Determination - Part II

“And again He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and He preached the Word unto them. And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” —Mark 2:1-5

In last month’s article, I left off discussing how these four men in Mark 2 knew that the only answer for their friend was Jesus Christ. Do you feel that way about others? Do you feel a burden not to give up on your friends, classmates, relatives, neighbors, or family members who don’t yet know Christ? You cannot give up on those around you. You must continue to pray for them, seek the Lord on their behalf, and believe that their hearts will be made right with God. You have to believe that no matter how a person is currently living, God is able to touch him where he is, and perform a miracle in his life. Don’t give up on people you know and love—keep praying for them, witnessing to them, and believing for them to make it right with God.
So these men in Mark 2, they picked up their paralyzed friend, lifted his cot up on their shoulders and began walking to where Jesus was, which was the home of Simon Peter. What was going through their minds? What was going through their hearts? Maybe it was a bit of excitement, but the closer they got, they realized that this would not be easy. The crowds were so big that there was no way for them to bring their friend in to where Jesus was. People were all around, even onto the shores of the lake, attempting, trying to catch a glimpse of Christ. They tried squeezing through the mass of people, but to no avail. They tried moving toward the front door, but due to the massive assembly, there was no way for them to get close enough. They looked around at their options and realized that this was not as easy as they had thought it would be. In other words, the faith of these men was being tested.

The Testing Of Our Faith
As a believer, faith must be tested, and great faith must be tested greatly. This means that every attack leveled against you by the enemy is for one aim, to either weaken your faith or totally destroy it. That attack will come in many and varied ways, but rest assured, difficulties will come. Satan’s major goal is to get the believer to quit believing, and he has been quite successful with many people. How many individuals at one point in their lives lived for God, but quit due to an attack on their faith? You have to understand that the most treasured quality a believer has is his faith. If his faith is destroyed, then what else does he have?

Satan’s Desire
Satan ever desires to move our faith away from Christ and the Cross to something else, and he doesn’t care what that something else is. The very moment that you as a believer begin to understand the Message of the Cross, whether through watching SonLife Broadcasting Network, Crossfire, or listening to SonLife Radio, never think for one second that the enemy of your soul is going to rest on his laurels and do nothing. In fact, it’s going to be the exact opposite. Expect a fight like you have never experienced before.
The reason for the epic encounter is that Satan knows you have found the answer for every problem you will ever be faced with—the Cross—and he will never rest until the Lord calls us home, whether through death or the rapture. We have an illustration of this in the Word of God, when Jesus, just before He was to be crucified, told Peter that Satan desired him, to sift him as wheat. Christ also told Peter, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32).
Jesus knew, through foreknowledge, what Peter would do, and how that he would fail, but there is a difference between a believer failing and his faith failing. Peter and Judas both failed God, but the dissimilarity was that Peter’s faith did not fail, whereas the faith of Judas did. Peter repented and was used by God unlike almost anyone else in history. Judas is in hell right now because he quit, he gave up, and he would not repent.

Our Spiritual Development
Another reason for the testing of our faith is to develop us as Christians. I’ve heard believers say that the very moment we accept Christ as Savior, we enter into His army, and, just as the U.S. military uses training to break down and build up its troops, the Holy Spirit does the same regarding the faith of believers. It is God’s intention to disengage us from everything; He desires us to depend solely on Him. We are no longer our own, but we have been bought with a price—the precious blood of Jesus Christ—and we are now in training for something.
So, every single thing that happens to us is either caused or allowed by God to happen, to show us what is on the inside of us, which is dependence on the flesh, to show us just how big of a God that He really is, and that He is able to meet our every need.
This is why we must realize that every Christian, whomever he or she might be, will be tested at some point in his or her Christian walk. Why? Because in order for faith to be proven as true, biblical faith, it must be tested. You really can’t know who you are until you have been tested, and you really can’t know who God is until you have been tested.

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