One of the strongest attacks of the enemy against believers is tempting us to forget our need to exercise faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
There are times in our lives when we have more questions than answers. Our emotions are dry and cold. Nothing gives us reason to get excited or happy about serving God. What do we do?
Times like these are part of the battle. They are when “the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). In every battle we face, we need to keep in mind that faith is the key that helps us overcome the world and the enemy. “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
After spying out the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb said, “Let’s go!” Caleb in particular was a radical revolutionary who told Moses and the people of Israel, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30).
What did the other 10 spies say? “This is impossible! We can’t do it. We saw giants in the land, and we ourselves are grasshoppers in comparison” (see Numbers 13:33).
Forty-five years later, when it was finally time for Israel to enter the land of Canaan, Caleb at age 85 was still ready to go and possess his inheritance: “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. . . . The Lord helping me, I will drive [the Anakites] out just as he said.” Joshua 14:11–12
Caleb lived his whole life following the Lord. When he saw the land of Canaan, he had no doubt that the children of Israel could possess it—not because he was confident in their might, but because he was confident in God’s ability to go beyond any weakness or frailty. God honored Caleb’s faith and gave him a special inheritance in the Promised Land because, as Moses told him, “You have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:9).
If you know anything about faith, you know there is something innate in us that works against faith, even in the most knowledgeable theologian or the most powerful preacher. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14). No matter how much we read and memorize the Bible, our natural mind always comes up with some argument against God’s way of doing things. This is why exercising faith is so important.
The Lord makes a clear distinction between His thoughts and ours:
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
An important part of spiritual warfare involves dealing with our natural thoughts, those that work against faith. Paul exhorted the believers in Corinth—and us today as well:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3–5
When you pray for an unsaved loved one, for revival in your church, for the unsaved to be reached with the Gospel, remember what Jesus said: “Believe that you have received it.” When God told Abraham he would have a son, Abraham not only believed it but began to thank God. Later on he received his son.
I encourage you to exercise your faith actively in what God is able to do. Go beyond your natural thoughts and reactions. Trust Him, in obedience to what His Word says, for miracles far greater than what your mind could ever imagine.