There are many hindrances to faith, but when you are tempted, or a delay has
come, stand still and wait upon God — HE HAS PROMISED TO DELIVER YOU,
AND TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will
with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I
The quickest and most effective way to hurt a mother or father here on earth,
is to hurt one of their children. God is our heavenly Father, so Satan is not only
seeking ways to hurt God, but he is constantly trying to do damage to God’s kingdom
by hindering our service to God in some way.
God’s power is sufficient for anything we need — healing, salvation, baptism
with the Holy Ghost, deliverances from bondages, miracle ministries, or anything else
we need. BUT GOD’S FAITH FOR THESE NEEDS IS GIVEN TO THOSE
WHO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, WALK IN HIS STATUTES, BELIEVE
ALL THAT HIS WORD SAYS, AND CONSTANTLY ABIDE IN CHRIST.
As you study this lesson, let God’s Word speak to your heart and be on the
alert for any appearance of Satan with his hindering devices.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and
Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his
angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how artthou cut down to the ground, . . . For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend
into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will be like the
most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14.
Satan was cast out of heaven and he hates God — THE ONLY WAY HE
CAN HURT GOD IS THROUGH GOD’S CHILDREN HERE ON EARTH.
KEEP AN EYE ON SATAN AS YOU SERVE GOD.” . . . Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you. Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:7,8a.
HINDRANCES TO FAITH
There are many hindrances to faith. Why is this so?
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” I Peter 5:8.
“ . . . whether ye be obedient in all things. . . . Lest Satan should get an
advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” II Corinthians 2:9b,
“For some are already turned aside after Satan.” I Timothy 5:15.
Immediately after Jesus was baptized He was led up of the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted of the devil. When He had fasted forty days and forty nights
He was hungry. The devil came to Him and told Him if He was really the Son of God
to command the stones to be turned into bread. Jesus told him that man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil took Jesus up into the holy city, and put Him on a pinnacle of
the temple, and tempted Him again. He told Him if He were really the Son of God to
cast Himself down for it was written in the Word that the angels had charge
concerning Him: that they would bear Him up in their hands lest at any time He
dashed His foot against a stone.
“Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy
God.” Matthew 4:7.
The devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed Him all
the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and told Jesus he would give Him
all of these things if He would fall down and worship him (worship the devil).
“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10.
There is a close connection between Jesus’ baptism and the temptation in the
wilderness. By His baptism, Jesus dedicated Himself to the way of the cross. In the
temptation in the wilderness the devil presented to Him ways of carrying out His
ministry which would have avoided the cross.
Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights. He was hungry. At a very weak time
in His life, Satan tempted Him to turn the stones into bread to appease His hunger.
Two other temptations followed this one.
Student, if Satan quickly tried to stop Jesus’ ministry as soon as His active work
was to begin, HE WILL BE AFTER YOU THE MOMENT HE SEES YOU IN
ARE EARNEST WITH GOD ABOUT YOUR MINISTRY.
Sin prevents one from HAVING faith, “Now we know that God heareth not
sinners: . . .” John 9:31a. The only promises in God’s Word that apply to sinners, are
promises to forgive sins if the sinner repents, and promises of judgement if the sinner
does not repent.
The promises of answers to prayer are for obedient children of God.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
Abiding in Christ guarantees the answers to your prayers.
Failure to abide in Christ may well be placed first in any list of hindrances to
faith, for it annuls God’s guarantee to answer prayer.
Abiding in Christ is living IN the Word of God, BY the Word of God, and in
joyful fellowship with God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
Some ask of God and receive from Him. Others ask in the same words, and
receive nothing. THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF CHANCE! THIS IS NOT A
MATTER OF RESPECT OF PERSONS! THIS IS A MATTER OF FAITH!
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it on yourown lusts.” James 4:3.
This kind of asking can never be done in faith. There may be a desire to be
well, and even a hope that it “may work,” but there cannot be faith, for there is no
promise upon which faith can be based. There are those who desire healing in order
to be better able to carry on their sinful pursuits. A dancer who became paralyzed
because of an accident desired healing so that she might go back to her dancing.
Simon the sorcerer (see Acts 8) desired to be able to impart the Holy Ghost by the
laying on of hands, so that he might turn this gift to his financial profit. God does not
give faith to such people. God gives faith ONLY to those who abide in Christ.