Hindrances To Your Faith!

Lesson 1

There are a lot of questions sometimes from people as to why their Faith doesnít seem to be working. There are a lot of reasons why your faith may not be working and we are going to discuss them. There are hindrances to faith that need to be removed, so that you will see your faith work for you. Since we know that God does His part and promises us "All things that pertain to life and godliness". 2 Peter 1:3. It canít be Him, it has to be us. People donít want to admit that they might be doing something wrong. They want to lay the blame other places, even if it is on God. Well God is not the problem. He has done everything He is going to do. He provided a complete sacrifice in Jesus. It is our job to obtain it, the same as we did salvation.

As we said before, "My people perish for a lack of Knowledge". So what we need is knowledge in the areas that we are not receiving. If I need healing, I need to research everything I need to know on healing. If I need prosperity, I research prosperity. If I need peace of mind etc., etc. And then after I gain the knowledge, I need to put it into practice. It does no good if it lays dormant. But unfortunately there have been some teachings that have developed over the years that have become hindrances to people receiving from God. They are contrary to the word of God, and have become stumbling blocks to the body of Christ. Because if you think that God is not willing to do something, or allows something, or has decided to pick and choose who receives and who doesnít, how can we possibly receive from Him.

His word is constant

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

And does not play favourites

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ďIn truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
Rom. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

In other words, if He did it for one, He will and is obligated to do it for all.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

Jesus died for the whole man, Spirit, Soul and Body. Isaiah 53. Anything you need, is already provided. To think and receive anything less than Godís best, is wrong. It is making Jesusí sacrifice an incomplete thing, and we know that isnít true!

So what are these hindrances? I am glad you asked, because we are going to study them and hopefully knock them down and start receiving from God. One of the biggest hindrances I have ever seen is the interpretation of Paulís thorn in the flesh. It has been a stumbling block to so many people for so many years and has caused a lot of harm and anguish in the body of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

The Vision of Paradise
12 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years agoówhether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knowsósuch a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a manówhether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knowsó 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, ďMy grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.Ē Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christís sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.What was Paulís thorn in the flesh? Some say a sickness, others a disease in his eyes. All speculation, and no scripture to back it. Letís go through verse 7 and look at the meanings of the words in it.

Thorn - pointed piece of wood, a stake, splinter.

Flesh - carnal, carnally minded, fleshly, The flesh denotes mere human nature, the earthy nature of man apart from divine influence and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God. ( yes flesh can also mean your physical body)

Buffet - To stick with a stick, the fist, to maltreat, treat with violence

Messenger - angel, messenger, envoy, who is sent.

Satan - adversary who opposes another in purpose or act, circumvents men by his wiles.

If you look at these definitions, you see nothing about sickness in them. It was all an outward action. Coming against him physically and mentally. If you turn to Chapter 11 of 2 Corinthians you will see how Paul was buffeted. Verses 23-30 He was beaten, stoned, shipwreck, perils of water, perils of robbers, perils in the city and so on. Not once does he mention some awful disease. In verse 30 he says. If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. (And since sickness was not one of them, he wasnít talking about physical sickness.)

Numbers 33:55 and Joshua 23:13 both talk about the people of the land becoming pricks in your eyes and thorns in your side. People arenít sickness! Of course Satan sent a messenger to buffet him. He was a powerful man of God. He wrote most of the New Testament. He had received revelations from God on a high level and was going to write it down for others to see. If you were his adversary, wouldnít you try to stop him? He wanted to kill him, but it wasnít God that sent him. So then people say, but he asked God to remove it and God said NO! Did He??? No He said my Grace is sufficient for you. Not to bear it, but overcome it. How do I know that?

He said so himself in Romans 8:37 "We are MORE than Conquerors!" If you read in the rest of the chapter he is talking about if anything can separate us from the love of Christ.... Can tribulation, distress, persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword???...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved. He took Godís grace and put it to use. Grace means more than just Godís unmerited favour. It means His willingness to become involved on our behalf! "For by Grace are you saved, through Faith." God was not only in favour of us getting saved, He sent His son, to make it possible.

Grace - of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

So when Paul said he gloried in his infirmities, he meant that he knew that the grace of God was going to help his weaknesses and then he would be strong. "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the POWER of Christ may rest upon me.....for when I am weak, then I am strong!"

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God was saying to Paul...You are asking me to do something that was already done by Jesus. You need to act on it and use my strength to make it happen.

Verse 7 clearly states that it was "the messenger of SATAN, sent to buffet him." Not God!

Even Jesus didnít get rid of the devil. When he was tempted in the wilderness, it says he (satan) left him for a season. If the son of God had to fight the devil everyday, so do we. Demons followed Him all through His earthly ministry. When He died, they thought they had finally won, but He triumphed over them in it. So can we. When the devil comes against you, donít lay down and die! Triumph over him in it! Show him the word like Jesus did and he will run like a scared rabbit!

Jesus was tempted in every way we are. Satan probably tried to make him sick. But he took no sickness because he knew what Deuteronomy 28 said. "If you hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, none of these diseases will come upon you." If they try to, we donít have to receive them. Why would God want you sick anyway? Can you effectively do His work if you are sick? He is our loving Heavenly father and wants only the best for us.

In Galatians 4:13-14 we see some verses that people try to use to show that Paul was sick.

"You know that through an infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto you at the first and my TEMPTATION, which was in my flesh, you despised not. nor rejected, by received me as an angel of God." If you know anything about the Galatians you will know that they were idol worshippers. Paul got carried away speaking to them and called them "Foolish Galatians" He came at them defending himself that he was an apostle even though he wasnít one of the twelve, because they had questioned his authority to even be telling them what to do. He learned some wisdom along the way and was apologizing for his exuberance and forcefulness at the first. But thanked them for accepting him anyway. He wasnít talking about being sick and that they had accepted him anyway.

The idea that God allows you to be sick, or poor, or feeble minded or anything contrary to the Word, is a lie from the devil. He wants to keep you from receiving Godís best. He will do it any way that he can. If he can keep you under, you will not do your best for God.

God wants you well! Why do Christians suffer, get sick and die? Lack of knowledge or unwillingness to accept the truth of the word, rather than manís "Experience". I know good Christians that have died hanging onto a lie, that God was trying to teach them something. Well they never learned I guess, because they are gone.

James 1:16-17 Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Sickness is not a good and perfect gift. Neither is poverty, insanity or any other plaques of Satan.

General rule of thumb - If it is Good it is God. If it is Bad it is the Devil!!!

Donít get under condemnation if you are fighting a disease or illness, or donít have a job. Take the truth you have heard here and apply it. Build your faith and let God do the rest. Seek His face, study everything you can get your hands on about healing or prosperity or whatever you need. Remember He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Go into the enemyís camp and take back what he stole from you.

Joel 2:25 God says He will restore back to you all that the years of the locusts, caterpillar, cankerworm and palmerworm have eaten.

If satan has stolen your health, take it back! Heís the biggest worm I know!

Donít let the traditions of men, make the word of God of no effect!

Mark 7:9 & 13 Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition....Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered and many such like things do you.

Jesus rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees for holding to traditions, while people were dying and in need. They were worried about Him healing on the Sabbath, and washing of hands and the like! I donít want any tradition getting in the way of my healing or anything else God has for me. So forget what man has said. Read what God says. Donít let other peoples "Experiences" keep you from what God has for you. Many wonderful Christians die everyday from sickness and disease. Does if make them any less of a Christian? No! Does it mean they didnít go to heaven? No! But it does mean that they had a lack of knowledge, and that they probably went before their time. Why do Christians suffer? Not Godís plan and not Godís fault. You have a part! God cannot do what you cannot believe Him for. He has given you a free will! He will not impose on that will, even if it means you stay sick or poor or mentally tormented. He has done all He is going to do. The sacrifice it complete! What are you going to do about it??

By Judy Warren

Lesson 2