Practical Faith – Part 1

CHARLES CAPPS

CAN YOUR FAITH FAIL?

FAITH IS A LAW

Faith is of God. God is a faith God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Faith is a law (Romans 3:28; 8:7). God’s laws work. They were designed to work-not fail. Whether others believe or don’t believe will not stop God’s laws from working.

“… what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged” (Romans 3:3,4).

FAITH COMES FROM A SUPERNATURAL SEED

THE FAITH OF GOD DOES NOT FAIL. Faith comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17)

The Word of God is incorruptible seed. A natural seed will sometimes fail: God’s Word never fails. Many times people fail to apply the Word of God.

You can cause faith to fail to produce. Let’s say it this way: True faith is a supernatural seed; it won’t fail, but you can cause a failure in spite of the seed. Your action or reaction can stop the productivity of the seed. The seed (faith) does not always determine the outcome. “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say to this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou
planted in the sea; and it shall obey you” (Luke 17:6). “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe , and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

“SATAN HATH DEMANDED TO HAVE YOU . . . .”
Although you have faith, evidently it is possible for it to fail to produce the desired results. We see this possibility of failure in Luke 22:31,32: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.

Notice, it does NOT say, “God hath desired to sift you,” but “Satan hath desired to sift you.” The Greek word translated desired means demanded. Satan had demanded to have Peter that he might sift him as wheat. So often people think God is doing the testing and trying, so they just bow down to it, try to be
humble, and bear the trial. They suffer whatever comes their way because they believe it is God perfecting them. Many will quote a verse of Scripture out of context to prove it is God doing it.

For example, people say, “You know the Bible says, `All things work together for good.’ ”

Yes, Paul did say that in Romans 8:28, but let us keep it in the context of what Paul was teaching. “Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the
saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:26-28). Paul said after you have prayed in the spirit, then you know that all things you prayed about by interceding in the spirit will work
together for good.

THE GREATEST ENEMY OF FAITH

The greatest enemy of faith, the most subtle and the most devastating, is the lack of knowledge of the Word of God. To believe the devil’s lie that, “It is God that is putting you through trials and tests:” will neutralize your faith. Through religious tradition satan has blinded the minds of Christians to
what the Word says. Jesus said, “SATAN HATH DESIRED TO . . . SIFT YOU.”

James 1:2 says, “. . . count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” Notice, he said, “when you fall into temptations,” not when you walk into them with your eyes open. Some folks have walked into them with their eyes wide open! This verse is often misquoted as, “The trying of your faith perfects it.” But the Word says, “The trying of your faith works patience.”

Patience is a spiritual force that will support your faith like a pier under a bridge. Satan tries that which you call “faith” to see if it is true faith, or if it is mental assent. The force of patience will undergird your faith and cause you to be constant – holding the same confession through the trial satan brought.

SATAN IS OUT TO DESTROY YOUR FAITH

Peter said, “. . . think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings…” (1 Peter 4:12,13). No, it’s not strange that these things happen. Satan is not out to perfect your faith. If the trying of your faith perfected it, we would all have it made. Our faith would be perfect. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had plenty of trials or tests!

I’ll admit that if you win out with your faith, you will be stronger. If you’ll put your faith into action through the Word, you will come out with a determination to not let Satan win another battle. But that is not what Satan designed it to do. He designed the trial to put you under, not over.

Trials are a design of Satan. If you believe that God sends trials, that is a devastating blow to your faith. If God is doing it, certainly you don’t want to resist God. For instance, in the area of sickness, if it’s God’s will for you to be sick, why go to a doctor and try to get out of God’s will?

It is God’s will that you be well. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). God wants you healed, and He will go any way you choose: through doctors, through the Word, or both. But, if you fall for Satan’s lie, your faith is in
neutral. You cannot use your faith to get rid of something you believe God gave you.

Satan is not the finisher of your faith, and if trials and tests perfected faith, Satan would be the finisher of it. Hebrews 12:2 declares that Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith.

GOD IS NOT THE TEMPTER

Let me call your attention to something Jesus said when He was teaching His disciples principles of prayer. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10). Just stop and ask
yourself this question: Is it God’s will that we be tested and tried in heaven? The answer is obvious. There will be no tests or trials there. Then, that must be God’s will for the earth.

In Matthew 26:41, Jesus said to His disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation . . . .” Evidently you can avoid temptations, tests, and trials is watching and praying- Most of the time we get into trials and temptations by not doing what Jesus said to do to avoid them.

The word temptation in James 1:2, ” count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, ” and in verse 13, “Let no man say when he is tempted I am tempted of God . . . .” is the same word translated trial and test in other parts of the New Testament. Let’s paraphrase it: “Let no man say that it is God doing the tempting and trying: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.”
“Do not err, my beloved brethren.” Or as we would say, do not be misled. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:16,17). The word shadow here speaks of less light or darkness. There is never any gradual turning from that which is good and perfect. God is not guilty of using evil or darkness to perfect you.

TWO FORCES AT WORK

The Father is the giver of all good. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have me . . .” Thank God that He came to bring me, not trials. There are two opposing forces: the force of evil and the force of righteousness. The force of evil steals, kills and destroys. If you let him, Satan will steal your faith, kill your testimony, and destroy your health. He’ll do anything to destroy you. The force of righteousness is from God who gave Jesus to provide life more abundantly. This force works for you; the other works against you- The force working against you is in no way working for you. You can write that down. That opposing force is not working a good in you. It was designed to destroy your faith and to keep you from pleasing God. That is the design of Satan.

Jesus said you could avoid some of those temptations by watching and praying: “And lead us not into temptation,” or “Lead us not into any way that we would be tempted, tested, or tried.” If testing and trials would perfect their faith, I wonder why Jesus didn’t know it? He is the author of our faith.

Now, if Jesus authored your faith, don’t you know that He does not have to try to see if it will work?
General Motors wouldn’t be so foolish to build a car, sell it to someone, and then try it out to see if it would run. When their trademark goes on it, they know that it will work. It has already been proven. Jesus authored your faith. It is His faith. It has already been tried and proven; it works. He never did make any unworthy workmanship. We are His workmanship, He authored us and our faith: (Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 12:2).

LACK OF WORD EQUALS LACK OF FAITH

How does faith come? Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). A lack of faith is caused from a lack of the Word. Christians have a lack of faith because the Word does not abide in them, If God’s Word is in you, faith is there. If Satan comes along with his smoke screen and says, “This is God trying and testing you,” most people will just melt and have a Pity party. They cry, “Why me, Lord?”

Don’t allow Satan to bring every bad thing that comes down the road to you. “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). It is not God perfecting you. Many books have been written out of self-pity and defeat. Many people fall under the attack of Satan, and say, “It must be God perfecting me.” That is a cop-out. It is easier to blame God than to admit that we failed to act on the Word. This kind of thinking is a devastating blow to anyone’s faith. It will stop your faith from working.

Your faith will fail to produce when you fall for Satan’s lies. It was not the law of faith that faced – you
failed to apply the law because of lack of knowledge.

Jesus said for us to pray that we would not be led in any way that we would be tempted, tested, or tried. Sure, trials and tests are going to come. Peter said, “Think it not strange when they do come, but to rejoice inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” What are the sufferings of Christ that
Peter was talking about? Persecutions. The Bible says that those who live godly will suffer persecutions. Now don’t go believing for persecutions. Actually, they caused most of it because of the foolish things they did. They thought they were suffering for Jesus, but they suffered for a lack of knowledge.

Let’s look at another Scripture that some believe says that we are to accept everything that comes our way. I can see where people who have been taught that way would believe that it is so. We read in 1 Peter 4:1, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the
same mind . . . .” Let me say it like most people read it: “Christ suffered for us in the flesh, so we must suffer sickness and disease in our flesh for Jesus. We must suffer the tests and trials of me for Jesus.” That’s not what Peter said; nothing could be farther from the truth. Peter said, “Forasmuch then as
Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” What is the same mind? That Christ suffered for you in the flesh that you wouldn’t be bound to suffering, but could be delivered from it. Arm yourselves with the same mind: that Jesus did your suffering for you (Isaiah 35:5). Tell the enemy, “You can’t put that junk on me. I won’t have it, Jesus did my suffering. Jesus bore my sickness and diseases. You can’t put that junk on me; that’s illegal.”

Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us . . . .” How was He made a curse for us? Isaiah 53:9 literally says that God made Him sick. The chastisement needful to obtain peace and well being for us was upon him (Isaiah 53:5). The chastisement that Jesus
suffered was different from that spoken of in the New Testament. Hebrews 2:6 “. . . whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth . . . .” That word chasten in the Greek means to teach, instruct, or child train. You train a child with words. You would say, “No, don’t do that. Don’t touch the stove.” You wouldn’t stick your child’s hand to a stove, burn a blister on it and say, “Now, don’t do that because I love you. I want to teach you something.” They have prisons where they put people that do such things. Our civil laws forbid
such things. Still, people want to accuse God of doing that to His children. This is an enemy of faith. You wouldn’t want to come against something that was perfecting you. It is much easier to feel sorry for yourself.

WHAT YOU ALLOW, GOD WILL ALLOW

When you feel one of those pity parties coming on and want to feel sorry for yourself, you can mark it down: Satan is on your case. If he can get you to feel sorry for yourself, your reaction usually is, “Oh, Lord, why did you allow this to happen to me?” That’s a foolish question. God will allow anything
you will allow. He’ll let you rob a bank if you want to. God will allow you to go to hell if you want to. You are foolish if you do either one, but God will allow it. It’s sure not His will, but He will allow you to do it.

The Bible says that Jesus came and died that all would be saved and none would be lost (John 3:16), but God will still let you go to hell if you want to. The decision is yours, not God’s, This is where we have missed it. Somebody said, “God allowed it; so it must have been His will.” Nothing could be further from the truth. That is a lie of Satan. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, but it wasn’t God’s will.
It couldn’t have been, because God told Adam not to do it. The decision was Adam’s. God allows sin, but He is certainly not in favor of it. God allows sickness, but it is not His will.

Somebody says, “Yes, but if Christ redeemed us from the curse of sickness, then no one would ever be sick.” Just stop and ask yourself these questions: Did He redeem us from sin? Yes. Is anyone sinning today? Yes. Then you can see how foolish it is to think that way. We are redeemed from the curse of the law, but you can still be sick. All you have to do to prove that is-do nothing, and you will be sick.
Many banks are robbed every month, but you wouldn’t accuse the president of the United States of doing it or even allowing it. You wouldn’t say, “It happened under his administration; so we’re going to blame it all on him.” That’s the same as blaming God for things that happen to us. That is a cop-out. It is religious thinking. Sometimes things happen because we fail to watch and pray.

THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES OF THE LAW

Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. In Deuteronomy 28, God told the children of Israel of the blessing and the curses of the law. He said, “If you’ll hearken diligently unto the voice
of the Lord thy God, you’ll be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed coming in, blessed going out . . . .” They would be blessed all over more than anywhere else. There wasn’t any way they could go without being blessed. If they hearkened diligently to the voice-God’s Word, the blessings of God would
come upon them and overtake them. That meant that they couldn’t run fast enough to get away from the blessings. In other words, God said, “If you get over there in disobedience to this commandment, all these blessings will become curses. You’ll be cursed in the city, cursed in the field, cursed in the basket,
cursed in the store. You’ll have financial and physical defeat.” In verse 60, God said all of the diseases that they were redeemed from would become a part of the curse, and He included any disease or plague not yet mentioned. These curses would come upon them if they got over there where the curses were.
The King James translation says, “the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful . . . .” (Deuteronomy 28:59), and “he will bring upon thee all the diseases . . .” (Verse 60). If you read that and don’t understand what happened, you will think that God was the cause of it. He was not the cause. Their disobedience was the cause. God told them what would happen if they walked in disobedience. The curses were already
established. The children of Israel walked where God said not to walk, and the curses slapped them right in the face. Then God is accused of doing it. He didn’t. He made every provision to keep them away from the curses. The children of Israel caused it in spite of all God did to keep them from the curses. God’s Word was out.

Just because they were foolish enough to be disobedient doesn’t mean God’s Word would change. God cannot lie or change His Word. He will not alter that which has come out of His mouth. What really caused it to come to pass? Their disobedience activated the curse and God’s Word was proven to be true. Then, because their disobedience received a just reward, many blame God for the curse.

Sometimes we get a distorted image of God from reading the Old Testament, especially in the Scripture where it says that God sent these things. The children of Israel cried and said , “We wish we had died in the wilderness.” God told Moses to tell them, “As truly as I live . . . as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you” (Numbers 14:28). In other words, God said, “I’ll do exactly what you say.”

What did they say?

“And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread” (Numbers 21:5).

The King James Version of the Bible states that God sent fiery serpents among them. No: God didn’t do it at all. It was their own words that caused the fiery serpents to come. God had already said, “I will do what you say.” They said, “We are going to die.” Fiery serpents came among them, bit them and they died like flies. Their own mouths set it in motion. GOD DID NOT DO IT. Their words caused it to come to pass. God told them it would happen exactly as “you say in my ear.” Proverbs 18:21, tells us
that life and death are in the power of the tongue. You can see that it is not God that is responsible for all these things.

Satan has tried to distort the image of God in the minds of His people. But those who seek the truth shall find it. God is not your problem: He is your answer.

Atheists and agnostics are the result of a distorted image of God. They say, “Surely there wouldn’t be a God that would do that.” They’d rather believe that there is no God than to believe the lies about God.

God’s Word rules. When you break God’s Word, He can’t go back on His Word. It will come to pass.

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