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AND THEY OVERTHROW THE FAITH OF SOME
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Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
2 Timothy 2:17-18
Welcome to this edition of The Return of the King. Today I wish to share a word on the need to protect our faith from those whose words and counsel threaten to overthrow it.
Faith is to the believer what oxygen is to the human body and that is what the scripture in Habakkuk 2:2 – ‘But the just shall live by faith’ implies. But faith is much more than that. Faith provokes the release of God’s awesome power to work in and for us such things as we dare to trust or believe Him for. 1 John 5:4 states that our faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Hebrews 11:33 speaks of men and women:
“… who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens … received their dead raised to life again.”
The faith of the believer is so precious that 1 Peter 1:7 declares:
“… your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes…”
Genuine faith comes by hearing but only by the hearing of the word of God – Romans 10:7:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith that comes by the hearing of the word of God can however be overthrown when we open our ears and heart to listen to words that do not align with the word of the Lord.
In the opening scripture Apostle Paul writes to Timothy to shun those whose message overthrows the faith of others. He describes these men as having strayed from the truth and their words as “profane and idle babblings”. When he states that they have strayed from the truth, he affirms that their messages do not align with the word of God which is the truth- John 17:17:
“Your word is truth”
When people say things to us that do not align with the written word of God, their words, no matter how wise, profound or logical they may sound, do not represent the truth. If we chose to accept these words, they will naturally overthrow our faith; for while the truth of God’s word builds up our faith, words that contradict scripture overthrows it.
Our faith, according to 1 Peter 1:7 is more precious than gold and just as we often go to great lengths to protect our physical and material blessings; we must also take steps to protect our faith from those wishing to overthrow it.
In Numbers chapters 13 and 14, we see Israel unable to enter the Promised Land because the words of a few were allowed to overthrow the faith of the multitude. Of the twelve spies sent out to spy the land God had promised to give to them, only two -Joshua and Caleb - affirmed the truth of God’s promise. But the people did not believe their report choosing rather to believe the ‘profane and vain babblings’ of men who contradicted the report of the Lord and told the people that they were not able to take the land.
When men tell us that God has rejected and abandoned us, they seek to overthrow our faith that God will never leave nor forsake us; when they tell us that we cannot prosper, have children, be favoured, be anointed, achieve academic excellence, etc., they seek to overthrow our faith that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us; when they tell us we cannot be healed, they seek to overthrow our faith that by His stripes we are healed; when they tell us that our dreams and desires are impossible to achieve, they seek to overthrow our faith that with God all things are possible; when they tell us it is too late for visions of victory, of fruitfulness, of greatness, of marital fulfilment, of a life of peace, of financial abundance to be fulfilled, they seek to overthrow our faith that though the vision tarries, it would surely come to pass.
How then can we recognize those who come to overthrow our faith? We recognize them when we observe that their words contradict God’s word and promises; and that their words leave us fearful and doubtful of God’s promises and His ability to deliver on them.
When we observe this about anyone who speaks to us, we must shun their words and reject their report. May the Lord preserve and strengthen our faith; may He shield and protect us from men whose words come, not to build up our faith but to overthrow it!
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