Faith and Unbelief – Humility and Pride

FAITH – Deeply believes God will do what HE SAYS – and it subsequently produces WORDS of agreement, and ACTIONS of obedience.

FAITH – Need not understand.  It doesn’t look at the natural. But believes GOD WILL do and GOD CAN do what GOD SAYS He will do.

Luke 1:37 says, For nothing is impossible with God.”

It’s one thing to Believe IN HIM, it is an entirely different matter to BELIEVE HIM.  This is where our faith is tested.  Do I take Him at His Word? Do I truly HEAR Him? Have I “REALIZED” His Promises?

PRIDE and FAITH are Opposites, just as UNBELIEF AND FAITH are Opposites.

UNBELIEF is really masked, or camouflaged PRIDE.

Let’s consider the 12 spies that returned from beyond the Jordan to report back to Moses and Aaron and the Children of Israel in the wilderness. The account is in Numbers 13:26-33.

10 of these spies  – we, in modern day, would consider “humble” – for they said “we are as grasshoppers”, and 2 of these spies – we’d consider “proud and arrogant” for they said “we can take the land!”

YET IN REALITY:

10 were PRIDEFUL – “relying on their own strength”  – their report was given according to a human perspective, not according to God’s perspective.

2 were HUMBLE – “relying on God’s ability to do as He said, and relying on God’s strength to make it all possible”.

DO YOU SEE, MY FRIENDS, HOW PRIDE LOOKS DECEIVING?  How it is a false humility? and “appearing humble” is in actuality UNBELIEF disguised?

True humility BELIEVES who God is and understands who we are. We maintain hope, and strength….and are more than conquerors!  For we know it all has to do WITH GOD, and NOT US, except to step out in FAITH that He will do as he says. We have to do OUR PART to do that stepping into what He says to.

NOT YET CONVINCED? Let’s look at the 10 spies report: Numbers 13: 26-33

“It truly flows with milk and honey” – what God had promised about the land was indeed true.  These men acknowledge it was as He SAID, and an awesome land of milk and honey, and they revealed its wonderful fruits.

YET THEN THEY SAY THIS:

“Nevertheless”

“nevertheless” means “despite all of that.”

At that moment, Moses, and every man of faith in Israel should have cried out and said, “Nevertheless nothing! How can one say, ‘We went to the land, found it good, and God’s promise true,’ and then say, ‘Despite all this . . .’?”

The 10 spies continued:

Despite God’s words and His promise….” the people there are strong.”

We will disregard God’s faithful promise… “for their cities are large and fortified .”

and Who cares about God’s Words…we saw with our own eyes the descendants of Anak, a tribe of large men! “

and despite God’s Ability…. “the land is taken up! the Amalekites dwell there, and  the Amorites . . . and so do the Canaanites.  “There is no room for us.”

Their UNBELIEF was revealed in their WORD: “Nevertheless”…and JUSTIFIED in their WORDS spoken thereafter…

It is hard to imagine a report more unbelieving and unfaithful to God than this; a report that recognizes the faithfulness of God’s promise, the truth of His word, and yet says, “Despite all that . . .”

UNBELIEF IS NOT HUMILITY.  FOR IT DOES NOT GIVE GOD HIS PROPER PLACE OF HONOR AND RESPECT. FAITH IS RESPECT FOR WHAT GOD HAS SAID.

So, let’s look at Caleb’s bold report of Numbers 13, and Joshua’s concurring:

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Then Caleb quieted the people: Caleb – blessed forever! – commanded the people to immediately (at once) trust and obey God and to take the land, because God had made them able.  It took great courage for Caleb and Joshua to stand against the tide of unbelief, of doubt and “despite all that“ attitude.

Caleb, for sure, had the spirit of Romans 3:4: Let God be true but every man a liar. Numbers 14:24 describes Caleb AND HOW GOD LOOKED UPON HIM:  “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

FAITH is really HUMILITY. We believe and follow another, ONE, greater than ourselves.

BUT, the majority sometimes rules, even if they are all “dead wrong”, for the other 10 men who had gone up with him countered this rally for faith to rise up, with their own declarations of UNBELIEF:

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Unbelief often presents itself as being “factual” or “practical” or “down to earth.” Yet, the most factual, practical, and down to earth thing we can to is trust the word of the living God. Their unbelief was not according to the facts, but despite the facts.  They left out their BIGGEST FACT – that what God SAYS is greater than Man’s abilities or inabilities.

WHEN WE DO NOT REPLACE OUR WEAKNESS, WITH HIS STRENGTH… WE ARE PARALYZED…UNABLE … TO DO WHAT GOD TELLS US TO DO.

God’s ABILITY must be taken into consideration!

FAITH IS HUMILITY.  UNBELIEF IS PRIDE.

Significantly, we see that two spies, Joshua and Caleb, could see the exact same sights – the same grapes, the same men, the same land, the same cities – and they come away singing in faith and encouraging the others to BELIEF not only could God do it, but that THEY COULD DO IT through faith and obedience…by going forward.

While at the same time, the others were filled with a sense of certain doom.

Ultimately, faith or unbelief does not spring from circumstances or environment, but from our hearts, which God must change.

To confirm scripture with scripture, let’s look at Jeremiah 17:5-7, and think of what was just shared:

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

Their UNBELIEF indeed brought about their desert experience.  It led them away from prosperity when it was presented.  It took them into a salt land where death is imminent.

Now let’s skip to the New Testament, and talk of Jesus Christ.

What GRIEVED Jesus the most, as he walked this earth?  Was it not UNBELIEF?  Can you not hear his words, “O, Ye of Little Faith!” as he went along life’s way?

Now, tell me, what PLEASED Jesus the most, as he walked this earth? Was it not BELIEF? Can you not hear his words joyously declared to the centurion, “ I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”  or the words to the blind men “Do you believe I am able to do this? and then “According to your faith, it will be done for you.”

God does not respond to our need. He responds to OUR FAITH.  Jesus responded to FAITH.

My prayer for you, my reader, is that FAITH WILL ARISE WITHIN YOU. AND YOU WILL KNOW GOD’S ABILITY, AMIDST YOUR PERCEIVED INABILITY against what the Enemy may be doing in your household, neighborhood, workplace, or your country.  WE HAVE GOD!

There is no inability in God.  You can’t go wrong if you will trust Him and follow Him when He gives you his leading to advance forward in obedience to something He has told you.  DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE “INTIMIDATED” BY UNBELIEVERS…and Un-BELIEVE-ers. The latter can be God’s own people, if they are not actively believing God, and walking in their faith. Stand your ground, Humble yourself before God and walk in FAITH and HUMILITY BEFORE GOD. (Even if the World around you labels you as Proud!)

I Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

Written and Shared by Elizabeth Norland, October 19, 2012

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