Inclined to Believe III

06 Aug

Inclined

 

Sunday 08/06/17 

Series: Doers of the Word

Message – Inclined to Believe III

 

Click HERE for Video

 

Inclined to Believe

Points so far:

  • This first point has to do with the urgency of it. Don’t wait… Don’t be a lazy hearer.
  • After reading the story of the rich man and Lazarus we concluded that if one is not inclined to trust in and rely upon THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, it is very unlikely that they will ever hear and believe the spoken word of God.
  • John 5:46-47  “(46)For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
  • AN unbelieving heart is an evil heart… In words it draws near but in action it departs from Him. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”
  • It is a convenient lie of man-made religion that spiritually can be in park. The truth is if you are not moving forward you are going backwards. We must be inclined towards committed relationship which is always growing – NEVER in “neutral”.
    • There is no neutral… There is no park.
  • If we are not inclined towards an ongoing relationship of hearing and trusting and obeying then your relationship with God is Marked by ignoring, unbelief and disobedience.
  • Exhort one another daily, while it is called “TODAY,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Sin leads to hardness and godly encouragement turns you from it.
  • Walking in love like this requires you to know your brother and make them a priority in your life… Effectively taking your time and attention off of yourself. This has the dual effect of saving you both!

Inclined

  • There is something to being faithful over what you have that more may be given.
  • We are told that even though Israel saw God’s works they would not be persuaded. Their hearts were not inclined to hear and trust Him. 
    • “THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘Their hearts were drawn away AND THEY WOULD NOT KNOWN HIS WAYS.'”
    • PS. 103:7  “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
  • Becoming callous of heart happens to those who develop ears for hearing other voices.
  • One of the primary voices we heed is our own heart’s desire to protect itself from disappointment.

Deut. 1:32, says,

“Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God,”

  • Now you remember that by the time they arrived at the promised land. They had seen God do Many things. And God told them to “go up and take it” – but they did not believe. They were more inclined to hear and believe the words of doubt brought back by the spies than they were inclined to hear and trust the words of God and Caleb.
  • All of the men that went up, did the same work and saw the same things, but only Caleb was inclined to see and hear and so followed the Lord in faith. He was a doer!
  • We can see then that works themselves did not produce the fruit of obedience… faith did.

 

Inclined

Finally, we looked at Romans 10 & 1 Cor. 2 to determine if faith comes by hearing for all things or just for salvation.

We concluded that it was for all things – but that all “hearing” is not the same.

Rom 10:21 says  “(21)  But to Israel he says: “ALL DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND CONTRARY PEOPLE.”

It appears from the scriptures we are about to examine that God “stretching out His hand” and God speaking to them was the very same thing!

Remember I told you last week that unless you have a Joshua or Caleb heart, meaning a heart that is inclined to hear and trust Him, then what God does and what you THINK He is doing will be two very different things.

  • “Let us take the land for we are well able”
  • “It is because the Lord hates us that he brought us to be destroyed”

 

God complains

Numbers 14:22,“because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice…”

 

…But what were these 10 examples of testing?

If we see the testing we will see His voice.

Now remember God was leading them from the beginning…

 

Exod. 13:17,  “17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”

18  So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.

19  And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”

20  So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.

21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

22  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”

 

The 10 Tests 

Test #1 

Israel had just been redeemed from the slavery in Egypt by 10 miracles, the passover and the shedding of the blood of the lamb and now face Pharaoh’s army behind them at the Red Sea

What were they inclined to believe?

“You have brought us from Egypt to kill in this wilderness?”Exodus 14:11

Test #2

A short while later when they approach the water pool at Mara they expected sweet water, but the water is bitter!

What were they inclined to believe?

“They complain…What shall we drink?” – Exodus 15:25

Exod. 15:25-27,  “(25) So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them,  (26)  and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”  (27)  Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.”


Test #3

Another short while into their journey and they were hungry. [Remember God is still leading them by a cloud by day and a fire by night…

Deut. 8:3,

“ 3  So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”]

What were they inclined to believe?

“What will we eat? You have brought us to this wilderness to starve and kill us. We would have preferred to be killed before the flesh pots and after eating full!” – Exodus 16:3


Test #4

God gives them Mana and promises provision for each day.

What were they inclined to believe?

“The people decide to store up and hoard for tomorrow. Can God provide for tomorrow?” – Exodus 16:19

Test #5

Israel comes to Rephidim where no water was.

What were they inclined to believe?

“They said, “”Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” and so rebelled against God by contending with Moses and nearly stoning him.”Exodus 17:1

Test #6

God comes near and gives Moses the Ten Commandments, but Moses was gone for some time…

What were they inclined to believe?

“As for this Moses – we do not know what has become of him…” so they broke God’s commands and made a Golden calf to be their god and indulged in drunken sexual sin. Exodus 32

Test #7

For NO specific reason Israel begins to test God by Murmuring and complaining”  – Numbers 11:1-3

What were they inclined to believe? While this one is by far less clear – what IS clear is that they believed their problems and struggles were greater than God’s love and provision for them.

 

Test #8

They yielded to intense craving for meat and held the provision of Mana from God in contempt.

 

What were they inclined to believe?

“Who will give us flesh to eat?” They did not believe that God would provide their desires so they complained against Him.

 

Test #9

God tells Israel – “Behold the Promised Land which flows Honey & Milk is before you, you enter and possess it.” So God had told Moses to have men spy out the land of Promise. So he selected men from each tribe to go out…and they went and spied out the land for 40 days and returned.

Numbers 13:1-2,

“1  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

2  “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

What were they inclined to believe?

The report they gave was that the land was good, but that it was impossible to take because giants were in the land and the cities were fortified.

“It is because the Lord hates us that he brought us up out of Egypt to die by the hand of the Amorites.” We do not want the promised land, Let us go back to Egypt! – Numbers 14; Deut 1

Test #10 

Israel believe the bad report and will not heed the voice of Joshua & Caleb.

Num. 14:5-9,

“(5) Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. (6) But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; (7) and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. (8) If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ (9) Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”

 

What were they inclined to believe?

God was not with them and they needed to take matters into their own hands…kill Moses and Aaron and pick someone else to lead them back to Egypt.

“(4) So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt….(10) And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.”

How did God view their unbelief?

“(10) Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. (11) Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? (12) I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they. (13) And Moses said to the LORD: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, (14) and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. (15) Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, (16) ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ (17) And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, (18) ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ (19) Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” (20) Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; (21) but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD— (22) because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, (23) they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. (24) But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. (25) Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” (26) And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, (27) “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. (28) Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: (29) The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. (30) Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. (31) But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. (32) But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. (33) And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. (34) According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. (35) I the LORD have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’ “

If you look at the bold and underlined portion of the verses above you will see that God speaks through His words and through His actions.

  • PS. 103:7  “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

Heb. 3:7-10,

“(7) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, (8) DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, (9) WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED ME, TRIED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS. (10) THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.'”

This reminds me of my favorite quote from Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

“If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us…if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling.”

It is entirely possible that there are many times faith will not come for the specific because we refuse to be persuaded by the general.

 

Let’s look as some more examples of BEING INCLINED TO BELIEVE….

 

John 10:22-30, 37-38,

“22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.

23  And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.

24  Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.

26  But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.

27  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

28  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

29  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

30  I and My Father are one.

…. 37  If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

38  but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

 

While believing BECAUSE you see is “Thomas faith”… it never the less Is faith!

 

Let’s see to the degree that this is true.

 

Romans 1:

“16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

21  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22  Professing to be wise, they became fools…”

 

 

We will pick up here next weekBlessings! 

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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