How Faith can Fail and How to Strengthen It

According to Elihu; There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Job 32:8 At the…

How Faith can Fail and How to Strengthen It

According to Elihu;

There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Job 32:8

At the heart of every believer’s life of faith is a divinely orchestrated understanding that forms the foundation of our belief system.

Elihu struck at the heart of the matter of Faith because the Bible says that; “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear -Hebrews 11:3.

The understanding that comes to you by faith is the Bedrock of your faith life.

In Hebrews chapter 11, each individual noted for their faith had an underlying divine understanding provided by God, which became the foundation for their acts of faith.

Elihu stated that every person, including women, has a spirit, and the only source of inspiration that provides the accurate and reinforcing understanding necessary for building our faith life is the Spirit of God. It is at the moment of inspiration that understanding comes to us, and this understanding is the foundation of faith’s operation in our lives.

To develop our faith life, let’s spend some time exploring the type of understanding Elihu mentioned in Job 32:8.

A prime example is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Despite knowing that Isaac was to be his heir and that his future depended on Isaac’s survival, Abraham did not object to God’s command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. This was because Abraham had a profound understanding of “God being able to raise him up back from the dead –Hebrews 11:19” given by God.

This understanding is cultivated through practical dealings with God. Let me share my own story with you on how God implanted in my heart the revelation of Him as the “Able God.”

I had some money in the bank, and because we needed to purchase the land that now serves as the headquarters of Remnants Christian Network (RCN), God asked me to empty my bank account to pay for the land. What I had was exactly half of the amount needed, and I had saved this money for my wedding.

Given my spiritual and charismatic lifestyle, which seemed strange to my family, my uncles were unlikely to support me financially. Therefore, I saved diligently for my wedding. But God told me, “You have to give it up because the kingdom has a more urgent need. Your wedding can wait; this project cannot.”

I protested to God, saying, “Is it compulsory that I must obey everything you tell me? Let it be on record that this is the one time I had to disobey. A man of faith can disobey a few times, and this is one of those times that needs to be resisted.”

However, the reason I eventually complied was that God was relentless in my dreams, strongly impressing upon me the importance of His request. Scriptures kept coming to mind, reinforcing what God wanted me to do.

So, I finally obeyed, but I was sad about it, feeling as though God had bullied me. My sadness stemmed from the lack of inspiration and understanding at that moment.

It was at the wedding that things began to make sense. A relative of my wife showed up before we arrived and paid for the entire wedding. Additionally, two significant things happened:

  1. I was born with facial palsy. An ophthalmologist from the United States, who attended the wedding, looked at my eyes and decided to perform surgery to correct some issues. I received free surgery from an expert, and it was this surgery that enabled me to start TV ministry today.
  2. We were given a fully air-conditioned vehicle, something I had always dreamed of. I guess you are fully aware of that especially how I used to honk my horn everywhere in the market, at the filling station, and everywhere.

It was only after returning from the wedding that the inspiration truly came to me.

Remember; There’s no understanding without inspiration

The inspiration came to me because God walked me through the struggle I faced before giving up my savings and then showed me the outcome of my wedding, which was the reason I was saving in the first place.

He revealed the entire picture, the whole drama, and then left this scripture in my heart:

“God is able to do exceeding abundantly above that which you can ask or think” -Ephesians 3:20

What stuck in my heart was “God is able.” That was the understanding I received.

So, the next time God asked me to give again, it was easy for me to respond because the belief that “God is able” was still strong in my heart. The understanding I gained from the previous experience was still heavily at work in me.

This inspiration, which led to the understanding of God’s ability, has become the foundation for a deeper walk with God. I have a fully assured understanding of God’s capability, and whenever God speaks to me or asks me to do something, I know that God is able. But you will not know except you get a similar understand.

It is at the point of understanding that the possibility for you to walk smoothly with God is initiated.

Behind every great faith adventure is the impartation of understanding that comes through the instrumentality of inspiration!

Now, let’s turn to the book of Hebrews, chapter 11. We’ll look at an example of a man of faith and trace his understanding because, without that understanding, you cannot walk in faith. Instead, you might accuse God, as I did, saying, “Well, it’s because God is stronger than you that He wants to bully you!” Such thoughts are blasphemies that arise when there is no understanding.

In Hebrews 11:3, the Bible says, “By faith we understand.” Our goal here is to trace the “understanding.”

Let’s take the case study of Noah.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Hebrews 11:7

Now, let’s carefully examine the nature of Noah’s faith. God told Noah that He was coming to bring judgment upon the Earth.

It’s possible that Noah tried to pacify God by begging and pleading, but we don’t know how much effort Noah put into trying to get God to change His mind. What we do know is that all his efforts did not work. This means that the sovereignty of God was at play; God had decided what He wanted to do and was going to do it.

As intercessors, there are times when we try to persuade God to change His position. Through our dealings with Him, we will find that sometimes it is impossible to get God to shift His position because He has already made up His mind, and further intercession won’t change His decision.

So, God said, “Since I’m going to destroy the world and I know you, Noah, I’m going to give you a salvation strategy.” In Noah’s time, salvation meant being in the ark. God made it clear that He wouldn’t change His mind, but because Noah was His friend, He provided a salvation formula: build an ark. The very thing that would bring judgment and destruction to the world would lift you up Noah if you are in the ark.

Noah’s motivation to construct the ark came from his fear. He was moved with fear, which was an expression of his faith. We often hear that the opposite of faith is fear, but in this case, the fear that moved Noah was not the kind that torments but the kind rooted in the certainty that God would not change His mind.

The understanding underlying Noah’s faith experience was the realization that God would not change His mind. This fear compelled him to build the ark.

There is an underlying understanding that God provides, which serves as the motivation and strategy for walking in faith. Without this understanding, it is difficult to exercise faith in various areas of your life.

We must also recognize that just as faith requires understanding, Satan has devised ways to create negative understandings in people’s lives to keep them in bondage. This negative understanding can make them feel no need to fight their bondage but rather feel comfortable with it.

A good example of this negative understanding is a conversation I had with someone. She mentioned that in her mother’s family, no one ever pays the bride price for the women. Her parents had eloped, and when her father tried to pay the bride price later, a terrible problem arose, which persists to this day. She also described the disarray in her father’s family and concluded that even if she never marries, she just wants to serve God.

This is a wrong understanding. She drew conclusions based on past events, which is what the devil does; he twists your mind to use circumstances as the basis for the understanding that governs your life.

If I had not stopped her from making decisions based on an understanding that wasn’t rooted in the Word of God or inspired by the Holy Spirit, she would have comfortably lived in that bondage, mistakenly thinking it was God’s will.

“You don’t know how powerful understanding is”

Understanding is so powerful that she had already concluded, based on her understanding, that marriage might not be her portion, so she decided to focus on God’s work instead.

I told her that’s not how God operates! I began to open her mind through the scriptures to help her walk out of that defeat.

Just so you know, she doesn’t have financial problems—she’s okay in terms of money. However, a negative understanding has crippled an aspect of her life. To unravel and heal that part of her life, we had to destroy that negative understanding.

In case you are not aware, before generational curses began to manifest through family lineage, God had already released generational blessings, which are superior to generational curses.

The first thing God did in the Garden of Eden was to bless man, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply.” However, we often focus more on generational curses rather than on generational blessings.

As long as I am in a relationship with God, regardless of the curses in my family, if I walk with God, He will ensure that those curses do not affect my life.

Having a positive understanding doesn’t exempt you from life’s challenges. Instead, it is your walk in faith that will create a different season, breaking the patterns experienced by your family members.

For ministers, when counseling people, try to identify the understanding that the devil has used to bind them in bondage. People often accept these negative understandings, and until you challenge and change these beliefs, their situation will remain unchanged.

Understanding is the fuel upon which life is lived, either negatively or positively.

I had to challenge the negative understanding to help her see new possibilities beyond the limitations she had accepted.

Remember where we are coming from; “By faith the Bible says we understand -Hebrews 11:3”.

The first thing the devil will attack in your faith life is your understanding. When God wants to help you, He provides you with understanding through inspiration. Conversely, when the devil wants to attack you, he targets the understanding that God has given you. If the devil succeeds in convincing you to abandon this divine understanding, he has effectively damaged your faith life.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:31

Satan had a specific way he intended to deal with Simon. He didn’t plan to burden him with a heavy weight or deliver a crushing blow.

Jesus discerned the devil’s intentions and methods. The strategy Satan intended to use on Simon was revealed through Jesus’ insight.

You know the devil doesn’t have the right to create. If he had the power of creation that God has, and if he had created a few beings, this world would be a strange place filled with those created by satan.

Since Satan wasn’t given that privilege, he borrows and uses people instead. He saw how strategic Simon was and thought, “If I can get this one.” Every time Satan passed by Simon, he would look at him with that intent.

If Satan eventually manages to get hold of you, he can bring many pressures into your life just to achieve this. He wants you to be on the same page with him, even if only momentarily. He seeks to have you because he believes it will advance his plans on Earth to have you on his side.

If the revelation had ended with Satan merely desiring to have you, it would already serve as a wake-up call for a spiritual person. But it’s not just about having you; Satan has further intentions. Once he has you, he wants to sift you.

To clarify, there are different kinds of sifting—such as corn, millet, and rice. The type of sifting Satan wants to use on you is to sift you like wheat. We need to understand what it means to be sifted like wheat. For those familiar with farming, rice is harvested with an instrument called a sickle, which separates the rice from its stem.

Similarly, if you study the anatomy of faith, you will find that the “stem” of faith is the understanding God gives you. The devil will do anything to attack this understanding because as long as you retain it, it will be easy for you to respond to God based on what He has done.

Just like the inspiration that came to me after my wedding, summed up as “God is able.” Simply reading Ephesians 3:20 won’t give you the same depth of understanding I received because that understanding is a result of divine inspiration. It’s organic, growing naturally in the spirit just like your hair grows.

If there’s no inspiration in your heart, you don’t truly understand it yet. The only way to gain understanding is through inspiration from the Almighty, which forms the foundation of your faith life.

We once went on a crusade where someone submitted a charm. Even vibrant preachers who knew God were afraid of the charm. Don’t be too hard on them—they lacked understanding about that specific kind of spiritual dealing.

Years ago, when I was a young boy, I had many attacks from the devil. I saw terrible dreams filled with beasts and blood until one night, at 13 years old, I saw four angels. They fought demons for my soul, defending me. This battle lasted for hours. That was when he downed on me as a little child that “They that are for us are more than they that are for them –2 Kings 6:16”. This understanding stayed with me.

So, when it came to destroying the charms, it was clear who had understanding and who didn’t. Those without understanding in this matter had understanding in other areas. This shows that a person of faith can be powerless in some aspects of their life simply because they lack understanding.

If the devil wants you to lose your ground, he first aims to have you. As long as the devil can’t have you, he can’t sift you. His plan is to have you first, and then, once he does, he will sift you like wheat. Even though there are different types of sifting, the kind he will use on you is the wheat type.

The way you are burning now, you are too you are too hot for the devil, He will only be desiring that’s the best he can do.

The strategy satan uses to have believers is to show case his products in the eyes of that believer he desires to have. If he notices, that your weakness comes from women due to past experiences or a weakness from the family lineage, what he does is to show you all type of women; “short, tall, black, fair, slim, fat,” all type of women. If you by any chance get attracted to one, he will be able to have you, and when he does, he initiate the second protocol on the list which is to sift you.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14

But as Jesus recommended, He fasted before going to the wilderness to be tested. If you must guard your own soul from responding to satans products, immediately you sense that presence of lust brooding inside of you, whether lust for women, money or material stuff entirely, you have to kill it by fasting to prevent your soul from being influenced by the outside elements.

Two things that keeps a believer burning are;

  • Prayer: It helps you influence your environment
  • Fasting: It prevents the environment from influencing you.

If you can protect your soul from Satan’s external influences, he won’t have any power over you. In fact, your faith will grow stronger because every challenge you overcome becomes a lesson. You’ll learn how to help others deal with Satan’s tricks, because Satan doesn’t have any new ones up his sleeve.

Jesus made a statement in the next verse

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:

Luke 22:32

In Satan’s sifting agenda, the attack of that sifting agenda is your faith and the reason for which Satan wants to attack your faith is to bring your faith to a point where it fails.

Think of it like brake failure or heart failure. If you understand these concepts, you’ll grasp what Jesus meant when he said, “Faith can fail.”

When you are sifted, that ground of your understanding has been snapped and if you go forth, you’ll be going forth like Samson as at other times; unaware that the power of that understanding, which is supposed to be an impartation of the Spirit of God enabling you to believe and act on your beliefs, has been compromised.

I hope you are aware that break failure will take place and you will not know, you’ll still be driving the car. It is when there is a risk(emergency) and you want the break to come to the rescue that you will discover that the break you are calling is not in view. –It’s always at a time where there is a risk factor that you will discover that there’s break failure.

Likewise, someone that has a cardiac situation will not know until there’s a circumstance of risk and the heart is supposed to behave in a certain way. Suddenly it is discovered that the heart doesn’t have the capacity to behave that way. This inability for the heart to behave in the expected way we endanger the person’s hold on life.

So when we are talking about faith failure dont trivalise it.

Some time ago, someone who had previously been untrustworthy wanted to undertake something, and everyone else was in favor of it. However, I remained unconvinced and expressed my doubts. The person then urged me to simply accept it by faith. In response, I opened the scripture and showed them that even faith can fail.

Jesus did not pray for Satan not to have Peter, Jesus did not pray for Satan not to sift Peter, Jesus only prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail.

Why? Because it was Peter who created the opening for Satan to operate. Like anyone else, you are the one who sets the stage for the devil’s activities in your life.

From the previous example I gave, if that believer yield to satan’s product and chooses not to pray and fast about it, because it is orchestrated from the realm of the spirit it will subdue his strong will.

It’s a spiritual matter, not driven by emotions. While it may affect your emotions, the core of what’s happening isn’t emotional—it’s spiritual. If you attempt to confront it with sheer willpower, you have made a mistake that you will regret.

In fact Satan wants you to try to resist him from your willpower, because then he will teach you that spiritual things are superior to the things of the soul.

Remember if satan has you it is because you created a ground of the flesh for him to act. And if satan eventually sifts you like wheat, it is because he already has you.

But Jesus said, “I prayed for you that your faith fail not.” This means in the process of being sifted, there will be a critical moment of risk. Just as brake failure is detected during a risky situation with a vehicle, your faith will be like the brakes that the risky moment reveals, and if it fails, it will lead to disaster.

The reason many of us are still believers today, despite once being in Satan’s grip, is because of something God planted in our hearts long ago—an understanding inspired by God. It formed the foundation of our faith, and our response to that understanding is why we are still here today.

So if God wants to ensure that you escape the enemy’s trap, it hinges on your faith. The devil’s immediate target in your faith journey is the understanding that reinforces your faith life.

Jesus said I prayed for you that your faith failed not and when thou art converted strengthen your brethren.

As mentioned earlier, Satan has no new tricks. Every time you overcome one of Satan’s tricks, it gives birth to an inspiration that leads to understanding. This understanding is what Jesus referred to when He instructed Peter to strengthen his brethren.

If Satan has tried to sift you before and failed, he has lost a significant opportunity. You now have the potential to teach others about that tactic, because Satan relies on the same ancient techniques. Jesus told Peter that once he turned back (converted), his experience would enable him to strengthen others.

Peter eventually became the apostle whose shadow carried healing power, healing the sick. This was because someone had prayed for him. I pray that your faith does not fail.

Note: This article was extracted from Apostle Arome Osayi’s teaching on faith with minor edits, but the examples are entirely his.

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