Is Unbelief In Control?

I’ve told you before, but I came to the Lord October 27, 1979 at approximately 2:40(am) in my parents basement, but the reason I am bringing it up again, is because over the years of coming to know my Lord, I have learned the magnitude of the sin of unbelief. Ooh, you never thought that was a sin, huh? Well, it is. Take a look:

All who have raged against him will be brought before him, disgraced by their [wait for it] their unbelief (Isaiah 45:24)

Ouch! Oh, it doesn’t stop there. Take another look

Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up (Mark 16:14)

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience (Ephesians 2:1)

Oh man! That is pretty graphic . . .

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 (Hebrews 3:12)

Wow! Now, I have read those verses and many others along the same line, many, many times. As a matter of fact, I have now (finally) learned to repent of my tendency to disbelieve my Lord’s Word, Abilities, and willingness to work on my behalf.

Yep, I’m guilty as charged. The word “unbelief,” in the verses above mean “not worthy of confidence, untrustworthy.” This definition implies — or outright states — that when we do not believe Him (or His Word), we are saying that Christ isn’t worthy of our confidence, that He is . . . (dare I say it?) . . . untrustworthy. Oh my! Frankly, that is something I don’t want to say to Him!

It hurts, doesn’t it? What we are admitting (whether we realized it or not) is our willingness to have the temperature of our faith rise and fall depending on our surrounding dynamics — whether the music is at the right tempo; whether or not we have an audience; whether we sang the right song or used the right scripture; whether or not the circumstances of our life are right — everything except the steadfastness of God’s Word!

I believe the primary cause of all spiritual failure is our lack of faith in Yahweh, Himself. Some of us are more familiar with the power of the devil than the power of our Loving Father! In many of our churches we learn more about the power and work of the devil than the wonder-working power of the Living God! Many believers don’t understand that the surrounding dynamics, like the length and depth of defeat; the environment surrounding them; whether the preacher said the right words, have absolutely no bearing on Christ’s ability to perform a miracle! Did you hear that? No bearing! Go ahead, say it with me: “My Lord is in NO WAY limited by my circumstances or situation!

Take a quick look at the 9th chapter of Mark. A man brings his son who had been tormented by demons, and Jesus asked him how long it had been going on? The father told him that it had been going on for many years — “since childhood” (Mark 9:21). Oh dear God! But Jesus didn’t ask him that because it made a difference in the boys condition — or his deliverance — I believe He asked the question so He could frame a miracle against the backdrop of hopelessness! But wait. After the father described the hopelessness of the boy’s condition, he also said something that probably shocks us a little: “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22).

Well, Jesus looked at him and said, “”If you can’?.” “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Oh, a lot of Bible teacher chastise that father, but I like it. First it is pure honesty, but then, the really cool part of the father’s exclamation was his realization that, although he lacked faith, he wanted to believe! That’s what I like! Then he did exactly what he should have done: he asked for help to overcome his unbelief!

I can’t tell you how many times I had done that. When I was new to the faith and following Jesus, I thought faith was my willingness to make a believing statement, or a “confession of faith,” rather than face the questions in my heart. If only I realized how Romans 10:10 reverses that order: “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess . . .” It has to be in your heart before you confess with your mouth. Far too many ignore that. They believe all they have to do is “confess with their mouth,” and ignore the “believing in the heart,” part! Otherwise you are confessing the unbelief that is in your heart).

If you don’t have bold faith, then, by golly, start asking boldly for the faith you lack. The Lord wants to hold your face close to His and say, “Yes, it’s true that without faith it is impossible to please Me. But I am so anxious to reward you, I’m even willing to supply the faith you lack! I invite you to fearlessly and confidently — even boldly — to draw near to the throne of grace, so you may receive grace and mercy for your failures and find the appropriate help — coming just when we need it. (Hebrews 4:16). “Go ahead and ask Me for what you lack! I am the only One who can help you overcome your unbelief!”

Lord Jesus, I love You, even though I have never seen You. And though not seeing you now, I choose to believe in You, rejoicing with inexpressible and glorious joy because I know I am receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul (I Peter 1:8-10)

Motivated by faith, Moses left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27).

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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