Creflo Dollar - How Not to Be Tempted with Unbelief?
Join me in the Book of Romans chapter 4, verse 18 and 19. Romans chapter 4, verse 18, 19. Welcome to Bible study tonight, you won't regret it, amen. Romans 4, verse 18 he says, and he was talking about Abraham here he says, "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be". Verse 19 he said, "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb".
Now tonight, I want to start a series and I want to talk about how not to be tempted with unbelief, how not to be tempted with unbelief. You know, it's always going to be to your benefit to practice the basics. I was talking to my spiritual father one afternoon and he says, he was talking about this and he said, "When you look at the Super Bowl, you just see a bunch of guys who have perfected the basics. When you look at the World Series, you look at a bunch of professionals who have perfected the basics". And so, as Christian people, we've got to become ready to perfect the basics of things. And so, these are gonna be some really good sessions in the basics but at the same time, you know, your success and your failure is gonna be based on whether or not you've mastered the basics, amen? Say that say, "Master the basics". And that's what we want to do. We want to learn how to master the basics. And so, we can learn something here.
Romans chapter 4:18, let's milk this just for a moment, and I'll get into what I want to share with you tonight and in this series. He says, "Who against hope, believed in hope". And so, when your hope in one area seems to run out or not be there, he said he hoped against hope. He took the hope that came from the promise of God and used it against the situation where his body was old. And so, who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations". Now, let's look at this slowly. Now, against hope, he believed in hope. Well, what was the promise? That he might become the father of many nations.
Now, when we open the Bible up, there are lots of things that God has promised us in the Word and so, we can we can use this illustration to look at how Abraham did what he did. The promise was that he might be the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, "So shall thy seed be". So, this is the promise. How often do you up open a Word and you see a promise? How often there's something going on in your life and you see a promise? How often do you have to hope against hope when you take the promise of God's Word when it seems like this situation may not be working out for you, okay? Now, look at verse 19. He said, "And being not weak in faith," all right, so here's the promise and being not weak in faith.
So, he's getting ready to lay down the pattern of what we need to do to see the promise. And being not weak in faith, notice this, he considered not his own body now dead. That's gigantic. Underline that, "He considered not his own body now dead". You know what he said here? He would not consider the circumstance that denied him the promise. He would not consider his body which was now dead when he was 100 years old, neither did he consider the deadness of Sarah's womb. He didn't consider the circumstances that contradicted the promise. Now, how often do you open the Word of God, and you see a promise, but then you look at your circumstance and it contradicts the promise? And notice what Abraham did, he did not consider the contradiction, he considered the promise. Say out loud, "I will not consider the contradiction, I will only consider the promise". He only considered the promise, he did not consider the problem. He considered the promise, he did not consider the problem.
I've read this thing for years. And look at what he says here, "He considered not his own body". He didn't consider the problem. He didn't consider the circumstance. How often in our lives, when things come up that we have a tendency to consider the problem, we consider the problem and forget the promise? We spend more time with the circumstance and forget the promise. I'm gonna show you tonight that everything that happens in our lives happens, first of all, based on what we do between these two ears. Let me tell you, the mind is the arena of faith and you're gonna win it or lose it in the arena of your mind.
So now, here's another thing I'm asking, well, why did he consider the promise more than he considered the circumstance? Now, listen to this carefully. This is a key, put a star behind it, beside it, underline it, highlight it. You cannot be tempted with anything you don't think. If you don't think about it, you can't be tempted with it. Oh, my God, that's powerful. See, temptation cannot be a reality if you learn how things work in life and then take authority over it. You cannot be tempted about a thing without thinking about it. So, therefore, overcoming temptation, overcoming unbelief, overcoming failure, begins in your thoughts. If your area of your life where you're having problem believing, it starts in your thought. If you got issues where you're being tempted, it starts in your thought. Failure, it's it starts in your thoughts.
Now, I want to just stick here just for a moment 'cause I really want you to get this. Here's what I'm saying, you cannot be tempted to smoke weed if you're not thinking about it. You cannot be tempted to commit fornication if you're not thinking about it. You cannot be tempted to steal something unless you're thinking about it. This is, this is strong. I have to think about it in order to be tempted by it. You remember I told you in the Garden of Eden, you know, the Bible talks about where the law is, then there's a potential to be tempted, you know, and in the Garden of Eden, the only place that Adam and Eve could be tempted was the place where there was a law, and that law was don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day you eat, you shall surely die.
Well, what does the law do? The law brings about sin consciousness. It brings about a consciousness. It impacts your thinking. You cannot be tempted if you're not thinking about it. So, now all of a sudden, me renewing my mind and taking authority over my thought life is going to be paramount, why? Because if I don't think about it, I can't be tempted. You know, you have to be careful to become a custodian of your thought life. Sometimes you can be sitting and you don't do this on purpose, it just kind of, you just let it go. But whatever you spend your time doing the most, whatever you spend your time giving your attention to the most will most likely govern how you think the most. So now, all of a sudden, we gotta spend some time on this thinking because everything's coming from how I think.
You know, the Scripture says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". He is in his heart as he thinks. And so, no longer can you just ignore what you're thinking. So, the question is, what are you thinking? What are you thinking about? What were you thinking about before that action took place? What were you thinking about before the pressure? You know, temptation is pressure applied to the flesh. You realize you have to start thinking about something for that pressure to be applied to the flesh. And so, here's another good thing, you can change all of that if you change the way you think. Say this out loud, "Change the way you think, change the way you live". I think it takes, you know, to meditate on what we're looking at here. I can't be tempted if I'm not thinking about it.
So, you take some type of addictive behavior that you may be dealing with or some type of a behavior that want to hold on to something or, you know, get back at somebody, you have to think that in order for it to be a temptation. So, what do we do? We change our thinking. That's considering. We consider not the circumstance. We don't consider the problem, we consider the promise, we consider the Word. Somebody says, "Oh, that sounds like work based". Now see, you way off line now. This ain't have anything to do... this is understanding how things work in life, understanding why you get temptations in the first place. You get temptations in the first place because you don't take authority of your thought life. You don't take authority of what you're thinking. You have authority to determine what you're thinking. You can think the Word of God just like you can think about some other crazy thing. You can think about the promise of God, just like you can think about the problem all day.
You know, you know what the Bible calls negative meditation? Worry. Negative meditation is called worry. You know what he says when you meditate in the Word, think on the Word, ponder the Word, examine the Word day and night? You will make your way prosperous and you will have good success in the thing you're thinking on. But it works the negative the same way. If you spend all your time thinking on the circumstance, you're gonna be more flexible to do something to 'cause it to come to pass, and your heart will be hardened to the promise. I wonder how many Christians have allowed their heart to become hardened to the promise, a hardened heart where the promise of healing's concerned, a hardened heart where the promise of prosperity is concerned, a heart that's been hardened because it lacked the necessary attention to be flexible. Does everybody understand what I'm saying here?
Now, I'm not finished with that, but I wanted to just zero in on the importance of this statement, you can't be tempted with anything you don't think therefore, overcoming temptation, overcoming unbelief, overcoming failure begins in your thought life. It begins overcoming addictive behavior, overcoming anything begins in your thought life. Turn to your neighbor and ask them, "What have you been thinking about"? Okay, now, if your thoughts are only on God, now think based on what I just said. If your thoughts are only on God, then all you're gonna be tempted with is to believe and trust God. If your thoughts are only on God, all you're gonna be tempted with is to believe and trust God. So, now the next question is, are you satisfied with the amount of time that you've been spending thinking on the promises, thinking on the Word of God?
See, ladies and gentlemen, you can see clearly that it's not gonna be enough to come to Sunday and Wednesday Bible study. There's got to be some personal time that you're willing to invest in your relationship with Jesus Christ, and in your relationship with the Word of God, and meditating on that Word day and night that you will be prosperous. I think Proverbs says, "Be like a tree planted by the rivers of living water, leaf does not wither and whatsoever you do will prosper". That's what happens when you're giving attention to the Word. You're here tonight in Bible study giving attention to the Word. You could be someone where else giving attention to something else.
See, the promises of God are gonna be a reality in your life because you're giving attention to it. You're considering, and this is what happened with Abraham. He was considering. He was considering. But now, if your thoughts are on things other than God, then you could be tempted with that. If your thoughts are on other things other than God, then you can be tempted with that. So, Abraham didn't consider. He didn't consider. What are some synonyms for this word "consider"? He did not examine. He did not ponder. He did not study. He did not deliberate. He didn't examine those circumstances that said or contradicted the promise. You know, if you go to the doctor and the doctor says to you, "You have cancer". But Jesus already said to you, "You have healing". There's your choice. There's a choice. You have authority and you're gonna determine what's what. There's your choice.
Doctor says you got cancer. Jesus said you have healing. And you know what the most thing? Most people spend an enormous amount of time thinking about what the doctor said, becoming very flexible to cancer, okay, and spend little to no time thinking about what Jesus said and the promise of healing. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know any other way to put this, but to just say it straight that a whole lot of stuff that happens in our lives, we authorize it. We authorize it by choosing what to consider. We're considering the circumstance and the problem. And he says, consider the promise, consider the Word. Abraham hundred years old, hundred-year-old man ain't got no business having no baby. And then he talked about the other circumstance, bad part about his wife old too. But he considered not the problem, he only considered the promise that you will be a father of many nations. Your seed will outnumber the stars. And he kept considering that. He kept considering that.
I just beg you tonight, just do it. Take something and just do what I'm saying. Consider the promise. Pick your promise out. If there's something going on in your life, get the promise, okay? That promise is you victory over whatever that circumstance is and spend more time with that promise than you do that problem and then bring the testimony back to the house. I'm telling you, you have been given authority to operate this in your life, amen? You don't have to be defeated by the devil, not for one split second, amen? But you're going to have to understand, what is it? It's us considering. It's our thinking. It's understanding how things work.
Somebody says, "Well, I'm under the grace of God". Innocent, you're under the grace of God and things are available to you, but if you don't understand how things work, listen to me now, you'll continue to consider the problem over the promise. And even though the fulfillment of that promise in the finished works of Jesus Christ has been made available to you, you don't give it authority. You give the problem more authority to ruin your life. You give the problem more authority to deal with your life and not the promise. So, you gotta choose, the problem or the promise? And I've got to consider it more. I gotta consider it more. Now, just because an occasional contrary thought, please listen to me, just because an occasional contrary thought passes your mind, it doesn't mean you're in unbelief, okay?
I remember Brother Hagin used to say this, "You can't stop the birds from flying over the head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair". Oh, man. So, you'll have some thoughts that will go through, just as long as they don't build a nest there, just as long as they don't pitch a tent there. You know, when you're examining something, you pitch the tent. When you're in deliberation over a thing, when you are pondering over a thing, you pitch the tent. It's there, it's there. And so, that's what I'm talking. I'm not talking about the occasional thought, crazy thought goes through your mind and you say, "Man, where'd that come from"? Well, you know where it came from, but you ain't gonna spend no time with it. You're not gonna spend any time with it.
I remember when I was, you know, receiving my healing from cancer, the thought would come through my mind, "You gonna die". I'm like, I ain't even stuntin* that thought. I will spend no time with that thought. I'll not release words with that thought. I'm not releasing anything with that thought. In fact, the more than thought would try to come through, I said, all right, I'mma respond to you. I'm not just gonna sit there and let you bombard my thinking. You know, the Bible talks about how to catch a thought, how to capture thought. You understand what I'm saying? How to cast down a thought. You don't cast thoughts down with thoughts, you cast thoughts down with words, right?
So, if the thought came in said, "You gonna die," you open your mouth us and say, "I shall live and not die". Praise God. Or a thought comes in and says, "You ain't nothing but a failure," you open your mouth and state the promise, "I'm more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus and I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". Open your mouth, cast the thought down. I thought, you know, we've been eight, ten years preaching on grace. I thought now it's time to teach you on the practical ways, understanding how life works, understanding how the spiritual life works, amen. And you begin to consider just something that small, "What am I considering today"? The situation that came up in my life, "What am I considering"?
There are always gonna be stuff going on in your life. You know, the Bible says, "For they that live godly shall," what? Suffer persecution. So, if you plan on living godly, plan on some persecution. But you can choose, you can win over all of them and your feelings, and emotions, and all those things will come in a way to try to, you know, get you to camp out there. And but you're like, "No, I'm not gonna consider that". And sometimes you have to say that loud. "No, I'm not gonna consider that". No, not gonna consider that". Someone say, "You talking to yourself"? Well, the Bible says speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. No, I'm not considering that. What are you doing? You're catching that thought. You're casting that thought down. You're saying, "I'm not giving you authority. I'm not considering. I'm gonna say out loud what I'm considering".
Ladies and gentlemen, if you do this, you will see what I haven't gotten to it yet in the depth that I'd like to get to it. But we have been given, by the grace of God, authority, the right to command, and choose, and to determine that the promises of God will go, but you gotta know how things work. Consider the promise, not the problem. Say that out loud, "Consider the promise, not the problem". Now, when something looks contrary to what you're praying for, if something looks contrary to what you're praying for, how many ever been there before? It looks contrary to what you're praying for. You're praying for deliverance for a family member, and it looks totally contrary. You're praying for, you know, increase. It looks totally contrary. When it looks contrary to what you're praying for, what will happen now, it's designed to foster unbelief, worry, fear, when it looks contrary. This does not look like it's gonna work out like the promise said.
Now, remember, the number-one fear of the devil is to be afraid that what God promised won't come to pass. That's the number-one fear the devil puts on Christian people. I'm standin' on the promise, but now I see somethin' that contradicts what I'm standin' on. I feel somethin' that contradicts what I'm standin' on. There's a circumstance that's just occurred in my life that's going completely against what I'm standin' on. Now, what is that designed to do? Now, listen, the devil's gonna have to do his job. His job is, "I've got to get you to see somethin', hear somethin', feel somethin'". In other words, "I will now try to get fear in your life through your senses. Through your senses, I'mma try to get fear in your life, through your senses".
Now, I wanna show you somethin'. This is really, really good. Go with me to the book of Matthew chapter... it's in Mark 9, but I'll use both of 'em. Let's go to Matthew chapter 17, verses 14 through 21. Jesus shows us somethin' that's pretty amazing here, knowing how to go against this stuff. Unbelief is somethin' that will show up, but it'll most of the time, for most of us, I'm gonna show you three ways how it comes in. But for most of us, it shows up through the natural, through things that will communicate to our senses. Now, I'm gonna show you this little parable here and show you how this works. Verse 14 says: "And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying," verse 15, "Lord, have mercy on my son".
So, you know, I imagine Jesus was not there at the time. The disciples were there, and they came specifically to see Jesus, but he wasn't there. "Have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatick, and sore vexed". And, you know, and Jesus comes back and find out that the disciples couldn't do it. You'll see all this pan out. He said, "My son's a lunatick, he's sore vexed: for oftentimes he falleth into the fire, and oftentimes into the water. I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him". "I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him". Now, imagine the Pharisees wanting to take advantage of this. "Aha, see there? See there? This ain't real. Brought him to the disciples, and they couldn't cure him. Why"? All right, watch this, verse 17: "Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? And how long shall I suffer you?'" Look at this, "Bring him to me". You get that? "How long? I done showed y'all how to do this. Bring him to me".
Now, watch this, verse 18: "And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour," interesting. He knew the devil was behind this. You need to know the devil's behind some of the stuff. You try to go and get therapy. Sometimes you just need the... let me just. You got to know the devil when he around. "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, 'Why?'" Look at, they said, "Why could we not cast him out"? This is a good question, right? Have you ever done anything in the name of Jesus and nothin' happened? If you were the disciples, wouldn't you wanna ask, "How come it didn't work? How come we couldn't cast him out"? Watch this, verse 20: "And Jesus said unto them, 'Because of your unbelief.'" He said, "Unbelief came in there". Now, the next two verses, the subject is gonna be unbelief. "Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place'; it shall remove; and nothin' shall be impossible unto you". Verse 21: "'Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.'"
Now, religion over the years, they thought that when he said, "This kind goeth not out," they thought he was referring to the demon. This is not talkin' about the demon. And so what happens is, people say, "Well, I can't cast that devil out because I need to fast and pray 'cause this is a heavy-duty devil right here. I need to fast and pray to cast him out". Ain't talkin' about the devil. He ain't talkin' about the devil. The subject is unbelief. And what he says is, "This kind of unbelief goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". Now, I don't know if I've ever done this in my ministry, but I'm gonna show you strategically how prayer and fasting is responsible for kicking out unbelief. But before I do that, I wanna show you three types of unbelief. And 'cause you gotta see how it comes in.
I told you that most of the time, it comes in through what you see. They saw some stuff. What do you imagine they saw when he brought that boy to them? In fact, go to Mark chapter 9. I'll show you what they saw. 'Cause the fear came in somehow, and I believe with what they saw in Mark chapter 9. Mark chapter 9, the same story, but it gives a little bit more detail. Mark chapter 9, and verse 14. I'm gonna just show you the three Scriptures where they're lookin' at what they saw. So, you know, he brought the kid to the disciples. Then verse 18, he says: "'And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and he gnashes with his teeth, and he pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast them out; and they could not.'"
So, look at what they saw. So, imagine what happens when they say, "Come out," and he's still foamin' at the mouth. He's still doin' all this stuff that was described there. And then in verse 21: "And he asked his father, 'How long is it ago since this came unto him?'" That Jesus asked him. "And he said, 'Of a child.'" He said, "'Oftentimes it has cast him into fire, into the waters, to destroy him; but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.' And Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible.'" And I like the next verse. Here is a guy who says, "I believe; but I still have some unbelief". "I believe". See, this is showing you that you can be a believer and there could still be areas of unbelief in your life, okay? You know, and I'll talk about that in a moment.
So, there's somethin' they saw. There's somethin' they saw. Unbelief came in through some natural thing that they saw, and that's most of the time how unbelief comes in. When there's a promise of somethin', and then somethin' you see, somethin' that comes in through your senses tries to contradict the promise. And then unbelief ends up there, especially when you don't see somethin' right away, all right? And then, now this goes back to what we've been talkin' about, keepin' your faith in the field. Patience is faith that is workin' for a long time, amen? It lasts for a long time. Now, let me give you the three ways that unbelief can come into a person's life. You ready? Hey? Eh, eh, yeah? You ready? I'm ready to shout right now. Some of y'all tryin' to figure out what's goin' on. Do you understand what I just said? Do I need to reteach everything I just said all over again? 'Cause I ain't gonna be responsible for standin' before my class and they don't understand what's goin' on. Is everybody with me?
All right, so what am I gettin' ready to show you? Three? Oh, y'all a little confused on that one. Three ways that unbelief can come into a person. Amen, glad you're awake, praise the Lord. Number one, ignorance, ignorance. Unbelief can come in through ignorance. What do I mean here? When someone just doesn't know the truth. When someone just doesn't know the truth, unbelief can come in. Number two, disbelief. Now, I didn't say, "Unbelief," and there is a difference between unbelief and disbelief. "Unbelief" is, "I'm just not believing," but "disbelief" is "a refusal to believe or to accept somethin' is true". It's a refusal to believe or to accept somethin' that's true. And disbelief comes in from being taught wrong. So, disbelieving, what happens here is you were taught something wrong.
Now I'm trying to show you the truth of it, but you refuse to accept the truth because you're sticking with your traditional teaching on that subject. So that's disbelief, it's disbelief because of wrong teaching. So unbelief comes in because of disbelief, or it comes in from wrong teaching that puts you in a place where you refuse to believe, or you refuse to accept something is true because of wrong teaching. Man, that's big in the church, isn't it? People got wrong teaching, and they refuse to accept what's true because of wrong teachin'. I'm seeing that right now all over the world. I'm tryin' to teach on the gospel of grace and the different covenants, and there's disbelief there. There's disbelief there, and that disbelief opens the door to not believing, to walk in unbelief, okay?
Now, and the third way that unbelief comes in is through the natural, natural inputs that's contrary to the truth, natural inputs that are contrary to the truth. The disciples walked on water. Peter, and then when he saw the wind and the rain, you know, the truth was, Jesus said, "Come, you could walk". But through the natural, something came in to contradict the truth. Now, let me dig a little bit more into each of these because it's important. Let's deal with ignorance now. Ignorance is a way that unbelief can come in to a person's life. So, due to your lack of knowledge, due to your lack of knowledge about a thing, a person can have unbelief. So, how do you cure this area of unbelief that was caused by ignorance? Real simple, just tell the truth. Just tell the truth. If received, the ignorance will be dealt with. Just tell the truth, and if received, the ignorance will be dealt with.
So, the way you deal with the unbelief that comes in by ignorance is tell the truth, and if you receive the truth, then the ignorance will be dealt with, which means the unbelief will be dealt with. In fact, the Apostle Paul found himself in unbelief because of ignorance, and he said it, 1 Timothy chapter 1, and verse 13. You know, you gotta see, why did Paul walk in this area of unbelief? And why did he do some of the things he did? He says, "Who was before". Paul was talkin' about his self, "He was a blasphemer before, he was a persecutor, and injurious," but he says, "he obtained mercy," why? He said, "Because I did it ignorantly," watch this, "in unbelief". "I did it ignorantly," and notice what happens when ignorance is there. It opens the door for unbelief.
And that's why he was a blasphemer. That's why he was a persecutor. That's why he was all those things, because of the ignorance was there. I would probably rather deal with ignorance more than I would rather deal with somebody's wrong traditional teaching. A ignorant person you just tell the truth and the light come on. But a disbelieving person, who been in the church for 50-some-odd years, taught wrong, well, you can't tell them people nothin'. So, disbelief is more difficult to overcome than ignorance. A person who has been taught wrong has prejudices against the truth. Now, that's also with racial prejudice. A person that's been taught wrong, that's how you get prejudices, you know? You're taught wrong, and you don't wanna break your traditional understanding of something. And then when they show up and they tell you the truth and they dispel your tradition, tradition by tradition, I tell ya what, that'll change you. You'll find yourself not bein' a racist anymore. You'll find yourself having to deal with your prejudices. Prejudging is what that is.
There's a little difference between being a racist and being prejudiced, when you prejudge something based on your traditional teachings, and that works in every area. You have to receive the truth of God's Word above man's tradition in order to overcome this unbelief that came through wrong teaching. I'll tell ya, wrong teaching's messin' up people's lives, ladies and gentlemen. That's why I'm so passionate. I am preaching with my hair on fire. You understand what I'm sayin'? I am just, like, you know, turn me on in the mornin' and let me go. The only thing I can think about is the fact that the deceptions that I had in my life from wrong teaching, once I got the light on it, and I wanna put the light on everybody. I don't want nobody to have to live their life in disbelief, refusing to believe the truth because of wrong teaching.
See, people think that, as Christians, we're no longer under commandments. And so you go to places like Revelations 14:12, and it says: "Here are the saints who kept the commandments and the faith of Jesus Christ". Well, that makes it seem like, "Well, see there, they kept the commandments, and you're tellin' people not to keep the commandments". I'm tellin' people we're not under the law of Moses. We're not under the law of Moses, which includes the Ten Commandments. But Jesus did several things. Jesus delivered us from the Ten Commandments to one. We do have one, as New Testament Christians. You know what that one commandment is with a New Testament Christian? "Love". It's the royal law of love and faith.
See, you can't do one side of the and with the other side. So, when it says, "Here are the saints who kept the commandments and faith in Jesus Christ," how many of you know that you don't need faith to live by the law? So, if it was talkin' about the law, it wouldn't say, "And the faith of Jesus Christ". You don't need faith to live by the law, but you need faith to live by everything that Jesus has made available to you. And he says, "Here are the saints that kept the commandment of love and believed all that Jesus had done and finished". But if you don't know that, you'll just try to take that Scripture and use it to contradict the teaching of grace and all that other kinda stuff. And it's just like, you just gotta understand context. I don't even know how I got on that. But anyway, the Bible says that "love fulfills the law".
So, he says, instead of the 10 or the 600 and somethin', you keep the commandment of love, and you will fulfill the law. 'Cause through love, you can fulfill the law. Through the flesh, you couldn't fulfill the law. But through love, you can fulfill all of the morality of the law. 'Cause when you love, you won't kill. When you love, you won't steal. When you love, you won't bear false witness against your neighbor. When you love, you won't covet. So what he said is, "I'mma take you from the ten and put you with the one. Do the one, and the one will guide you successfully through anything". Glory be to God, amen?
Now, so the last one, the last way that unbelief comes in, it comes in through disbelief. It comes in through ignorance. The last way it comes in is through the natural. Now, this is true for a majority of people right now living today in church. It's unbelief that comes in through the natural things. It gets your mind involved. It gets your emotions involved. It gets your eyes and your ears involved. Just one little thought, you're thinkin', "Hmm, what if this don't come to pass"? So, you have to be careful because, you know, he'll put little thoughts in your mind like, you know, "What if I die and there ain't no heaven? Is there really a God, or is this just"? You see, and you start pondering those things, you open yourself to unbelief. You know, "I really ain't never seen a miracle. Hmm, how I know that's real"? All that stuff gonna come in, is through the natural. And you look at stuff. You know, "The doctor says I'm sick, and I prayed over here, but the bumps still on my hands". Really? Really? Your natural, your natural.
You know, if you smell smoke, you better get out the house. Yeah, so God gave is our sense to be a blessing to us while we're in this physical world. But he never intended for your sense to govern your life, your spiritual, supernatural life, okay? They're to bless us so we can see and enjoy the beauty of what he made. So we can smell, so we can touch, so we can taste. So they bless us in this physical world, but you're not supposed to be governed by them. You're supposed to be governed by the Spirit of God and governed by the Word of God. And so, what's goin' through your eyes tryin' to contradict the promise? What's goin' through your ears? You gotta be careful what you hear. What you listenin' to?
What you listenin' to? If you listen to it long enough, and if everybody else is listenin' to it, and society now creates the fact that it must be okay because everybody thinks it's okay, it won't be long before your thinkin' is shaped by what you're hearing, what you're seeing, lusts of the eyes, the pride of life, the lusts of the flesh. And all of a sudden, you're thinkin' it's okay 'cause everybody else thinks it's okay. There is truth. There's an absolute truth, and that is, God is real, and God is truth. There's a difference between fact and truth. Facts can change, but the truth is constant. It stays the same, okay? So, unbelief comes in through your natural senses. It comes in through your senses, your natural mechanism, and most people are dominated by their physical senses. Boy, that's strong. Most people are dominated by their physical senses. It is real or not real based on what your physical senses say.
I taught a sermon years ago, and I called it, "Is the Physical World Really Real"? And what I was gonna do is I went into the spirit world and find out, and showed people the origin of the physical world came from somethin' you can't see, you can't touch today, somethin' you can't even comprehend today. All physical things came from the spiritual realm, and God is the Spirit that's responsible for everything that we can see, touch. But he says, "The things that are seen are temporal or temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal and everlasting". And so, most people are dominated by their physical senses. It was the kind of unbelief, natural unbelief, that hindered those disciples. It's what they saw. It's what they heard. I mean, can you get that out of your mind? "In the name of Jesus, be healed," and they saw the foam in his mouth. And they heard what the sound that was comin' out. And unbelief came in. And Jesus said, "The reason why you couldn't do it is because of unbelief". It came in, okay? It was this kind of unbelief, natural unbelief. So, being moved more by what you see than what you believe.
Are you moved more by what you see than you believe? Think on that question just for a moment. You know, bills come in, and you're lookin' at all the bills, and you have seed in the ground, and he said, "I'll supply all your needs according to his riches and glory". Are you moved more by what you see and hear than what you believe from God's Word? That confronts you right in your face. Sometimes we blame the devil, and we're not lookin' at what we're doing. And so, Jesus said somethin' so amazing. Being moved more by what you see than what you believed is gonna be a problem. Being moved by what you see versus what you believe is gonna be a problem. I believe that I'm healed. The X-rays are showin' me somethin' else. I believe all my needs are met, but the bills are showin' me somethin' else. I believe I have the joy of the Lord, but my emotions are tryin' to show me somethin' else. I'm tellin' you, folks, you've gotta choose. You've gotta choose. You've gotta choose. And you may have to choose with tears in your eyes, but choose, "I'm gonna believe God".
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Romans chapter 4. We were talkin' about how not to be tempted with unbelief, how not to be tempted with unbelief, and I'm gonna have a little short review, and we stopped in the area of understanding about fasting, so take good notes tonight. This is gonna be really insightful, and it's gonna really bless you. Romans chapter 4, and verse 18 and 19, let's read verse 18 and 19 out loud together. Ready, read: "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, 'So shall thy seed be.' And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb". Now, the end of this story was that he gave birth to a son, and that's the most important part. He gave birth to a son.
So, we're talkin' about manifesting the promise. There are a lot of promises in the Bible, and a lot of times, Christians today just seem like they don't understand how to manifest the promise. And so, we're lookin' at that. Although we're talking about how not to be tempted with unbelief, we wanna look at how Abraham did this, and how unbelief can come in to try to challenge your faith so that you won't see the end of your faith. So, if you'll notice here, he says, "Who against hope," against hope, "believed in hope". So it was against natural hope that this old man was gonna be able to have a son with this old woman. It was against natural hope, so he took the hope from the promise and used it against the hope in the natural, and the promise was that he would have a seed.
Verse 19, here's the key to what he did: "And being not weak in faith," and I've read this over and over again. But here's the key to what he did. "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body". I want you to underline the word "considered". "He considered not his own body," "considered not his own body". Now, what did he do rather than not considering his own body? He considered the promise and not the problem. Say out loud, "I must consider the promise, not the circumstance, not the problem," amen? Now, Abraham only considered the promise. He did not consider the problem. Now, listen to me carefully. You cannot be tempted with somethin' if you don't think about it. You have to think about a thing before you can be tempted with it.
Temptation is pressure applied to your flesh. And so, you've gotta understand that when you're thinkin' about the problem, the pressure will be applied to you. When you're thinkin' about the circumstances, watch this, the stress will be applied to you. If you do not think about it, it cannot hurt you. If you do not think about it, you can't be tempted. If you do not think about it, you can't be pressured, you can't be stressed. You have to think about it in order to be tempted. Now, when you talk about the word "considered," it's kinda like the word "meditate". To consider somethin', it means "to think on it". It means "to give it attention". It means "to deliberate". It means "to ponder". To think on somethin' means that you're studying it. It means that you're examining it. You're rolling around in your head. It's always just rollin' in your head. You won't dismiss it. That's what it means to consider. "And Abraham considered not," he didn't ponder. He didn't examine. He didn't deliberate over it. He didn't study it. He didn't roll around in his head. He considered not his body.
Now, listen to me for a moment. Imagine what would have happened if he'd have spent all day considering, "I got a old body, and my wife is old. I got a old body, and my wife is old". See, that's a key. That's a key. And a lot of times, we, as Christians, we're considering the situation, the contradiction, and the problem a whole lot more than we're considering the promise. And there's somethin' that happens where that is concerned that I wanna show you tonight. So, therefore overcoming, if you wanna overcome temptation, pressure applied to the flesh, if you wanna overcome unbelief, if you wanna overcome failures, all of those things begin in your thoughts. All of that starts in your thought. The battle is won between these two ears. Everything, everything, everything is in your mind. And if you cannot... Not to say it's not real, but I'm sayin' if you decide to consider it more than the promise, then you are allowing your authority to be used to say to the enemy, "Go ahead and attack me, because I am meditating on the thing that's gonna grow up in my life". You're considering the problem more than the promise.
And so we talked about when something looks contrary to what you're believin' for. When somethin' looks contrary to what you are praying for, it will foster unbelief. When it looks contrary, when you say, "I believe that I'm healed," and, you know, you feel a pain. Or you say, "I believe my needs are met," and you go home and you see a bill, okay? When that happens, the reason why it happens is to foster unbelief. The reason why it happens is to foster worry. The reason why it happens is to foster fear. You gotta learn how to play this chess game with the devil. And what it does is, "I can't do nothin' to you unless I get unbelief in you, so I'm gonna show you somethin', you gonna see somethin', you gonna hear somethin', you gonna smell somethin', and it's gonna foster unbelief. It's gonna foster worry. It's gonna foster fear".
So you're gonna find out that unbelief comes in, we looked at this, because unbelief comes in through your thought process. Unbelief comes in through your thought process. How does unbelief come in? Through your what? Through your thought process. Now, very quickly, how do we deal with unbelief? In other words, you've gotta know that unbelief comes in three forms. Unbelief comes in three forms. First of all, unbelief comes in, number one, through ignorance. Secondly, unbelief comes in through disbelief. And thirdly, unbelief comes in through the natural realm or through your five physical senses. All right, now, listen to me very carefully. Unbelief coming in through ignorance, it just simply means that I am ignorant because I don't know. So, the way you cure or stop unbelief from comin' in through ignorance is you find out the truth about what you don't know, and that clears that up. So, you don't know it. You find the truth it, and that clears up ignorance, and so unbelief won't be able to come through ignorance because now you've got the truth. That's why it's important to come to Bible study. That's why it's important to get in the Word. That's why it's important to read the Word. You continue to get the truth, okay?
Secondly, unbelief comes in through disbelief. Now, disbelief and unbelief, they are two different things. Unbelief is just, you know, "I don't believe". When you're walkin' in unbelief, it's not believing. But when you walk in disbelief, it's your refusal, you refuse to believe because you were taught wrong. And you have been taught a traditional truth that may not be the truth. Now, listen to me where disbelief is concerned. Disbelief is, "I refuse to believe because all my life, I was taught this". Disbelief is, "I refuse to believe because the whole time, everybody always told me that". Disbelief is, "Somebody taught me somethin' that was wrong, and I refuse to change from the traditional explanation of a thing that I was taught wrong". It's not that I don't believe. It's, "I refuse to believe because I won't let go of my tradition of what that thing is".
And so, how do you get out of disbelief? You get out of disbelief this way. You get out of disbelief by simply making a decision to receive the truth over the tradition. Makin' a decision to receive the truth over the tradition. So, what happens now? Now you've closed down a second avenue that unbelief comes in. It comes in through ignorance. You get the truth that closes it down. It comes in through disbelief. You accept the truth and you go against the traditional thing that you were taught. You shut that down. But now I want you to listen to this. What about unbelief that comes in through the natural? Unbelief that comes in through the natural is where the enemy is working proficiently against Christians today. This is most likely the greatest area that unbelief is coming into our lives as Christians. It's coming in through the natural or through the sense realm. It's comin' in because of what you saw, what you heard, what you smelled, what you touched, what you could feel, and then unbelief comes in through the senses.
Now, listen to me. This is very, very important. And he uses that more often by you goin' to church and you hearing a message and then you come out and you see somethin' that contradicts what you heard. Or you hear somethin'. How many of you know you can hear somethin' that contradicts what you heard? Or you might be able to feel somethin'. You know, you believe the cancer or somethin's gone, and then you feel the knot, and unbelief comes in. You may smell somethin'. It comes in through the senses. Now, I'm gonna show you this, but I'mma go ahead and say it. How do I deal with unbelief that comes in through the senses? By fasting and prayer, by fasting and prayer, and that's what I was tryin' to hurry up and get to, because I wanna deal with that tonight to show you how to get through to this thing, and I wanna start off again in Matthew chapter 17, Matthew chapter 17, verse 14 through 21, and I want us to deal with this.
So, we'll start here tonight, Now, watch this, verse 14: "And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying," verse 15, "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he's a lunatic, sore vexed: and oftentimes he falleth in the fire, oftentimes in the water". 16: "And I brought him to the disciples, and they could not cure him". Now, in Mark chapter 9, we showed you what the disciples probably saw. It came through the senses. They tried to cure this guy, but they saw him. They saw the foam. They saw him havin' a fit. And so, now, the man made it very clear, "I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him". So, obviously, somethin' happened with unbelief that came in through the natural or through what they saw.
You know, they probably said, "Be healed," and he was still foamin', and he was still doin' all that stuff. I mean, that sounds so familiar to today's time, right? And he says, "And they could not cure him". And then verse 17: "Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.'" Verse 18: "And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him," now that's interesting. Jesus said, "The devil was behind this". How many of you know there are certain things the devil is behind? And you can try to counsel it out, and you can try to medicate it out, but sometimes you just gotta cast it out. Did you hear what I said? You can try to counsel it out and medicate it, but sometimes you gotta cast that devil out, amen?
"And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour". All right, now watch very carefully. Verse 19: "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart from everything, and said, 'Okay, you know, now that we're by ourselves, why could not we cast him out?'" Now, be very, very careful with the next two Scriptures because he's talkin' about castin' this demon out. And we see Jesus casting it out, but the next Scripture, the subject changes. They asked, "Why could we not cast him out"? Now, the next two Scriptures are gonna be dealin' with the reason why they couldn't cast him out. Not the demon, but the reason why they couldn't cast him out. Verse 20: "And Jesus said unto them," he answers it, watch this, "Because of your," what? "Unbelief". So unbelief got in through the natural, didn't it? He said, "Because of your unbelief".
Now, right here, he is gonna be talking about unbelief in this verse and unbelief in the next verse. And watch what he says. "For verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place'; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you". He was again tellin' them, "You didn't need much faith to do this. The problem was you allowed what you were seeing to allow unbelief to come in, and you considered what you were seeing more than you considered the authority that I've given you". Look at verse 21. He said: "'Howbeit,'" watch this. The subject is still unbelief. "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting".
Now, for a long time, the traditional understanding of this Scripture was that "this kind of demon goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". He is not talking about the demon. That's why he said in verse 20, "It don't take but a grain of mustard seed to cast the demon out". He's talkin' about unbelief. "This kind of unbelief goeth not out but by prayer and fasting," amen, praise God. So, when you have allowed unbelief to come into your life through the natural, through your five physical senses - now, listen, the five physical senses are not to be treated as enemies. They're gifts from God. God has given you five senses so you can smell things and enjoy them. He's given you senses so you can taste things and enjoy them. These senses were given to add to the enjoyment of what he created. But they were never meant to govern or to be the government of your life. The Word of God is supposed to be the government of your life. You're not supposed to live by your senses. You're supposed to live by the Word.
Look at Matthew 4:4. The Bible talks about that "we live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". That's what we live by. And what's happened is, sometimes because our misinterpretation of Scriptures like this, you are now trying to live by what you see, what you feel, touch, taste, what you hear. No, no, they were given to help guide you throughout life so that when you touch somethin' hot, you know it. They've been sent to guide you, but not to govern your life, not to govern your life. In other words, you don't live by what you see. You don't live by what you smell. Here's what it says: "But he answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone,"'" taste, okay? "But man lives by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Say, "I live by the Word of God". So the Word of God is the government for your life. The Word of God is what governs your life.
So, now, look at what the enemy is done. He says, "I'll take advantage of the sense realm, and I'll show you some things, let you smell some things, let you feel some things, and I am going to communicate to you through your senses, and you'll believe it if you see it. You'll believe it if you smell it. You'll believe it if you taste it". Now, they were given for your protection. Of course, if you smell smoke, you need to find out where it's comin' from, okay? But you don't let all of your senses all the time govern your life where the promises of God are concerned, amen? They've been given to you to alert you, not to govern you. The Word leads you. You live by the Word of God, every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. If you understand that, say, "Amen".
Now, this is something I don't even know if I've ever taught this before. Maybe I didn't understand it enough to teach it before. Maybe there was so much religion around it, it just didn't click. But yeah, I see when I'm ignorant, get the truth. Unbelief can't come in through ignorance. When I'm in disbelief, you know, you know, refuse the traditional teaching and understanding I got and accept the truth. But when something comes through my eyes and I see it, I'm sitting there looking at the promise, and the promise says I'm healed. But I look at the X-ray and it says I still got that lump there. All right, now you got to decide, are you going to live in the natural or the supernatural? Now you got to decide, am I going to examine the problem more, or am I going to examine the promise more? This happens in every life. And every life, you probably even did it today, what did you examine more than the promise? What did you examine more than the promise? How long today have you been examining, studying, pondering, and considering your issue? And the whole time, there's a promise for every issue.
Oh, come on now, Jesus, there's a promise for every, watch this, situation. There ain't nothing that'll ever happen in your life that's not covered in your policy. He got you covered. But he can't make you consider the right thing. Listen to me carefully now, I'm going somewhere with this. And he says for the stuff, for the unbelief that tries to come through your senses, this kind of unbelief that comes through senses cometh not out but by prayer and fasting. Now, I want to go through some notes that I wrote down here, and I decided, "Well, here's what I want to do. I want to take these notes". And I don't know, I need to start putting the date on this, but I wrote this like years ago. I wrote it years ago, and my office is just filled up with notebooks, some of them I didn't even know I had. And I went back and I saw this, and I'm like, "Oh my God, here it is right here".
All right, so here's the thing. Let's talk about how to pray and fast. You're going to have to forget about all the traditional stuff you ever heard about prayer and fasting, and so you can hear what I'm saying 'cause he just labeled prayer and fasting as how you deal with unbelief that comes through the sense realm or the natural, okay? So, here's the first thing we're going to talk about. Fasting retrains your body to respond to God's Word and your born again spirit. Fasting retrains your body, retrains your body to respond to God's Word and to your born again spirit. Rather than fighting you with the senses that unbelief came in, it'll train it to respond to the Word of God and to your born again spirit. You're breaking the natural dominion and control your body has been exerting over you.
Your body isn't bad now, ladies and gentlemen, your body isn't bad, it's just been trained wrong. You've been responding primarily to what you can see, and what you can taste, and what you can hear, and what you can smell, and what you can feel. You've been trained, your body's been trained. You've been responding primarily in that way. And even when it comes to the Christian stuff, you've been responding that way. I mean, am I lying? You've been responding to, "Oh, I saw what the debt was. Oh, I can feel the bump". Oh, you've been primarily trained to respond to your body and to those senses, and not trained to respond to the Word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God. Do you know how big this is? You notice a gigantic Bible study tonight? This is a life-changing lesson tonight that if applied, that if applied will change your entire life.
So, it's just been trained wrong. By fasting, you say to your body, "Body, you need to understand that the Spirit is more important than the physical". When you're fasting, you're taking your body because you're choosing to continue to fast, you're telling your body, "Get in line. You need to learn that you won't starve by noon time today". I guarantee you, if you've ever gone on a fast, the first day of that fast, your body's talking to you all day, "Feed me or we're going to die". What is that? That is a perfect illustration of your body needing to be retrained because it's trying to communicate to you what to do based on how it feels. So, there's nothing wrong with it, it needs to be retrained. And when you go on a fast, you're retraining it. "You're not going to starve by noon, you'll be just fine". And all of a sudden, my head hurt, my head hurt. Look at the processes. I'm blown away as I examine the processes when you go on a fast. Oh, my head hurt. Oh, I'm getting dizzy.
Now, if you've ever been on a fast for at least two or three days, after that shuts down, you ain't even hungry. Why? Because your body needs to be retrained. You're retraining your body to say, "Unbelief is not going to come through the senses anymore". I am telling you you're not going to die and you're not going to starve because you hadn't ate breakfast. Oh, I ain't have breakfast or lunch. Oh Lord, I went to bed on an empty stomach. Your stomach wasn't that empty, baby. It's talking to you. It needs to be retrained, man. And fasting, fasting will do that, and prayer. You're being retrained so you can do the things that God tells you to do, and then you can receive your needs met through his Word. And fasting and prayer makes you respond to God better. Fasting and prayer makes you respond to God better. That you're not moved by what you feel. You're just not moved by what you feel.
I remember when I was fighting the battle against cancer, I was not going to be moved by what I felt. I'm just not going to be moved. So, I had to plan, I had a plan. Every time my body speaks, I'm going to talk back. I'm going to talk back. Pain come, I'm like, "With his stripes I'm healed. He healed a whole village and none of them were believers. I got the Holy Ghost, I am healed". Sometimes I get to preaching that, but... and then you can't go thinking about what the doctor said you had the whole time. I had a friend of mine who worked on my case, he's brilliant at what he does. He's 73 years old, he's brilliant at what he does, but he called kind of panicked and he says, "Man, I've been thinking about you the whole day. I need you to go get an image and check on it, make sure that thing didn't come back". "Uh-uh, we don't do that here in my house. It's never going to come back. This won't occur again".
I have meditated on that, stick with that, stay with that. It's the enemy being very creative to try to get it to come in through what you feel. And then you start feeling stuff. No, no, no, no, you have to speak, just like... all right, how do you control thoughts? How do you control thoughts, with what? With words. So, if you got thoughts going through your mind, how do you take authority over those thoughts going through your mind? You open your mouth and you cast it down. A thought going through your mind, "You know what? You're just no good". You got to open your mouth up and say, "I am the apple of God's eye. I'm awesome in God's eye, and greater is he that is in me than he's in the world," that thought's gone. And you spend time with that promise. But you know what we do?
A thought will come through, crazy thought, you already know it ain't God. And you'll spend time with that thought. You will nourish that thought. And then you'll open your mouth and feed that thought. And you know what you're doing? You're taking something that is not even real, that only exists. You know fear is something that just only exists in your mind and depends on you to give it life. 'Cause fear, greatest thing that Christian people walk in fear in is you don't believe what God promised in his Word will come to pass. And so, we've got to understand how to fight against this stuff that's coming against us.
Now, this brings me to a point. As you listen to this, your heart as a Christian can be hardened. Your heart can be hardened. "Oh, but Brother Dollar, I'm under the grace of God". You are, but I'm telling you this is all about what you spend your time with. Okay, so what is a hardened heart? A hardened heart is when you lack wisdom, lack judgment, lack understanding. No wisdom, no judgment, no understanding, your heart is hardened. Now remember, whatever you spend your time giving your attention to the most, that's what you're going to be more sensitive to. Whatever you don't spend your time giving your attention to, that's where you're going to be hardened. Unfortunately, there are some Christians who spend their time mostly with the problem, and little to no time with the promise. Wake up and walk away and say, "Well, I don't understand what's going on. Is God hearing me"? Yep, God heard you, and he's already prepared what you need, but you won't give it attention. Your heart is hardened. There is no wisdom, there is no judgement, there is no understanding. Your heart is hardened.
Let me show you this in Scripture. "Oh, pastor's just making this up". It's in the Scripture. It's like so, so in the Scripture. Look at the book of Mark chapter 8, Mark chapter 8, verses 14 through 19. Our hearts can be hardened. Having a hard heart is defined as being deprived of wisdom, deprived of judgement, deprived of understanding. Your heart is hardened. Now, look at this. Mark 8, verse 14 through 19, check this out. And this is what he was saying, this is a perfect illustration. He says, "Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And he charged them, saying, 'Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod.'" Sixteen, "And they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'It's because we have no bread.'" All right, 17, "And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, 'Why reason ye, because you have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened?'"
Has your heart hardened? You're giving more attention to having no bread, and you have forgotten about what I did the last time there was a lack of bread. Look at what he said in verse 18, "Having eyes, you can't see? Having ears, you hear not? And do not remember"? And see, when God does something for you, you need to remember that. You know why we take communion every week, every Sunday? We do this what, in what? In remembrance so our heart won't get hard to what Jesus has done. "Having eyes, you can't see? Don't remember," verse 19, look at this. "'When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?' They say unto him, 'Twelve.'" Verse 20, "And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up"? And they said what? Seven. Look at the next verse real quick, "And he said unto them, 'How is it that you do not understand?'"
See, he relates no understanding, no perception, no remembrance, no wisdom with a hardened heart. And why is their heart hardened? 'Cause they are giving all of the attention to, "We forgot the bread. We ain't got no bread". Instead of perceiving and remembering, "Well, you know, we've seen Jesus twice supply bread". But we won't spend time with it. We spend time with the lack. You know Jesus can take care of you, and you spend time meditating on the lack for three days, for three days. You go get a bill. You know, why you at church on Sunday, and you got fired up? You say, "Praise God. Yeah, he'll meet my needs. Hallelujah, I got seed in the ground. Thank you, Jesus". And then go home and look at the bills like, "Oh Lord". You forgot what he's already done in your past. Has he ever paid a bill in the past? Has he ever made a way in the past? Has he ever done anything? Don't forget it. Consider that.
Are y'all hearing what I'm saying? I'm telling you, listen, life is messy. There's a lot of weird things that happen in life. And there's not always going to be somebody there that's going to be able to help you out your situation, but God will always be there. Watch this, and he has already helped you. And you know what? When you choose to worry about stuff, there's plenty to choose from. You don't have a small choice, there's always plenty. There's plenty of trouble to choose from. You can wake up immediately and choose your choice of trouble for the next hour. You can. You can choose to spend your peace wherever you want to spend it. But see, if you spend your peace on drama, then you won't have peace to take care of you. Keep your peace and your peace will keep you. Keep your peace and your peace will keep you. But what are you going to consider the most? And as soon as you make your mind up to consider the promise the most, you know what happens? Here it comes, something going to come through your eyes, something going to come through your ears. So, you're going to hear something, you're going to see something, you're going to feel something.
It is amazing how creative Satan can get to try to get unbelief to settle into your heart. And you know how he does it? And we help him. When it shows up, instead of us saying, "I'm not moved by what I see, I'm not moved by what I feel, I'm not moved by that," you have to catch yourself and you got to train yourself to catch yourself when you are drifting off in meditation over your situation. Listen to me, child of God, let God be God. Here's the implication, you let him be God. See, nobody has the authority to do what I'm teaching on tonight but you. You have to decide what you're going to consider. Abraham had to decide, "I'm not going to consider my body and that I'm married to an old woman. I'm going to consider the promise". And you know what? Two old people got together one night because they were considering the promise, and I'm telling you, it happened.
You want to know why things aren't manifested in your life? Think about what you've been thinking about and you'll get your answer. Think about what you've been thinking about and you will get your answer. Glory to God, that is good preaching. I don't care what season it is. I need to teach this 50 more times until you can... do you see the amazing authority that you have? I promise you, just look at your life. Look at your life and you're going to see you've been spending too much time with the problem up here, up here. You know when you go off on those dazes, stop yourself and say, "Oh wow, I just dazed off on that problem. I just dazed off on that contradiction".
Now, let's break this down a little bit more because unbelief has got to get there because, without us, Satan can't operate. He's got to get unbelief in there. And this is going to happen to everybody. The way your heart becomes hardened is by what you do not consider. Look at Mark 6:52, the way your heart becomes hardened is through what you do not consider. It's what you do not consider. Verse 52 says, "For they considered not the miracles of the loaves, for," why? What happens when they didn't consider the miracle of the loaves? Their heart was hardened. It was hardened, which means no wisdom, no judgment, no understanding. It was hardened because of what they didn't consider.
So, think about you spend your days considering all of the contradictions to the promise. This is a life transforming, this is like one of those messages that Satan says, "We cannot let anybody get a hold of this teaching or I lose my ground". Because only thing you're doing is you're saying, "Okay, here's the circumstance, here's the promise". So, every time an issue happens, the first thing you do is go get the promise. And don't take no five, just get one or two. One or two promises, stick with that, baby, come hell or high water. Make yourself consider it more. And if you find yourself drifting off, thinking about the problem, thinking about the problem, start saying the promise every time you think about the problem. Any time the problem come up, open up and quote the Scripture, say it. Say it.
Well, what if you don't know it? Write it on a piece of paper and carry it in your pocket all day long, say it. "Oh, but Brother Dollar, I'm under the grace of God. None of that's required". See, there you go, there you go. What you don't understand is you don't understand that the enemy's trying to keep you away from what's already been provided because you don't understand how the system works in this physical world and you don't understand that words are powerful. Death and life is in the power of the Word, but here is something that's even more powerful, what you consider. What you consider. My God.
All right, so check this out. What you focus your attention on you'll be sensitive to. What you focus your attention on you will be sensitive to. What you neglect you will most likely be hardened to. What you focus your attention on you'll be sensitive to. What you neglect you'll be hardened to. Now, most of us have neglected the things of God, and we have paid attention to the things of the world. We've neglected the things of God, we've paid attention to the things of the world. And that explains why people come to Bible studies or church.
Have you ever met somebody, "Hey, I haven't seen you in church in a while". "Oh, I've been going through". They've been focusing more on the problem. You need to get something where you can focus on and consider the promise. And I don't know what it is, it's a generation that says, "I don't need to go to church," 'cause they don't understand the purpose. "I don't need to get in the Word," 'cause they don't understand the purpose. "I don't want to look at Dollar on the stream," 'cause they don't understand the purpose. And what happens? They build up a separation between the promise and their thinking. And now what happens? They are finding themselves thinking more about the problem.
Now, what do you call negative meditation? Worry. So, don't tell me you can't meditate in the Word. Because when you spend time pondering and thinking over the problem over and over again, you're worrying about it, and you know worrying is a sin? You miss the mark when you worry because he would prefer you meditating on his Word, meditating on the Word day and night. Look what happens, and you'll make your way prosperous, and you'll have good success. Worry on the Word day and night, and you will make sure that your ways not prosperous and you will not have success. Because whatever you consider the most is what you're going to be sensitive to. Whatever you consider not at all is what you're going to be hardened to.