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Summary: This message is the conclusion of the series. In this message I examine how fear and a negative self-perception stopped the Children of Israel from entering the Promised Land.

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Placebo Faith – The Real Thing - Part 3

Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1, 6; Proverbs 23:7a; Numbers 14:20-30

Introduction

This message will conclude my series on “Placebo Faith – The Real Thing” and also introduce my next series which I will start next week titled, “Recognizing Satan’s Tactics.” In order for us to walk in faith, we must understand how our faith is tested by our enemy so it seemed appropriate to follow this message with a message on understanding how that enemy operates. This is the last Sunday and last day of 2017. All of us expect to see 2018 and the fact that we are looking forward to tomorrow gives us hope for a new day, even though it is not guaranteed that we will see it. I mention this because many Christians live their life as if tomorrow is promised to them and the things they should be doing today can wait for tomorrow. I hope that we will make the change in 2018 that we will no longer wait for tomorrow because every day another soul enters hell and a separation for God for all eternity. We must be steadfast because in 2018 we will begin to understand more fully how the world is changing around us.

This morning I want to close out this series by reminding you of why the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years. As a reminder of what I have shared previously about placebo treatment from a medical perspective, it is when patients receive their healing just because they believe that the pill or treatment they receive is supposed to heal them. In these circumstances, their belief brings into reality what really should not exist. This, my friends, is faith! Our faith is exercised and powered through our beliefs. Because what we believe puts our faith into motion we cannot separate our beliefs from our faith. I want you to see this clearly, what you believe will give evidence of your faith regardless of what you may say to others to convince them of your faith. Our beliefs will always demonstrate our faith or lack thereof! Our foundational Scriptures for this series is found in Hebrews 11:1, 6 and Proverbs 23:7a.

Hebrews 11:1,6 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….And 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 seek Him.”

Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he thinks within himself, so is he.”

Think about the relevance of these two Scriptures as we review the moment the Children of Israel refused to enter the Promised Land. The Children of Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness because of their mindset and the fear that they allowed to overshadow their faith in God. When the Children of Israel arrived to the land that God had promised them, Moses sent twelve men (each a leader of their tribe) to spy out the land. The men went into the city and examined the land and the fruit thereof. When they returned to Moses, they confessed that the land was everything that God had promised them. However, ten of the men were afraid to enter. It was only Joshua and Caleb who stated that they were ready, willing and able to go up immediately and take the land. The people, when hearing the negative report from the ten men who were afraid to enter, sided with those ten men against Joshua and Caleb. So what caused these ten men and ultimately the rest of the people to be afraid? The men focused on the people instead of God who brought them out of Egypt. They used the excuse initially that the people were strong and the city was secure which made it impossible for them to take it. Although these were the reasons they gave, I believe these reasons were an excuse to cover up the real reason. If you read the story closely you will discover that the real reason for their fear rested with how they saw themselves, not necessarily how strong the inhabitants were. How they viewed themselves destroyed their faith in the most powerful God who was on their side. Turn with me Numbers 13:31-33.

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