by your actions, because it is no longer a merely a statement for you but a way of living.
If you really mean what you’ve said, then beware – all hell is going to come at you! The devil will come to you in your prayer closet, follow you to church, hover over you on your job – and he’ll say to his demonic
powers, “Give him this lie…now give him that one!” I’ve read of the lives of many dynamic people of God, and all acknowledge that Satan came to them in their most productive, holy times, trying to destroy them with lies.
Here are some of the devil’s biggest lies:
Lie No. 1: “You are making no spiritual progress.”
A voice whispers, “In spite of all your hunger for God, your self-denial, and all the ministry and preaching you have taken in, you have made no progress in your walk with Jesus. You are still sinful, hard-headed and full of self. You’ve been given so much, yet it has changed you so little. You will not grow up spiritually even if you live to be a hundred years old. Something is wrong with you. Others are growing and passing you by. What a phony you are, what a hypocrite. You’re a weak, spineless, no-good
How many times has the devil come to you with these lies? First of all, beloved, we don’t compare our growth by others’. And second, the devil isn’t the one to tell you whether you’re growing. In fact, he wouldn’t come to you with lies unless you were growing!
Lie No. 2: “You are too weak for spiritual warfare.”
The devil tells you, “This spiritual warfare is too much for you. You are worn out, weary and tired. You don’t have the strength to go on fighting.” In every waking hour he whispers, “Weary…worn out…at the end of your rope…give up…slow down…go easy… tired…tired…tired….”
Daniel warned that the devil would be successful in wearing down the saints: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:25). The Hebrew word used here is to “mentally tire, make the mind weary.” Maybe you’ve heard that voice in your head recently: “I’m mentally drained – wiped out!”
Dear saint, that is not the language of the overcomer. Yes, there are times when we become physically weary or tired. But the devil wants to use that to make us spiritually weary, and to rob us of the victory and the joy that is in the Holy Spirit.
The fact is, much of our spiritual weariness is caused by this implanted lie from hell! Satan tells you, “Don’t get so intense about the things of God, about the lost and hurting the poor and needy. You shouldn’t work so hard. Just ease off.
“Something is wrong – you’re wearing down. You’re supposed to be at rest. You must have sin in your heart. What terrible, hidden thing is in you?”
You may ask, “David, does Satan inject those same lies into your mind?” Yes, absolutely! He tries to invade my study and whisper into my heart, “You are not a good shepherd – you have no true biblical rest in your soul. Look how hard it is for you to get a message. David, you are tired, dry….
“If you had faith, you would not have a daughter going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. You would not have a cold that’s hung on for weeks. You would be so full of power and revelation, multitudes would be flocking to God! You are just worn out – you have so little faith.”
Where does all this come from? From the father of all lies, straight from the pit of hell! Satan questions our faith, accuses our faith – and lies about our faith!
Lie No. 3: “God is not with you – you have grieved Him away.”
Satan whispers, “He still loves you. But He is not with you now. There is something in you, something unseen, unknown to you. His blessing and favor are not with you at present.”
The devil will pound you with God’s Word out of context. He’ll say, “Didn’t God leave Israel when they sinned? He cut them off and forsook them! Your present dry spell, your daily struggle with trials and troubles, are all proof that God is not with you. The Holy Spirit has left you!”
This was the lie the devil planted in Gideon’s mind. Israel had been delivered into the hands of the Midianites and suffered great cruelty at their hands. But God sent an angel who said to Gideon, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour” Judges 6:12).
Gideon looked around him – then heard the devil’s lie – and said to God, “If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites” Judges 6:13).
True, God delivered them to the Midianites – but only to chasten them. He never forsook His beloved Israel. And He has never given up on His people. He’ll let us be chastened by the enemy, but when it’s complete, He says, “Hands off – these are My people.” God did perform His word, though Gideon
saw no sign of it.
I’m sure the devil tried to sell Moses on the lie that God would forsake Israel and no longer walk with them. But Moses knew God’s heart and refuted that lie. He warned the people that they would backslide and turn to idols in the latter days, provoking God to anger. Sin would threaten their very existence and scatter them throughout the earth.
“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31).
Beloved, we have an even more sure word from the Lord today: “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6). “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Right now, no matter what you’re going through, Jesus has said: “I’ll never leave you – I’ll never forsake you.” God is with you always!
If you’ve been seeking the Lord, He is with you no matter what lies you hear, no matter what you feel or what your circumstances. And you need to stand face to face with the devil, before all the demons in hell, and say, “I don’t care what you say about how I feel – God is with me!” And “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
2. Examine Yourself – See if You Have Been Guilty of the Sin of Unbelief.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). This is addressed not to the sinner – but to believers. He’s saying, “You – partakers of the heavenly calling. Take heed, beware, watch out. Make sure you don’t have an evil heart of unbelief!”
This passage clearly equates departure from God with a heart of unbelief – not with drugs, alcohol or adultery; those things come when you depart from the Lord. No, the Word says the thing that will cause you to turn away from God is unbelief in your heart.
The author of Hebrew ties it all together: 1) an evil heart of unbelief, 2) hardening of the heart, 3) departing from God. Here is how the process of hardening occurs: First, you allow Satan to lie to you. Second, a seed of unbelief is planted. Then your unbelief causes hardness. Finally, hardness causes all kinds of disruptions: dryness, emptiness, a reliance on feelings and emotions. Eventually, you end up departing from God in your heart.
Because of unbelief, Israel refused to go into Canaan and possess the land. The ten Israelite spies destroyed the people’s faith and confidence in God with their bad report. So the Lord cast them all out into the wilderness to wander for forty years. They decided to go up to Egypt without God, and the
Amorites defeated them. “And ye returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you” (Deuteronomy 1:45).
After the Resurrection, unbelief hardened the hearts of the eleven disciples. They knew Jesus said He would be resurrected, but their hearts were full of unbelief:
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed
“After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen” (Mark 16:9-14).
Jesus ties together unbelief and hardness of heart. And unbelief was the one thing He could not stand to see in His disciples. When He appeared to them, He “upbraided” them, meaning to scold or reprove sharply. In modern language, He “bawled them out.” He was telling them, “I have no place for this!”
As I examine my heart before the Lord, I have to say, “God, I count on You to tell me when I’m dry and empty. And even though I love You with everything that’s in me, I sometimes feel that way. Lord, what is the root cause?”
Hebrews 3:12 gives us the answer: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” What? you ask. Unbelief in my heart?
Yes! Because if you really believe what God says, He has everything you need if you just will come to Him. Are you living under condemnation? Are you dry, lonely or discouraged? Check your heart for unbelief. If you are not able to enter into God’s rest, then unbelief is your root problem. You are guilty of having a wavering faith!
“Ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord!” (James 1:6-9.) Inner turmoil is caused by our doubting God in some way. Yet how sharp and strong are His words to us on this matter: “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord!”
3. Be Fully Persuaded That Your High Priest Is Touched by All Your Hurts – and That You Have Full Access to His Throne!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
We have been invited into the throne room of the Potentate of the universe: “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).
He knows what you have been through, what you are going through now and what you face ahead. And He is waiting for you to come boldly to Him!
You see, He Himself has experienced all that we are going through, at all points. And He is sympathetic, loving, full of mercy and anxious to help in our time of need. You don’t have to explain anything to Him. You can just kneel before Him and say boldly, “Jesus, You know what I’m going through. I can’t put it into words. But You’ve been here, too – so please help me!”
Is this your time of need? Do you know He is available at any time? You don’t have to say, “I’ve got to go home and get in my secret closet to enter God’s throne room.” No, the throne is available to you anytime and anywhere. And God invites you to come boldly and without reservation, with full confidence that He will answer – that He will always keep His Word!
Yet we are not to bring the abomination of unbelief into His presence. Instead, we are to “convince ourselves” and be “fully persuaded.” “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” Jude 20).
Saints, we live by promises, not by what we see. And if we are to be faithful to God, we cannot sit around nursing our doubts. Instead, encourage yourself daily in the Lord, dealing with all unbelief, saying,
“Lord, I’ll not put up with it!” Reject the devil’s lies, and build up your faith upon God’s Word. Then you will be able to say in all your trials, “I will rejoice, because I have a place to go in my time of need.” Hallelujah!
(The above material was published by World Challenge, Lindale, TX.)
Christian Information Network