VISION 4... Fear, Doubt, Unbelief

Hindrances of Fear, Doubt and Unbelief

The next hindrances to your vision being realized are "Fear, doubt and unbelief.

Although these are separate entities, they are often closely associated. Just like faith, hope and love are attributes of God, fear, doubt and unbelief often run in the same circle and are inspired by the devil.

Most times, we know the scriptures that deal with each of these negative attributes. However the "effective working of your faith will silence the voice of the enemy and establish God's parameters around your life and vision.

The fact that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind must become the bedrock to combat the paralysis that fear intends to release in your life.

Second Timothy 1:7

            For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and            of a sound mind.

In Mark chapter 11, after Jesus commands us to "Have faith in God, He proceeds to let you understand the power that's associated with warding off a spirit of doubt.

            22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. 23 For      assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ˜Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but          believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever             he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you      pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

The reality here is that you cannot stop a thought or the voice of doubt from ever coming in, but you can keep it from settling in your heart.

This is the admonition here and if we can become proficient at recognizing and properly dealing with the Word of God as God intends, we will eventually dispel every doubt that seeks an entranceway into our hearts.

In Matthew chapter 14, we see that unbelief actually ties the hand of God and the things that God wants to do cannot be done.

Jesus entered His hometown and began teaching in the synagogues there. The people were amazed at His teaching and immediately began to associate what was being done with His "natural lineage and disposition.

Isn't this Joseph's Son and isn't He a carpenter? As I've been saying, in the infamous discourse with His disciples concerning their revelation of Who Christ is, To some He was a prophet, to some a teacher but to Peter, He was the Christ, the Son of the Loving God.

I said that Christ will be to you what you perceive Him to be. He will be a teacher, He will be a prophet, He will be a healer¦ but when you see Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, you see Him as these personalities and so much more.

Here you'll see that Jesus was just a natural man and that is what He was to them.

Matthew 14

            54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their     synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this       Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the     carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers        James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all        with us? Where then did this Man get all these things? 57 So they            were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not      without honor except in his own country and in his own house.          58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their    unbelief.

As we look at these hindrances to your vision, it's imperative that you understand that you will never see your life fully sustained and changed for the better if you do not believe.

Fear

When it comes to fear, fear has been around in its various forms since the time God told Abraham to not fear in Genesis chapter 15. Here God appears to Abraham in a vision and says, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.

God settles your heart before the battle, but it's up to you to allow His voice to silence the voice of the enemy. If God says, "Do not fear, He says it for a purpose.

According to the logos search engine, besides the Scripture here in Genesis 15, in the King James Version of the Bible there are another 500 references to fear in another 479 verses of Scripture.

This lets us know that just about every person born in the earth will wrestle with some type of fear. Some elements of fear are more prominent than others but the area of your fear is the place that God desires to empower you.

Although we are to have a "reverential and respectful fear of God, you must understand that God never puts fear on His people when it comes to advancing their lives in the earth.

Looking at Second Timothy 1:7, again we must see that fear is real and has the ability to affect the natural.

            For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and            of a sound mind.

Fear being a spirit mans that it is not perceived with the physical senses. If this is so, this means that it will play on or try to infiltrate our souls or our minds through "natural occurrences, circumstances and situations.

In the Greek, there are three types of fear:

"Eulábeia: Reverential fear. This references the fear we are expected to have towards God. The word reverential means, respectful: having a feeling or attitude of respect towards God. To pay attention and not violate what God commands.

Phóbos: Means "terror, horror, dread, fright, panic, or to flee from. This word is closely associated with the Greek word for fear, "phobéō and refers to someone being afraid and terrified.

Then as the word fear is used here in Second Timothy, the Greek word is:

Deilia: Timidity, cowardice, silence, restraint, worry, apprehension and dread. One that operates in the Deilia type of fear is actually being a "coward. A coward is associated with a deserter or a quitter.

This is why it often goes undetected. You're not actually scared of a thing, but you justify worry, uneasiness, anxiety and worry by your inaction, procrastination and indecision. You just run away or fill your life with things that are in contrast to your initial dream.

Looking at fear from this perspective you can see how many people with great dreams and vision have never even begun to experience what God intended for them to experience.

Procrastination, or postponing, delaying and putting off indefinitely what they have in their hearts taking root allows years, decades and entire lifetimes to slip by until their dream is a distant memory.

First John 4

            17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have            boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this            world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,            because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made             perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

In the literal Greek text, when it says here that fear involves torment, it actually says that fear has a "penalty [punishment, price and consequence] and that penalty is torment. To torment means "to inflict pain, anguish or to torture someone.

This is where you become afraid and terrified. Instead of meeting your challenges or tests head on the "intention of satan manifests and you become paralyzed and abort God's plan for your life.

When someone is being tormented, they find themselves in sorrow, suffering, distress, pain, affliction and they are in agony. In essence their minds are attacked and they do not live the quality of life that God intended.

This must be guarded against and warded off by being diligent in the Word and prayer while living in obedience to the Master.

What many Christians do not understand is that the words contained in the Bible prepare your heart to recognize the voice of God. Because there is no depth to your understanding of the Scriptures, it's more difficult to be led by the Spirit of God.

If the Spirit is leading you, it's easier [not that its easy] to go through the roadblocks that satan set up to get you to quit and be a deserter of the thing that God is commanding you to do.

To do something great for God, you must know His Word and His Voice as these are both necessary during the challenge.

Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. The reality is that the Voice of Christ will lead you through the trials and you will come through without the smell of smoke or a hair on your head singed.

Doubt

Next, you look at the power that having doubt has in the heart of the person who gives it life.

Right off the back, you need to realize that some people are negative because of their upbringing or because of the way their past panned out. Because it appeared that everything happened negatively, they find it hard to see anything positive in their future.

Motivational speaker, Fairest Hill makes a statement that I believe almost every person must eventually face. He states, "Don't let the pain of your past, bleed into your present and poison your future

If you were doubtful in the past you must deal with it if you want to experience a future that will reflect God's desire for you.

In Mark chapter eleven, in context we have where Jesus was hungry and approached a Fig tree for some food. Finding no figs on the tree, He cursed it and gives one of the greatest principles of "confession contained in the pages of the Bible.

Mark 11

20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ˜Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

As the tree is withered, you see that Jesus takes the focus off the withered tree and places it on the One that created the tree¦ "Have faith in God.

This is important for us if we are ever going to mature in our faith. The focus of our faith must always be in God and not our abilities, gifts, anointing's and even our own faith or ability to get something accomplished.

After focusing your faith on God, you must speak in agreement with God without doubting in your heart. Doubting thoughts and negative doubtful people will try to gain entrance to your life and sidetrack you. These cannot be given life if you are filled with God's Word.

When doubt is apparent, you will see that your speech will reflect it. Your words will not be filled with faith and they will not reflect the expectancy that God intends for you to have that is supported by the Scriptures.

This is where what you believe must line up with what you say according to our text here. If you will notice, you will have what you "say that you also believe in your heart will happen.

This takes the principle of "confession to another level as speaking the same thing that God speaks also takes the conviction of your heart and having a heart that's convinced that what God said will happen.

The Book of James refers to the person that has a "lifestyle of doubt as a person who is unstable. James 1

            5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all          liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let          him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave         of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man             suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.

You must put your faith on the line and be aware of the spirit of doubt that will try to infiltrate your thinking and therefore your faith.

The New Living Translation says:

            6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do     not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave        of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people          should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is             divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in    everything they do.

Someone that's loyal can be trusted by God and those who are in their lives. Their loyalty is not based on what they get, but in how they can add value to the person their affection is directed towards.

A loyal person is "faithful, trustworthy, devoted, reliable, dependable and dedicated.

People often think that because you are faithful that you are also loyal, but this is not true. You can be faithful without being loyal, but you cannot be loyal without being faithful.

This is why many people relationships break up and people leave churches they are joined to when they were not supposed to.

They worked and did many things, but never allowed their hearts to become devoted to the ministry or the vision you

The same thing holds true when it comes to your vision. You must be loyal to it and not only work at it to see if you can receive monetary gain or the applause of people. You must become fully devoted to seeing the completion of it no matter what or how many obstacles you face.

The person who has divided loyalties, being unstable is likely to collapse or change when opposition comes.

But when doubt is far from you, you go forward with confidence knowing that God called you and set you in place. The person of confidence will adjust their course and their mindset when they have to and continue working towards the fulfillment of the vision that's inside.

UNBELIEF

When looking at unbelief, you must understand that it is the exact opposite of believing.

In order to not believe something, you must have the opportunity to "know something first and then you make up your mind to either believe it or not believe it. Believing it, you become a believer, not believing it you are an unbeliever.

This is true when presented with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as every other promise that we are presented with in the Scriptures.

This was the dilemma that a father found himself in when he was presented with these choices. However he was humble enough to recognize and admit that he needed help and asked the right person for it.

In Mark chapter 9: 14 -29, he approached Jesus and let him know that his son was possessed by a demon that violently attacked him and Jesus' disciples could not cast the demon out.

He asked Jesus for his son's deliverance saying "¦have compassion on them and help them. Jesus replied "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. To this the father said, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Verses 23, 24

The man believed, however his system of belief was interrupted by the reality of the circumstance and caused him to "undo in his mind what he initially believed in his heart. When he recognized this, he asked for help with his "un-belief.

Therefore when we look at "unbelief we are looking at it not so much from the perspective of salvation, but from the standpoint of our embracing God's promises and then going forward and allowing what He promised us to establish the vision we have in our hearts.

Often a man or woman of vision will start on the journey and because of lack of "knowledge concerning the will, plan and purpose of God they regress when they are confronted with challenges.

It's vital for you to have the Word of God as an anchor for your soul if you are going to remain steady through the process. If not, you go from place to place trying things to see if it will work. When you do this you never give the vision the time necessary to become a reality the way God intends.

When we receive a vision in our hearts having supporting "scriptures allow you to maintain the passion when you have the tendency to become discouraged.

You find a way to encourage yourself in the Lord because the vision is not something that came out of your imagination, but was berthed out of the Spirit of God.

In essence, we must be consumed by God and His Word and through that allow our faith to increase to the place where we take God at His Word without doubting it.

It's here that unbelief is challenged and with every negative that comes to your mind, a corresponding set of positives rise up in our hearts and brings us face to face with our destiny.

One of the greatest examples of someone standing in faith and therefore warding off fear, doubt and unbelief is our patriarch, Abraham. 

He understood the importance of believing God “ because Goes said it and therefore he received what God promised.

I mentioned on occasion that it's important to understand that when it comes to faith that it is progressive; it has the ability to grow and it becomes stronger through the application of the Word of God to your life.

Some Christians think that knowing the Bible makes them a faith giant, but knowing the Bible only gives you knowledge of the Word of God. Therefore it gives you knowledge of God's will for your life.

Consistently doing what the Bible says and standing when what you know to be true is challenged, causes your faith to grow.

The more of the Bible you know, the more of an opportunity you have to increase your faith. This is why the Bible says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV Romans 10:17

God's Word translation says:

            "So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is   heard is what Christ spoke

This is what each of us is to be endeavoring to do every day. We must hear the message that Christ spoke and this becomes the foundation for our system of belief.

I understand that there is much knowledge to be gained through institutions of higher learning and other various avenues, but the only knowledge that benefits us in this life and in the life to come will guarantee that we spend eternity with God and Christ is the Word of God.

Romans 4

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations) in the presence of Him whom he believedGod, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be. 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness.

First, a very important principle here is in verse 17 as it says God calls things that do not exist as though they did. This becomes an important example for us in prayer and in our life as we also are to give life to whatever appears to be void of life by calling it alive by speaking in agreement with the Word.

Prior to this, also in verse 17 you have the focus of our system of belief which is to be "God Himself. I have said on many occasions that you cannot separate God from His Word and you cannot separate the Bible from God.

The Word of God and God are One and being so, when you read something in the Word it is just like God Himself speaking to you.

Abraham took what God was speaking to him personally and he placed his faith in the God who SPOKE IT. We're to follow this same type of faith so we can have the same results.

When that Word was challenged because of the element of time and contradictory circumstances, verse 20 says He did not waver in his faith¦

The reality is that even when he messed up and tried to help God bring the promise to pass, God allowed a "learning curve and didn't hold his ignorance against him...  but gave him another chance.

When you do something in faith, you also must understand that there may be times when you miss it. When you miss God and your faith has been put on the line, you can either learn from it and be "strengthened in your faith or you can dismiss it and remain stagnant in your life for years.

Don't make an excuse saying that I was in God's good, acceptable or perfect will¦ Romans 12:2. It's either you're in His will or not. God's will is good, it is acceptable and it is perfect.

Therefore taking Romans 12:2 out of context may appease someone's conscience; but God will never adjust what His righteous requirements are so that they line up with someone's ignorance.

Abraham did not let what he believed to be "un-done causing un-belief. He stood fast and awaited God time and timing, trusting that what God promised, He was also able to bring to pass.

If you want the best, there must be the element of faith and believing what God said will ward of the enemy trying get you to not or un-believe what you believed when you first heard it.

You must also tie what you believe to what God established and what He established was not rules and regulations but a covenant that must be fulfilled.

This is where understanding what God said to Abraham is vital knowing that the promise made to him is also for each one of us.

Galatians 3:15

Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it [the law] should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

God's Word Translation makes what God's intent here even clearer. Especially when God makes reference to the Law versus what He promised Abraham, you see that the Law that many try to keep does not ensure that what was promised comes to pass, but it is certain because God gave His Word that He would bring it to pass.

What must be understood is that the promise was made to Abraham and to His Seed not to Abraham and to his seeds often referencing the Jewish nation or his natural descendents.

Therefore, it's faith we place in Christ that guarantees that what was promised us comes to pass.

15 Brothers and sisters, let me use an example from everyday life. No one can cancel a person's will or add conditions to it once that will is put into effect. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture doesn't say, "descendants, referring to many, but "your descendant, referring to one. That descendant is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: The laws ⌊given to Moses⌋ 430 years after God had already put his promise ⌊to Abraham⌋ into effect didn't cancel the promise ⌊to Abraham⌋. 18 If we have to gain the inheritance by following those laws, then it no longer comes to us because of the promise. However, God freely gave the inheritance to Abraham through a promise.

A final caution from Hebrews 3 as God calls those who allow a heart that once believed to be manipulated into un-believing an evil heart.

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

"Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.