So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul. These words keep ringing in our ears: Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.” Hebrews 3:12-19 (MSG)


Imagine that you won a contest for a trip that hundreds of people had entered to win. You get an e-mail informing you that you are the winner, but you are so shocked that you can’t believe it.  Instead of e-mailing them to confirm, you convince yourself that it was not possible to win. You, then, forgo the opportunity to meet new people, have new opportunities, and have free travel. Your unbelief caused you to miss out.

The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to not let unbelief divert us from the course God has set before us. A key to keeping unbelief far from our hearts is to listen to God’s Word and direction.  A lack of listening to God would cause history to repeat itself.  When the Israelites were given the opportunity to enter the promised land, their lack of belief caused a whole generation of people to miss out on God’s best. In Deuteronomy 1, God clearly states that He was giving the promised land to the Israelites.  Yes, there would be obstacles and battles along the way, but God was going before them to bring about victory. But, some of the Israelites just couldn’t believe God. Their lack of listening to God’s promise led to a lack of belief deeply rooted in their hearts.  The lack of listening and unbelief derailed the purposes of God from being outworked through them. So, how is history going to impact your life? Is your lack of belief in God’s promises going to leave you wandering in the desert? Or, will you take the lesson from the Israelites and choose to believe God even when battles wage on every side? When we read the promises of God in His Word, faith rises in our hearts that God will do what He says.  When we hear God’s truth and listen with open hearts, the result can be an increase in our faith. There seems to be a direct link between our ability to believe God and ending up where we are supposed to be.  I would rather be fighting battles with God and walking in His promise than wandering in circles in the middle of my own unbelief. Wouldn’t you?

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.