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What Hinders Your Faith?


Have you ever wondered what hinders your faith? What things you do, or don’t do, that may cause your faith to be ineffective. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” In this quotation from Isaiah, Paul reveals that the ‘belief’ spoken of by the prophet Isaiah comes directly from the message that is heard, and that the message that’s heard comes straight from God Himself. Therefore, true faith will spring forth when you have acquired “knowledge” of what God has already spoken concerning your situation – and then acted upon it.
It is the word of God that the Holy Spirit uses to awaken a response of faith within you. For that reason, it is the reliability of the Word of God you’ve heard on which your faith should rest. But hearing with the ears is not enough. You must hear with an open heart and mind, willing to be presented with the “truth of God”. When you do, you will find that the Word always has the ring of truth, and that the truth is self-authenticating. Note however, that the ‘hearing’ referred to in this verse doesn’t necessarily involve the ears exclusively. The message you’ve received might have come through having read the word. So, “to hear” means to receive (have knowledge of) the Word of God by whatever means, as long as it’s Holy Spirit inspired.
Now, consider this.... If faith comes by hearing the Word of God (a Holy Spirit inspired knowledge of His word), then the easiest way to block your faith would be to somehow confuse, distort or even steal that knowledge. Right? Therefore, most of the things that impede or hinder your faith materialise when this strategy is being applied. The devil knows that “lack of knowledge” (for whatever reason), will start this process and give him an advantage.
In Matthew 13:19 Jesus confirms this principle, “When anyone hears (has knowledge of) the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes immediately and snatches away what was sown in the heart.” Literally, “If anyone of you has knowledge of the Word of God, and then chooses not to respond to that truth (act on it), the devil will come immediately to snatch away the seed that was sown in the heart.” Notice something else, the devil will gladly co-operate with any person who is not willing to act on the truth.  
In the Parable of the Sower, we can see clearly that it is very important to receive, and then to hear and understand the Word. Verse 23, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.”
There’s a distinct relationship between receiving, hearing (having knowledge) and understanding (taking action).
So what is the difference between hearing, or having knowledge, and understanding? Simply, knowledge is passive and understanding is active! Remember what we said earlier? Faith will come to you when you have acquired knowledge of what God has spoken concerning your situation and have acted upon it. If you truly understand what God has said concerning your situation, surely you will respond by acting on that knowledge! Jesus said, “It is he who receives the word and who has knowledge and also understands it (also acts upon it); who bears fruit and produces.” The Word of God is powerful enough to penetrate any soil. But “receiving” the word is having both knowledge of the word and understanding it. And as a result, the word wilfully received bears fruit and produces a multiplication – some a hundred-fold, some sixty and some thirty.
Faith without works is dead (void of power), but knowledge without understanding is also infertile because it is seedless. You must hear (have knowledge) and do (have understanding) for your faith to be truly effective. That is, for your faith to bear fruit and produce. And any “word” received on good soil will have these two components. The greatest hindrance to your faith is a lack of knowledge and also a lack of understanding of the Word of God.
Many of you are trying too hard to believe! You point out that you are “trying to have faith” or “trying to believe” but it’s a real struggle. All that ‘s necessary, however, is to act on what God says in His Word. Real faith is a product of the knowledge (the hearing) and the understanding (the doing) of the Word of God. It takes no effort whatsoever on the part of your intellect or human will to obtain real faith. It simply accompanies knowledge and understanding!
Many times believers unknowingly make a substitution for their faith. Many find themselves substituting mental assent/reasoning or mental agreement for faith. For instance, because you mentally agree with God’s word, you probably think you believe and are in faith. But you can mentally agree that the word is true (have knowledge of the word) and still not have any fruit in your life. Even the devil knows the Word of God is truth! So remember, until you understand – act upon it – you will never be in faith, and the Word will never become real to you. Exercising faith means, “doing” exactly what the Word has told you to do! Psalm 111:10 says, “A good understanding have all those who do His word.” Impeded faith is simply faith that has not been acted upon! It is lack of ‘knowledge’, as well as, lack of ‘understanding’ concerning what God has communicated to you through His infallible Word.
In Ephesians 1:18 the apostle Paul prays that “God may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Understanding is literally a “thinking through”. The word suggests insight, meditation, reflection, perception and the gift of apprehension. When this faculty is renewed by the Holy Spirit the whole mindset changes and a person becomes positive in thought and action. There is a quickening of the mind and body – to do – to be active! To be a “doer” of God’s Word!
Besides ‘acting on the knowledge you’ve received’, there are other hindrances to your faith. Here are six of them:
1.    Not accepting that you already have faith. Don’t go around saying that you don’t have enough faith, or worst still, that you don’t have any faith. We’ve all been given the same measure of faith. Get rid of this hindrance by acknowledging without doubt that you already have faith.
2.    Not seeking God’s perfect will over your situation. Faith can only become active after the will of God is known. If there is any area in your life where you are unsure of God’s will, your faith is ineffective. For instance, what is God’s will for your family, your finances and your health?
3.    Refusing to obey God. It isn’t enough to know God’s will for your life and circumstances; you need to be obedient to His will! Great blessings flow whenever you are obedient to the instructions attached to any of God’s promises.
4.    Not making a positive confession. When you know God’s will you must speak in line with it. Remember, you will always get what you’ve confessed – whether positive or negative.
5.    Lack of perseverance. After you have ‘acted’ on the word you’ve received, you will need to “stand” –and having done all “to stand”. You must believe what you’ve received what you’ve asked for, and then never move from that place until it has materialised.
6.    Lack of love. This is the most obvious, yet it’s the most common fault. Ignoring it will stop every blessing no matter how much you pray or believe. Walking in love is the most important command that Jesus has given us.
Therefore, counting the first hindrance, which we examined at length, I have found seven hindrances to your faith.
•    Not accepting that you already have faith.
•    Not seeking God’s perfect will.
•    Refusing to obey God.
•    Not making a positive confession.
•    Not acting on the knowledge you have.
•    Lack of perseverance.
•    Lack of love.

(Author: Chris Demetriou)

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