Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Doubt and Unbelief

 Scripture: Hebrews 4 v 2; 6:  "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached did not enter in because of unbelief."

The first time unbelief appeared on Earth was in the Garden of Eden when Eve chose to believe Satan, the Serpent, when he suggested to her that she could doubt God's Word and live.  However, he did not give her the fine print of how she would have to live! Outside of God's protection and abundance. Working for a living. Subject to sin, illness, death and him!

Unbelief in God's Word caused her to eat of the forbidden fruit which set in motion all the evil of the world to this day.  Unbelief causes us to question God's wisdom and also doubt the power and might of Jesus Christ.  If Eve had only resisted those lies we would have had Heaven on Earth from day 1.

When Peter walked on water towards Jesus in the midst of roaring waves and stormy sea, he kept his eyes on Jesus and walked confidently.  However, when he looked at the waves around him his confidence was replaced by fear and doubt and he sank below the surface. Jesus chided him with, "Why did you doubt?"  

It is only by our faith that God can perform miracles in our midst.  When we consider the practical improbabilities of miracles, our faith wavers and collapses into an ocean of unbelief.  In the spiritual realm believing is seeing while in the world, seeing is believing.  

Matthew 13 v 54 - 58:  " And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55  Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."

When Jesus visited Nazareth, His home town, they had no spiritual discernment of His power and mission.  They counted Him as just one of the neighbourhood children playing games with them.  He could do very few healings or miracles because of their unbelief.

In the world today there are many who do not believe in miracles, or healing, or that demons exist in a meaningful way to destroy our lives.  Just reading recent reports of evangelist TB Joshua who died suddenly this weekend, shows how the world views those who claim that Jesus heals today.  It was not encouraging.

I have personally witnessed miracles, healing and amazing instances of divine protection.  One stands out.  We had driven 600 miles to minister at a church in Bloemfontein.  We went straight into ministry on arrival at this African church in a location set apart for Africans.  There were about 1000 people present.  After long time of preaching through an interpreter, they asked for an altar call for individual prayer.

We were already rather tired by then and rather dismayed when all 1000 wanted prayer.  So my sons started at one end and I at the other, and then the pastor came in bringing his 6 year old daughter for healing.  She had an inoperable tumour on her spine.  I felt it through her dress, the size of an orange.  Jesus says when we are at our weakest He is at His strongest.

He needed to be as I was running on empty, it was dark, we still had another 400 miles to travel home.  I prayed as led by Him and then we were on our way.  The next morning Pastor Isaac phoned me, crying and shouting, its gone, the tumour has gone!  As if it was never there.  He was so filled with faith and belief that he went to the Oncology Ward and prayed for healing for everyone in there and they were all completely healed.  The glory belongs to Jesus, it always does.  What a mighty God we serve!

Our leaning towards faith or doubt determines our likelihood of seeing miracles.  If we believe what God says is true, it will happen.  By His stripes we are healed.....don't look at the complications and set backs, look to the Healer, Jesus, who is here with us and able to use men, women and children to heal the sick and deliver from demons.  If we believe.

When we start to doubt then we start to backslide away from our commitment to Jesus. Just as Adam and Eve covered themselves with the figleaves of self-justification, so do backsliders try to justify their sinful actions usually by blaming God for some bitter disappointment. Words like, "If God was real this would not have happened!" This is the core statement of the spirit of unbelief.

When Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments the spirit of unbelief in his brother Aaron was at work down below making another god, a golden calf, to distract the Israelites from the One True God.  He may have thought Moses had died up there and needed to have another way of leading these Hebrews through the Wilderness.

This is the same brother who had witnessed  the mighty miracles God did upon Pharoah and the Egyptians, which finally set the Israelites free. He walked between the walls of water of the Red Sea by faith that it would not close over them, but unbelief rose up at the foot of the mountain and he fell for Satan's lies.

Throughout the Old Testament God had to deal with the Jew's unbelief and disobedience, usually by allowing them to be captured until they were willing to follow the Lord again. The same thing happens to Christians spiritually when unbelief sets in  and we become enslaved to another god.

It may be alcohol, drugs or tobacco; occult teachings; false doctrines; worship of angels; worldliness; extramarital affairs; fraud or family feuds.  The list of foreign gods is a long one.  Slavery to any one of them results in obsessions, sorrow of heart and confusion of mind and emotions.  It's not unusual for criminal acts to follow this fall from grace further destroying the personality.

Whenever we compromise our Christianity by allowing the world's ways to influence us we open the door for the spirit of unbelief to do its deadly work. Whenever we justify our sinful actions we endanger our access to the Tree of Life and can be sent out of the place of redemption back into the world to try to overcome our bad nature without the help of Jesus.

It is a place of discipline and hardship which God never intended for His children. Its a place where we come under the condemnation of the law like the foolish Galatians.

All those churches who have abandoned a Spirit-filled walk with Jesus Christ for the futility of living under the Jewish Law are bound by the spirit of unbelief. All those churches who have traded true revival for the Toronto "blessing" are bound by the spirit of unbelief. Those who preach Kingdom Now and Dominion Theology, and that the Rapture is a myth, are bound by unbelief.

All those entertainment centres trying to amalgamate the world and the church are in captivity to unbelief. They have turned God's House into a House of Merchandise and the same anger that drove Jesus to overturn the tables of the moneylenders is directed back at them. . Some churches even have their own ATM's inside the building to assist people to draw money for them.

Satan has sent hordes of spirits of unbelief to destabilise Christianity. Jesus knew he would and even asked "When I return will I find faith on Earth?" If you have realised that you need to be free of unbelief say the following prayer -

Heavenly Father, Today I know myself and see how Satan has deceived me with unbelief. Forgive all my backsliding through doubt. Forgive me for not guarding my soul and for leading others to believe the same errors. Father cleanse me with the Blood of Jesus and restore me to true and full belief in the Word of God. I will bring the truth to those I have misled. Let my confidence and faith be fully restored.  In Jesus' name. Amen.