FAITH REVOLUTION SERIES
PART 3 – HINDRANCES TO QUALITY FAITH
Any application of our faith as Christians encounters head-on collision from much opposition. There are many hindrances to our growth in faith. Some of which are:
1. Present circumstances.
“And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks:
and he called to her, and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” – 1 Kings 17:8-14.
This text says that God commanded this widow to feed the prophet Elijah but this woman was preparing her last meal to eat with her son and die. Her situation was that of a lack of food and a sustainable livelihood. This situation of hers spoke unto her the death of her family. Her present circumstance voiced out her end and prevented her from hearing the command of God. Our present situation can render us deaf to the command of God and hence unable to please Him.
2. The physical senses and it’s pleasures
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” – Galatians 5:24. This scripture depicts what differentiates a Christian from the world. As Christians we live and walk in the Spirit. The Bible says in James 4:4 that whoever wants to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God. Walking in the flesh means to have certain mindfulness for the things of the flesh and this is a friendship to the world. This hinders our faith in that we begin to look for earthly rewards to our faith. We forget that our faith has an eternal reward and that this earth will pass away. The pleasures of this world hinder our faith and keep us from fully embracing Christ.
Let’s look at the parable of the rich young ruler.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” – Matthew 19:16-22
In this scripture, we see this rich young ruler who had it all. He had the money and he also obeyed the law of God. This man wanted to be perfect, lacking nothing. But he could not pay the price for that. He loved the pleasure of the world. He loved the money, the power and all his possessions. He did not value treasure in heaven. He cared about his treasures here on earth and placed more value on them. Our faith would be brought to a standstill if we place more value on earthly things rather than heavenly things.
3. Familiar voices
Let’s take a look at 1 Kings 13: 1-26.
“…Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, what way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, it is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him.”
From this text we see how a man of God died because he disobeyed God. God sent him on an assignment with instructions to follow but he deviated and displeased God. God commanded him not to eat bread or drink water in that place but a familiar voice, the words of an old prophet, led him to destruction.
Though our parents are given unto us by God for guidance and our pastors are to counsel us concerning things of this life, they are not the final authority. The Bible says that many are the plans in the heart of man but the way of the Lord shall prevail. Our parents, best friends, teachers, and even pastors have plans in their hearts but we ought to be convicted about the word of God and His will concerning our lives. We need to be discerning and careful concerning the path we take in life because the devil is cunning and his deceit is great. Familiar voices can thwart our faith.
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