“Lord, increase our faith!” cry many hapless Christians today. They simply can’t understand why God hasn’t given them more faith, and they want more! But they go about getting it all wrong! God doesn’t GIVE you faith – you must EARN your faith! You BUILD it, and YOU are in control of EXACTLY HOW MUCH OF IT YOU HAVE!
What could be more shocking than those simple words! And yet the Bible is full of words like those from beginning to end! One of the principle uses for faith is in communicating to God. If you have faith, God will hear and answer – if not, He won’t. Everyone knows that. But what no one seems to know is, YOU are responsible for THAT! Not God!
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
This says that if you allow iniquity – literally, lawlessness, breaking the laws of God – in your heart, GOD WILL NOT HEAR YOU! That means that, no matter HOW much faith God might have given you, if you break His rules, HE WILL NOT HEAR YOU! So it is YOU who controls that!
2 Chronicles 24:20 … Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because YE have forsaken the LORD, HE HATH ALSO FORSAKEN YOU.
Why did God forsake them? Because THEY BROKE THE COMMANDMENTS! Was it because of something GOD did that He forsook them? That He abandoned them and left them to the mercies of the pagans? No! THEY forsook HIM, and so HE forsook THEM!
But lest you say that this is just some outdated OLD testament example, the New Testament says THE EXACT SAME THING!
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Do you want to have more FAITH? Do you want to be closer to God? HE HASN’T MOVED! AND HE ISN’T GOING TO! So YOU have to draw CLOSER TO HIM! And that means ACTING more like He does, and that means CLEANSING your hands of sin, and PURIFYING your conscience, and getting rid of anything that stains your actions or your soul!
Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
What’s the first step? Ask God for faith? No! Asking God for faith, WHILE STILL BEING DISOBEDIENT, while your heart is STILL DIRTY, and while you are still committing acts that YOU KNOW are wrong, WILL NOT HELP! You can pray to God on bloody knees for all eternity, but NOTHING will happen until YOU STOP DOING WHAT CAUSED GOD TO LEAVE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE!
When you do that, you can fully expect God to snuggle right up against you! To be there when you ask for Him, and you can KNOW that He will answer, because YOU HAVE DONE YOUR PART! Yes, YOU HAVE A PART TO DO! And that part is OBEDIENCE!
2 Samuel 22:21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
David was a man after God’s own heart, and David said that God rewarded him, answered his prayers, and helped him ACCORDING TO HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS! And according to HOW CLEAN HIS HANDS WERE! If he sinned, GOD LEFT HIM, and PUNISHED HIM! If He was righteous, GOD HELPED HIM!
Verse 22-25 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; ACCORDING TO MY CLEANNESS IN HIS EYE SIGHT.
You want faith? You want God to answer your prayers? STOP ASKING! Stop whining at God about it! CHANGE! DO YOUR PART, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! It is YOUR responsibility to be clean – not God’s responsibility to MAKE you clean! It is YOUR responsibility to see to it that your heart does not condemn you for your actions – NOT GOD’S! It is YOUR responsibility to stop breaking God’s commandments – NOT GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE YOU!
So many people today believe that God is pleased with them, when God is DISGUSTED with them! He HATES their pretense, their duplicity, where they call Him Lord, and talk about how they love Him, but they WILL NOT DO WHAT HE SAID! They WILL NOT OBEY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WHICH HE SAID WERE THE ONLY ROAD TO LIFE!
Matthew 19:16 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, … IF THOU WILT ENTER INTO LIFE, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.
Nearly ALL of the Christian world today REJECTS this command of God to keep the commandments, which Jesus in the following verses explains is the TEN commandments found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. BREAKING THOSE COMMANDMENTS IS INIQUITY, and absolutely BLOCKS any hope you have of God answering your prayers! For saying you love Him, yet refusing to OBEY Him, makes YOU a hypocrite!
Job 8:13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite‘s hope shall perish:
A hypocrite is someone who CLAIMS to love God – but their works PROVE that they DON’T! And that describes nearly ALL of modern Christianity today! They talk about how they LOVE Jesus, and how they WANT truth, but they WILL NOT OBEY HIM! Jesus prophesied of this, saying:
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
IT MAKES GOD ANGRY if you call Him your “Lord” BUT DON’T DO WHAT HE SAID!
Matthew 7:21 NOT EVERY ONE that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Jesus said that NOT Everyone who calls Him LORD, and exalts His name WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN! But ONLY those who OBEY HIS FATHER! And saying you LOVE Him, and exalt Him, and KNOW Him, and NOT keeping His commandments, MAKES YOU A LIAR!
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT HIS COMMANDMENTS, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
And if you fall into that category, as so many millions do, and if YOU call Jesus YOUR Lord, and DON’T refuse to sin, and reject iniquity, and CLEANSE your heart of wickedness as HE COMMANDED YOU TO DO, then you are a HYPOCRITE! And you can BEG God for faith, and YOU WON’T GET IT! You can PLEAD, and CRY, and HOPE for His help until the sun grows cold and YOU WILL NOT GET IT!
Job 27:8-9 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
NO HE WILL NOT!
Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: FOR EVERY ONE IS AN HYPOCRITE AND AN EVILDOER, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
NO Hypocrite will get faith. God CANNOT give it to any who say they love Him, but reject Him. Why would He? You only receive the blessings for being God’s servant IF you ARE God’s servant! And you can say WHATEVER you like! You can pray to WHOMEVER YOU SEE FIT! But your WORKS, your ACTIONS, will prove WHO it is that you obey, and WHAT it is that you love – God, or the world!
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
You want faith? Stop sinning, and you’ll find you HAVE faith, and without asking for it. You’ll find that God WANTS to hear you, rather than having to be coerced or begged to hear. You want God to answer you? Obey Him – listen to HIS requests (His law), and He’ll listen to yours.
God has set YOU in the driver’s seat on this one. He is setting up there on His throne watching you; He’s ready to answer you any time. The supply of help is there. But YOU have blocked Him, PREVENTED Him from helping you, because “The LORD is far from the wicked” … but the second half of that same verse says “but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29).
So it all comes down to one question; which would you rather come true; your nightmares… or your dreams? Don’t bother to answer – your actions will be your answer. And this scripture shows you how to choose…
Proverbs 10:24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.