Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
“The curse, of this age especially, is unbelief; frittering the real meaning of God’s word away, and making it all figure and fiction.”
Unbelief is one of the greatest challenges in living for God. When considering all of life’s turmoil, heartache, pain and regret; it is easy to figure out why. Is it any wonder why our world is as chaotic as it currently is? Our adversary, the Bible says, walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He has been researching humanity for centuries, seeking the perfect avenue to devour. I am of the opinion that Satan’s method of choice isn’t parties, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity or any other sin; his method is unbelief! Years of faithfulness and perseverance can be erased in a few moments of unbelief! Unbelief is a prison, that can not easily be escaped, it will challenge your faith, it will challenge your knowledge of the word and it will torment you until it destroys you. Unbelief will literally cause the greatest prayer warriors, greatest worshipers and greatest preachers to become silent!
Zacharias was a priest serving in the temple and his wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron. Talk about pedigree! Zacharias was at the temple performing his duties, when suddenly an angel of the Lord interrupts him with a word from God! I love it whenever God interrupts our ordinary, average, mundane lives and offers us something incredible! So the angel begins to speak a prophetic word into Zacharias’ life, “you’re going to have a son, and he will be the prophesied forerunner to the messiah”! Zacharias’ response?
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not m words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Zacharias was saying, God look at how old we are! Don’t you realize how long we’ve tried to have children. It’s not possible, not with us anyway! And Gabriel became a little frustrated; Zacharia, I am speaking to you the purpose of God! It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what God can do through you. And because of your unbelief you will be dumb and unable to speak.
I’m convinced we have too many silent priests, silent pastors, silent Sunday school teachers and silent worshipers because of unbelief! The answer to the chaos of our world is simply a renewed faith in the word of God! I don’t care if it makes sense; If God said it, let it be! I don’t care how many times you’ve failed; If God said it, let it be! I don’t care if your ill-qualified; if God said it, let it be! It’s not time for the church of the living God to become consumed with the reasons why it can’t happen, but it’s time to stand on the promises of God, and proclaim to the world, if God said it, let it be!
John MacArthur once said,
Demanding sensational proof is not evidence of faith, but doubt. To long for the visible sign, the big miracle or the dramatic proof is nothing but masked unbelief. It is the farthest thing from faith.
I know, we’re human, Gideon revealed the personality of man when he “fleeced” God. It’s in our nature to demand a sign, or some symbol of confirmation. But if God has to use flash cards to get you to follow his word, is that really faith? This brings us back to our opening text. This father was in distress. Could you imagine watching your child being tormented by an evil spirit? As the story unfolds, we realize that this man obviously knew who the “church” was. He found 9 of the 12 disciples and pleads with them to help him. They try with what limited revelation they had to cast out this devil, but they were unsuccessful.
How many times have we brought our needs to “church” only to find they didn’t possess what I needed. Can I encourage some reader somewhere, the answer is not in a religious structure, it’s in Jesus! If the denomination you are a part of relegates Jesus as third wheel, or some part of a triune Godhead, then chances are you will find what this father found. A watered down version of the truth! I’m not saying these men weren’t sincere, I’m not saying they didn’t love God, they just didn’t see Jesus like Peter, John and James did! Don’t measure a church by how big their buildings or programs are, measure a church by how they see Jesus!
Jesus comes to them, and rebukes the 9 disciples who were there and calls them a faithless generation. Obviously the spirit of unbelief had latched onto these 9 disciples. Jesus asks the boy’s father, how long has he been like his? The father drops his head as responds, since he was a child. This reveals a greater depth of the situation, this boy is the way he is because of the way he was raised! And this is the greatest cause of unbelief, life’s unfortunate circumstances can arrest your faith and lock you in a prison of unbelief. How can I ever have anything better? How can I ever be more than this? This is ho I was raised! My entire family is this way! God can’t change my mess, God can’t deliver me from all of this! And because of unbelief we have bound the hands of Jesus from working in our lives!
But this desperate father realized the prison that had him bound, and cried with a loud voice; “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”! It is unfortunate that life plays out the way it does, I would love to tell you that once you find Jesus he removes all of your baggage and life is completely different. Eventually, yes it can be; but unfortunately your past will continue to follow you and threaten your faith. And when the word of God, or the voice of God comes to you, you will immediately begin to relive those painful memories of your past. And the sad reality is many precious people, overflowing with potential sit silent in an isolated prison of unbelief.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…
Hebrews tells us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, people who have been there and done that! Examples of men and woman who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and achieved great things through God! It’s time to lay aside every weight and sin which drags us down and hinders our performance, so we can do what god has called us to do! The only way to escape the prison of unbelief is to release the weight of your past, the weight of your hurts and the weight of your disappointments and mistakes you’ve made. How do we accomplish this? Looking unto Jesus, who is the author of my faith, but this next part is incredible, he’s also the finisher!
The greatest counter to the spirit of unbelief is the recognition that God is writing the story of my life! And he not only created me, but he still holds the pen, and as long as the pen is in the authors hand, it’s not over yet! Zacharias understand, the author still has the pen in his hand! If you are struggling with unbelief, and are being tormented by your past, understand Jesus still holds the pen of your life, and if you will look to him, and release your weights; he will write a brand new chapter in the book of your life!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
BE encouraged today, the author is not finished writing! How will your story end? The only one who can influence the direction of the author is you! Don’t settle for a shortchanged version, submit to his word, and pray this prayer…
“Lord, I Believe, Help My Unbelief!”