I have decided to take a look at something which I believe to be the number one cause of the lack of miracles, healing and deliverance in the world today. You have probably all read about it, but you may have just read the word and not really understood what it meant. Today I’m going to take a look at what the Bible says about it. Next time I’ll explain what it is, why it is bad, and then show you how to overcome it. Unbelief. Let’s take a look.
The disciples were casting out demons, and then they come across a boy whom they could not deliver. The father then approached Jesus (Mark 9:17-18). One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” He then asked Jesus if He could do it, and this was Jesus’ response (Mark 9:23-24). “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Then there is a situation after Jesus is raised from the dead, and He appears to the disciples in Mark 16:14. Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.
Now the last piece of scripture which I want to draw to your attention is a rather disturbing one. The reason for that is that there are various theological camps when it comes to things like God’s sovereignty, and this verse can throw a major spanner into some of these theologies. Now if you’re wondering what my stance is on God’s sovereignty, you can see that it my post entitled ‘Sovereignty of God‘ and if you’re wondering what we have authority over (because Jesus has given the authority to us), you can read about that in ‘Our Authority in Christ‘. I’m not going to explain that again here, but the bottom line is that there are certain things that we need to do, and not ask God to do. We have been told to preach the Word, heal the sick (and lepers) and cast out demons. What is the point of asking God to do things which Jesus has given us the authority to do, and told us to do? Yes, we do these things in Jesus’ Name, as that is where the power comes from, but we do them none the less. We can ask God to help us, and pray for guidance, but we need to take action ourselves. We need to have faith for God to work with. This is my stance on healing, but you will be surprised how many people oppose me on this. Now even if you completely disagree, and you ask God to heal you, and you don’t think that you have any authority, you can’t disagree with Mark 6:4-6. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own home town and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Whatever your belief regarding God’s sovereignty, our authority, and what tasks we each need to do, Jesus couldn’t do miracles because of their unbelief. Wow. Now if Jesus couldn’t heal people because of their unbelief, what chance do we have? Seriously, even if you believe that Jesus is the one who chooses who gets healed today, and it has nothing to do with us, He still can’t heal if we have unbelief. Unless of course He has changed since then? I don’t think so.
So we have seen that unbelief prevented the disciples from casting out a demon, we then saw Jesus rebuke them for it, and then we see that Jesus Himself couldn’t do miracles because of it. There is even another case (Hebrews 3:19), where the Israelites fail to enter God’s rest because of unbelief. The question now is, what is unbelief and why is it so bad? Well, join me next time for ‘Unbelief: What it is and Why it is so Dangerous?‘.