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| Sermon by Prophet Kobus van Renburg |
FAITH OR DOUBT
WHY DO YOU FEAR?
Matthew 14:14-24 (Amplified) When He went ashore and saw a great throng of people, He had compassion (pity and deep sympathy) for them and cured their sick. When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, This is a remote and barren place, and the day is now over; send the throngs away into the villages to buy food for themselves. Jesus said, They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat. They said to Him, We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish. He said: “Bring them here to Me.” Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve [small hand] baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about 5,000 men, not including women and children. Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds. And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone. But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the WIND WAS AGAINST THEM.
At times when God tells you to do something and you are in the situation it feels like the wind is against you. You may encounter situations where God is speaking to you, nothing works out right and you then start rebuking the devil. God sent them (you) into the storm.
Matthew 14:25 (Amplified) And in the fourth watch [between 3:00-6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said: “It is a ghost!” And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying: “Take courage! I AM! STOP BEING AFRAID! [Exodus 3:14]. And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said: “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat and WALKED ON THE WATER, and he came toward Jesus.
We must realise that the disciples were really terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water. What would you have done, seeing Him on the water? The first thing Jesus said to them when they screamed was not to fear. Peter climbed out of the boat when Jesus told him to come. Sometimes preachers only focus on the sinking part, but what there is another part too.
FAITH AND DOUBT ARE FORCES
Matthew 14:30-32 (Amplified) But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he BEGAN to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHY DID YOU DOUBT? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Peter just began to sink. He did not sink immediately; he was still walking and then he shouted for help.
Faith is a spiritual force. Doubt is a soulish force. Conscience is also a spiritual force.
1 Timothy 3:9 says that you must hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. When you see a miracle happen because of faith, there is something mysterious about it. You must hold this mystery in a pure conscience.
Your conscience is the thought life of your spirit.
Your brain is the thought life of your body.
Your mind is the thought life of your soul.
Your brain helps you to think with your mind or your conscience. If you do not have a brain, you cannot listen to your mind or to your conscience. If your spirit leaves you, you are dead. When a person is brain dead, he is dead. Your brain thinks in your body. Your mind thinks in your soul and your conscience thinks in your spirit.
Little faith caused Peter to walk, but doubt caused him to start sinking. With your spirit man faith causes you to do things. Your mind then interrupts your conscience; your faith is polluted, you doubt and then you begin to sink.
Little faith means to act on the spur of the moment, because you are stirred. It is called a burst of faith. Doubt is to have a double thought or a second thought. The first thought came from a spiritual force and when Peter acted on that by faith, he walked on the water. The second thought came from his five senses: he saw the waves and he got a second thought that he is actually supposed to sink. The first thought came from deep within and he thought by himself that he could walk. Then he used his five senses, looked at his circumstances and began to reason. That is why when people decide to buy a house and they start reasoning on how to pay it, they will still be renting thirty years later.
Faith is a quality thought to do something. You are stirred to do something, but when your mind interrupts you will stop doing it. You allow your senses to mix in when you look at circumstances. That causes you to loose the faith burst and miss God.
Luke 12:29 – why are you of a doubtful mind? Hebrews 11:6 says that when you go to God you must believe or have faith that God is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
We find that there are two opposite forces. Fear is faith in the devil; a spiritual force. The spiritual force of faith works on your conscience and the spiritual force of fear works on your soul.
THE WORD JUDGES YOUR THOUGHTS
Hebrews 4:12 (Amplified) For the Word that God speaks is ALIVE and full of power [making it ACTIVE, operative, ENERGIZING, and EFFECTIVE]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (SOUL) and [the immortal] SPIRIT, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very THOUGHTS and purposes of the heart.
Peter walked on the water because of a command received by Jesus. He acted on the Word and the Word was active, operative, energizing and effective. If you take the Word of God, it will make a dividing line between the spirit and the soul. That dividing line will judge, discern and prove what you are thinking. It will show whether you are thinking in your conscience or in your mind – with your spirit or with your soul. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing of the Word. The Word cuts through the spirit and the soul and discerns what you are thinking. It tells you whether you are operating and thinking in faith or in fear.
According to Acts 17:10-11 the people in Berea were more spiritual than those in Thessalonica as they were more diligent, spiritual students. II Thessalonians 2:2 says that the people of Thessalonica were always disturbed in their minds. The Berea people received the Word with a ready mind.
Hebrews 4:13 (Amplified) And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are OPEN AND EXPOSED, NAKED AND DEFENSELESS to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
The Word of God is a sharp two-edged sword that cuts through your soul and spirit and discerns your thoughts. If we come into contact with the Living Word, whether preached, read or in appearance, our thoughts are exposed. In Luke 5 when his friends lowered the lame man through the roof of the house, Jesus knew the thoughts of the Jews who stood there. Time and time again Jesus knew what the people were thinking. He asked them why they doubted, why they reasoned and why they said what they said. Whenever Jesus, Who is the Word, came in contact with people, He knew their thoughts. Our thought life is exposed when we come in contact with the Word. It discerns whether we are soulish or spiritual. The people Jesus had to do with were of a doubtful mind. They were reasoning in their minds. You don’t reason with your spirit or in your conscience, but with your mind. When you are spiritual, you just receive and you do. When you are reasoning, you doubt and then you start to sink.
You must learn how to operate in faith and keep on walking on the water. Jesus asked them why they got a second thought or a double thought. Fear arose in their hearts when they started to doubt. In Matthew 14 the disciples already had a lesson that came out of Matthew 8.
A SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND
Matthew 8:23-27 (Amplified) And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping. And they went and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness). And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marvelled, saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!
In Mark 4 the same story occurred. They asked Jesus if He did not care that they were perishing. Jesus asked them why they were fearful. They were of little faith. In Matthew 14 Jesus asked them of little faith why they doubted. To be fearful is to doubt. Fear is the force that will cause you to doubt, because you live by your five senses that activate your mind. You do not live by your conscience that is activated by your spirit.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. God has not given us a spirit of fear, which means that God does not act in your soul in doubt. You act there. God gave us the Spirit of a sound mind. Our minds can be sound. Many people struggle to control their minds, but Ephesians 4:23 says that we must be renewed in the spirit of our minds. The atmosphere of your mind must be renewed. Do you expose your mind to fear or to faith?
In Matthew 15 & 16:5-11 Jesus multiplied the bread and told the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Then He told them to remember how He multiplied the bread and asked them why they reasoned about bringing bread.
James 1:6 (Amplified) Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
Your mind must be one with your spirit. When you ask it must be in faith. In Matthew 8 & 14 the disciples were tossed by the wind and James was there too. That is why he could speak about faith.
James 1:7-8 (Amplified) For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].
If you get a double thought you are unstable in all your ways! Peter was walking on the water because of a spiritual force of faith and the Word that was operating. When his mind took control and he started to reason with his five senses, he started to sink. His ways became unstable. When you get a second thought all your ways will be unstable – in your job, your marriage, your relationships and other, you will be unstable.
KNOW GOD’S WAYS AND HAVE THE ACTS
Psalm 103:1-7 (KJV) Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgives all thy iniquities; who heals all thy diseases. Who redeems thy life from destruction; who crowns thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Who satisfies thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles. The LORD executes righteousness and judgment for all that is oppressed. He made known His WAYS unto Moses, His ACTS unto the children of Israel.
Moses knew the ways of the Lord and the Israelites knew His acts. Although they knew His acts, they did not believe. Moses knew His ways and did not have a problem believing His acts. If you can know Him and not be unstable in your ways, you will not have a problem with acts and deeds. In the Book of Acts you find acts because of faith. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and they were not double minded, but operated in faith and walked in the ways of the LORD. People look for the acts and they do not know the ways! If you are double minded your ways are unstable and you will not get to the deeds. You can know the deeds by acting with little faith and getting a burst of faith. If you then get second thoughts, your ways will be unstable and your acts will not be your every day life. You can live in the rhythm of the miraculous.
TRAIN YOUR SOUL
Isaiah 55:1-3(a) (KJV) Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that hath no money; come you, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your SOUL SHALL LIVE…
Your soul must agree with your spirit. God wants our minds to agree with our consciences. When you see a cripple, your faith tells you to go and pray for him – that is a burst of faith. After you then come to him, your mind tells you how thin his legs and how skew his feet are. You see the catheter that comes from his bladder and the second thought arises which tells you that you can’t. If you take that thought, you will then try to convince yourself with scriptures that something will happen. You say: “God, You’ve said in Your Word that…” but you already had a second thought, your ways are unstable and the deeds are not in operation. Your mind must be in agreement with your spirit and you must not take a second thought. That is how faith works. When a second thought comes, leave it. When you walk to someone that is a cripple and a thought comes that he will not walk, walk away – do not mess up his life and your ministry.
Isaiah 55:7-11 (KJV) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways; says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall MY WORD be that GOES FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH. It shall NOT RETURN UNTO ME VOID, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
The Word is quick and powerful and it decides whether you are thinking in the soul or the spirit. Leave the second thought and think with the spirit man and your ways will be stable. Your mind and your conscience will then be in agreement.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (Amplified) For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every THOUGHT and purpose away captive INTO the OBEDIENCE of CHRIST (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete.
If you brought your thoughts into obedience to what God said to your spirit, only then will you rule over the other thoughts that will stand up against the thoughts of Jesus Christ. You must first become obedient in all your things that God tells you. If you are not obedient, you can bind your thoughts, rebuke them and try to take control over them but you will not be able to. You must first be perfect in your obedience. If you are rebellious, don’t try to bring your thoughts into the captivity of Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4:23 says that we must be renewed in the spirit of our minds. What is your mind being exposed too? Romans 12:1-3 says that we must not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Your spirit and your mind are able to think. You need to train your spirit to overrule your soul or else you will not be able to know what the spirit says. You dream when you go to sleep and your spirit contacts your soul. Whenever your soul overrules your spirit, it can’t hear the voice of your spirit. As you go to sleep the spirit is much alive and speaks, but when you wake up, your spirit is overruled by the soul again and you cannot remember what the spirit said. You will see visions and hear from God easier when your spirit is trained to overrule your soul. Jesus told the people that those who have an ear must hear. He told them to sharpen the hearing of what the Spirit says.
Practice and be spiritual. Galatians 5:16-18 says that when you walk in the Spirit, you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. The spirit and the flesh oppose each other and you cannot do what you want to do. You want to do well, but another force interferes and tries to overrule. Ask God to touch your mind and deliver you from fear. Do not pray for faith; get rid of fear. Do not try to train your spirit man; get your soul under control. God trains your spirit and you must get your soul in agreement with your spirit. Train your soul by renewing it with the Word. Think God’s thoughts and walk God’s ways. If you do it and do not get a double thought, you will not be unstable and you will get answers to your prayers.
Just think about what you would’ve done for God if you did not have fear? Stick to the Word, which is the first Word and you’ll be a spiritual man. You will walk in faith and you’ll see the results.
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