In this article I want to challenge you to get the power of faith working so that you can overcome unbelief. One of the most encouraging scriptures is given to us by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
This verse is truly amazing. It is not given to us just so we can give mental assent to the abilities of our great God. It is given so that we can actually believe that God will over answer our prayers, that he allow us by his to accomplish more and see greater things than we can even think or imagine.
However, we must be realistic enough to know that there is a qualifier- a condition that must be happening. There is something that has to be happening in us for this to actually happen. It is not just a carte blanche promise. It is not a signed check that you can just take to the bank. It is according to the power that works in us. If “the power” isn’t working in us-the “promise” isn’t going to materialize.
If the electricity isn’t on, you can have the coolest wide screen tv ever hanging on the wall complete with surround sound, but if the power isn’t on in the house, you are not watching football. The power working is necessary. I want to challenge you to go after that power. I am doing a series of articles that show that this power working in us is multifaceted. This is just the first article.
I want you to personally go after God to the degree where the power is working in you as the scripture says. This is not so you or I or anyone can brag or boast about our faith or spirituality or holiness. This whole scripture is about bringing glory to God! The scripture goes on to say in Ephesians 3:21”… to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” So not only is this God’s glory it is about this generation. The supernatural over answering God who does more than we can ask or think is for today, right now!
The extreme power that was present in the early church in that generation should be available for us in this generation. So the question becomes this…What power must be at work in us? What does the scripture say?
First, let’s get working in us the power of faith that overcomes unbelief. There is a power in faith. Just read Hebrews 11 and you will see what faith can do. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Everything we receive from God is by faith. The just will live by faith. Salvation comes by faith. Healing comes by faith. Recovery comes by faith. And faith has an enemy. It is called unbelief.
It was unbelief that kept the children of Israel wandering in the desert for forty years. They came right to the edge of the promised land and their unbelief prevented them from going in. Even after seeing the miracles of the plagues, after crossing the Red Sea on dry ground, eating supernaturally being fed by manna, and receiving the gold and the silver of the Egyptians. They did not allow faith to work in them. Instead, they listened to the evil report of unbelief that was given by the ten spies. And that report caused fear to triumph instead of faith.
The ten spies had went into the land and said, It is impossible. We can’t do it. We are unable. We are grasshoppers. They are giants. The cities are walled. And the fear and the worry and the concern crushed their faith. And God was displeased.
I wonder how many of us have gotten just to the edge of a breakthrough and then we failed by listening to those who spoke unbelief and gave. When we look at the situations of our lives…we have got to approach them with faith. I don’t care how small it is…believing for a parking spot close to the door. (It actually works! Try it) Or even if you are believing for something big such as the salvation of a loved one or divine healing. You have to have faith.
Did you know that even Jesus can’t do much in the presence of unbelief. One of the most astonishing things that happened in the Word was when Jesus went to his hometown. He was among his own people, the very ones who had seen him grow up. Here is what happened. Mark 6:5-6 “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief.”
What is amazing about that scripture is that today in the modern church if we were to lay our hands on a few sick people and they got healed. We would think that we were in total revival. But the Word says that Jesus looked at it and marveled. He could do no mighty work. He was amazed at their unbelief.
I wonder if we would be able somehow to really see beyond the religious based comments, and the spiritual sounding talk and look at the faith level of the church in America and the world what would see? I think many believe for salvation, they have saving faith but most people aren’t believing God for anything. They somehow stop there. And if they are believing for something it has to do with a raise or a new job or a better house. Those are not even the important things of life. God will take care of all that if you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. We need to be believing for the kingdom. I really understand the question found in scripture that says in Luke 18, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
I want you to take a moment and be honest. What did you ask God for this week? What did your prayer life look like? Did you actually pray at all? Do you have a prayer list? Are you petitioning God for your family? Are you praying for those that you know? For salvation? Healing? Deliverance? Let’s get honest this morning. Are you honest enough to say, I struggle with unbelief.
How can I know I struggle with unbelief? If I look at my marriage and I think and I say, It is never going to be better. I have unbelief.
If I look at my finances and say, I will always be in debt. I will never be blessed. I have unbelief.
If I look at my kids and think, they will never get saved. I have unbelief.
If I look at the abuse I have had and the addictions I struggle with and say, I will never change or recover from this. I have unbelief.
I look at my church and though I love it, if I wonder will it ever grow, and think probably not. If you are saying those things, you are struggling with unbelief!
The quickest way to see if you have unbelief in your life is to look at what you are asking for. A sign of unbelief is prayerlessness. A sign that unbelief is taking you over is that you don’t seek God like you used to. If you aren’t praying you aren’t asking or believing. And James 4:2 NIV says “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” And the reason you don’t ask is because down here on the inside you don’t think he will answer. The truth is you have unbelief.
Maybe the devil has told you, you aren’t good enough for God to answer. Maybe the enemy has told you lie after lie such as God doesn’t do miracles any more. Maybe you have seen things go from bad to worse and all you can see from is the natural viewpoint.
I have good news for you. There is a cure for unbelief.
What do I do?
- Admit it.
The first thing you have to do is admit it. I think God honors us when we admit our struggles. Even our doubts. There is a story in Mark 9, Jesus had been up on the mount of Transfiguration, and some of the disciples had tried to cast a demon out of a young boy. The young boy was severely demon possessed.
For years the demon had tormented this boy, trying to throw him in the fire and throwing him to the ground. But Jesus disciples could not cast him out. Imagine that Father, full of hope that Jesus could help him and then his disciples could not. Unbelief rose to the surface of his mind. The longer something persists the less hope you have in the natural sense for change. And so this had been going on a while. Jesus was his last hope.
Jesus comes on the scene arriving from the Mount of Transfiguration. Mark 9:24 “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
This verse teaches us that God understands the struggle we sometimes have. What God is looking for is honesty. This man was honest. I believe, but help my unbelief. I believe at the moment he confessed that a surge of faith went through him because the next thing you know is that this man’s son was being delivered. It’s okay to say, help my unbelief.
You don’t have to live your life in doubt. You don’t have to live your life wondering. There is a cure. Admit it and be willing to pray, help my unbelief!
- Build your faith by hearing the Word of God.
There is a cure for unbelief. It is called the Word of God. If you feel like you don’t have the faith you need then get in the word and get built up. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Your negative doubt filled friends and family can’t give you faith. Many people hang around people who tell them things like:
This situation will never change.
He will never get healed.
This church will never move forward.
You might as well give up.
Put them out of the room. Get around people who will speak faith. Get around people who know God. Get into the Word. Don’t listen to anyone who speaks unbelief. Because instead of building your faith, it will produce unbelief. When it comes to fighting unbelief. You must be ruthless. Only the Word can bring faith.
Listen to messages that speak faith. Read testimonies of faith. Read the Word. Believe God.
And then the author of Romans gives us more insight into how to overcome unbelief by looking at Abraham. Romans 4:19-21 “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
This verse gives me two other steps to overcoming unbelief.
- Do not consider circumstances or people that speak contrary to faith
Abraham did not consider the negative circumstances worthy of looking at. He did not even consider them in his mind. It tells us here that his body was already dead. We know he wasn’t completely dead, but he was 100 years old. Usually, 100 year old men are not too active in engendering children. He didn’t consider that. He didn’t consider the fact that Sarah’s womb was long past the child bearing years. She was 90. A woman’s cycle ceases. The end of childbearing begins. Her womb was all but dead. But look what it says:
he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb
If you want to kill unbelief, don’t consider the negative side of life. That means don’t give weight to it, meditate upon it, put it in the equation, or even think about it.
Don’t listen to what the devil tells you. He has always been a liar. Don’t consider the doctors report as being the final report. Whose report will you believe. Don’t consider the fact that your loved one has issues as being the final thing. God can turn the heart of the king, he can create the means to bring his banished home.
In fact, if you look at most situations through natural eyes. It will kill your faith. It will destroy your hope.
Because there are always reasons why it won’t happen. We live by faith and not by sight! Instead do what Abraham did. He looked at the promise and He began to give weight to that promise.
He reasoned with his mind and considered the faithfulness of God. This is how the author of Hebrews put it. Hebrews 11:11 ESV “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
Instead of considering the negative. Instead of considering the circumstances. Put your mind and heart and consideration on God and His faithfulness.
- Give Glory to God
Abraham began to praise the supernatural God. Listen to what it says:
“but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,”
If you struggle with unbelief, and the enemy attacks you with all kinds of doubt and reasons why it isn’t going to happen. There is a cure! On a daily basis, every time a negative thought enters your mind, just start praising God…because it is possible. Praise him for all he has done in the past, the miracles of the Bible. Praise him for opening the eyes of the blind. Praise him for parting the Red Sea.
Start recounting in your mind all God has done for you. Thank him for the cross. Thank him for his love. Spend your time giving glory to God. Praise him for everything he has ever done for you. The same thing that happened to Abraham will happen to you. You will become strengthened in your faith. In every moment, use your mind to reason your way into believing. Praise him. It works. We overcome the enemy by the word of our testimony. Let our testimony shout from the roof tops how good our God is.
I can assure that if you do these four steps.
- Admit it. Lord I believe help my unbelief
- Build your faith by hearing the word of God
- Do not consider circumstances that speak contrary to faith
- Give Glory to God
Then you will become just like Abraham. This is what happened.
and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
Are you convinced that what He promised He can perform?
Are you convinced that God has heard your prayer?
It’s time for unbelief to die. Get the power working in you. After all it is “according to the power that works in us.” Remember who your God is. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think.