Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Because of Unbelief

Of all the things that could stop a move of God in your life, unbelief must be at the top of the list. If faith is a form of belief, trust, confidence, or reliance upon someone or something, then UN-belief is a lack of trust, a lack of confidence, and in short, describes one who is skeptical.

Jesus encountered this firsthand:

"When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, 'Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judah? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?' So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.' Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief." Matthew 13:54-58 (KJV)

There are three things that feed unbelief: familiarity, offense, and lack of honor. The people asked, "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary...?" They knew Jesus as a man and therefore were unable to receive from Him according to the Spirit. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he said,

"For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

He commended them for looking past the natural and receiving God's Word from their lips as if God Himself had stood in their midst and spoke it. And notice he said this kind of receptivity causes the Word to "effectively work in you who believe."

People can become too familiar with their pastors and leaders. They hold offenses in their heart over things as simple as the color of carpeting. Or they have lightly esteemed (given no honor) to the office of pastor—many just referring to him by his first name. For example, when I ask "John Doe" a question, I will receive an answer from the man. But when I ask "Pastor John Doe" a question, I will receive an answer from the mantle placed on the man by God.

My husband is a Senior Pastor. I know him in the flesh, but when it comes to things of ministry I refer to him as Pastor because I want the power of God operating in my life. I don't want to be hindered by familiarity, offense, lack of honor, or unbelief. Paul said,

"... from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer." 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NKJV)

Fortunately, there are two solutions to this form of unbelief. The first is teaching.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Ignorance is always the devil's playground. God says His people perish for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6); and Paul said,

"lest Satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)

Children of God perish because the devil takes advantage of their lack of knowledge, and the result can be unbelief.

Prayer and fasting is another solution. In Matthew 17, the disciples were unable to cast a demon out of a young man, so Jesus rebuked the demon and the child was cured. When asked why they could not cast it out, Jesus said,

"Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.'" Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV)

The disciples sincerely asked Jesus why they were unable to deliver this young boy. Jesus replied, "Because of your unbelief..." And then Jesus said something remarkable: "However this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." Many have misunderstood Jesus to have meant this kind of demon, but that's not the case. Jesus gave us "...authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy..." Luke 10:19 (NKJV) He was referring to "this kind [of unbelief]." Besides teaching, sometimes all that’s needed to increase our faith is to simply seek God's face.

So be careful of familiarity, offense, and dishonor, all of which feed unbelief.

Copyright © 2012 Daphne Delay. Used by permission.

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