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The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 01/26/03

The Angelic Conflict, Part 12, Isaiah 28:16

In our doctrine of The Satanic Game Plan against Church-age believers, we have begun studying the faith-rest drill. As we have seen, Satan's game plan for Church-age believers begins with his tactics, such as the fiery darts, the accusations he brings against God's people. His strategy is in human viewpoint thinking. The objective is to prevent the Lord Jesus Christ from being glorified.

2CO 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

To successfully resist the satanic attacks, the believer must know and use the ten problem-solving devices:
1. Rebound
2. The Filling of the Spirit
3. The Faith-Rest Drill
4. Grace Orientation
5. Doctrinal Orientation
6. A Personal Sense of Destiny
7. Personal Love for God the Father
8. Impersonal Unconditional Love for all Mankind
9. Sharing the Happiness of  God
10. Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ

EPH 6:16 In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

The large body shield that Paul referenced here measured about 4 feet high by 21/2 feet wide. It was usually constructed of alternating layers of bronze and oxhide. Rome's enemies used arrows dipped in pitch which would be set aflame and fired at the Roman soldiers. The Roman shield, when utilized correctly by a unit of soldiers, repelled the fiery arrows so they fell harmlessly to the ground.

The analogy here is that the faith-rest drill, from beginning to end, prevents the work of Satan from causing damage in our lives. The shield of faith can only be carried by the believer who has knowledge and the spiritual strength gained from having his faith tested. Our discipline in handling the daily difficulties of life teaches us how to overcome major problems by using the shield of faith. When we are facing a hopeless situation in our life, one where we have tried everything and nothing works, we must remember that God is up to something bigger than our problem-He desires for us to learn how to please Him, and that is through faith, HEB 11:6.

Faith is not an emotion, faith is not blind, and faith is not automatic. Faith is based on knowledge.

HEB 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is one of three ways we acquire knowledge (rationalism is learning through reason; empiricism is learning through experience and one's senses). Faith is a non-meritorious system of perception based on confidence in the authority and veracity of another. It is defined as learning by accepting the authority of the source. Faith also means a system of doctrine or a creed perceived by faith, i.e., that which is believed. Faith is a decision to place your trust and confidence in the character and nature of another to come through for you.

If you have faith the size of a mountain and your faith is in a swindler, your faith is worthless; if your faith is in One who is perfect, a mustard seed of faith is plenty.

MAT 17:20 And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you."

In salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our faith; He has all the merit. In the spiritual life, Bible doctrine is the object of faith.

ROM 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

As a believer you have already trusted Him to take care of the most serious problem you ever had (spiritual death), to change your nature and thereby your destiny, so can you also trust Him to change whatever else needs changing in your life?

ROM 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

The faith-rest drill is a versatile technique for overcoming any difficulty, problem, or disaster in life. By faith the believer applies doctrine logically while resting in God's promises. The reactions of fear, worry, anxiety, and panic do not resolve any life situation. They only disorient us to reality. Perhaps the most potent enemy is fear because fear shuts down our thinking. Bravery means thinking under pressure. Satan has formulated special tactics to induce fear in believers. However, God has provided a place of inner peace, happiness, stability, and power within the grasp of every Christian, in the midst of difficult circumstances and problems. In the Bible, this place of peace is often called "rest." It is a moment-by-moment rest, and God intends for every believer to trust Him continuously. One of the most gracious decisions God makes in our lives is to allow tragedies and heartbreaks so that we will learn to lean on Him rather than on our own strength and resources. When you find yourself in these situations, you have two options:

· Doubt God's Word and be totally miserable. 

· Believe God's Word and enter into His rest. 

God has given us promises and doctrines in His Word. We are to learn them, believe them, and use them to solve our problems.

PSA 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle [promises]; in the secret place of His tent [doctrine] He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock [occupation with Christ].

We are given many promises for eternity, such as:
· We are promised a resurrection body, PHI 3:21.
· We are promised no more tears, sorrow, or pain, REV 21:4.
· We will be face-to-face with the Lord, 2CO 5:8.

When you rest in God's promises, you can be stable and content even under the worst pressure and adversity. You can thank God for the difficulty, knowing He permits it for your benefit.

PSA 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.

The result of living in faith-rest in spite of the pressures and temptations is an exchange of human power for divine omnipotence. The Lord will either deliver you from the situation, or, more likely, He will give you the strength and contentment to endure the situation.

There are at least nine different Hebrew words for "faith" in the Old Testament, revealing how important this word was to the Jewish people. One of these is  "'aman," used in Isaiah 28:16">ISA 28:16.

Isaiah 28:16">ISA 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed."

This word means to believe, be supported, or use another as a crutch; the root meaning is a foundation on which something is built, a pillar, or a supporter of the door.

In REV 3:14, the Apostle John uses the Greek equivalent of "'aman" to describe the Lord Jesus Christ.

REV 3:14 "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this..."

Our Lord is faithful and true, He is our rock and our foundation.

In MAT 8:5-10, this same word appears again when Jesus is amazed by the faith of the Roman centurion. This great man of doctrine understood perfectly well that faith means confidence in the authority of another.

MAT 8:5-10 And when He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, entreating Him, and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering great pain." And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled, and said to those who were following, "Truly [Amen] I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel."

In GEN 41:14, Joseph has been wrongfully imprisoned for years, yet when the Pharaoh finally calls to have him released, his mental attitude is totally relaxed.

GEN 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.

Joseph is in no rush-he knew God would come through for him. He is a great example of the application of the faith-rest drill and understanding one's personal sense of destiny.

The greatest example of all time of faith-rest is of course the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as we can clearly see in MAR 4:35-41.

MAR 4:35-41 And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

The divine power behind the faith-rest drill enables us to sleep well in the middle of the worst storms. With confidence restored, you can assess the situation and make decisions from a position of strength. You may take appropriate actions based on sound judgment and common sense. If the problem is hopeless, and you are helpless, now it is time to trust the Lord to come through for you. Testing is a field-training exercise in the angelic conflict. For every time you apply doctrine in your soul to a problem, there is a decoration for you in heaven.

The faith-rest drill was designed by God to bring stability to the life of believers who live in the devil's world during the angelic conflict. A good question to ask ourselves is "If not God, what?" What will you rest in? As Peter said inJOH 6:68, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." There is nothing else worth putting our trust in besides our Lord and His Word. The world stage is littered with the corpses of failed dreams and false hopes, and no one learned this better than King Solomon, who learned it the hard way over many years until he finally reached the doctrinal conclusion:

ECC 1:14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.

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