So far we have learned what unbelief is and why it is a problem, so today I will endeavour to show you how we can all overcome it. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have overcome it, but I am currently overcoming it. This is a journey, not a quick fix. This is a lifestyle change, not 5 easy steps. Let’s start by taking a look at Jesus’ suggestion to overcoming unbelief.
Afterwards, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer (and fasting). Mark 9:28-29). Now let me make this clear. I don’t believe that Jesus was saying that the fasting and praying will remove this demon. I think that He was saying that we need to pray and fast more to remove stronger demons. Why do I say this? Look at how Jesus gets rid of it. When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,”he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” Mark 9:25. Jesus didn’t fast or pray for the demon to go, He just told it to. Now either Jesus is doing a ‘do what I say, not what I do’, or there is more to it. You see Jesus had already prayed, He had already fasted. I believe that this is what helped Jesus overcome unbelief. This is one of the keys to overcoming unbelief. Prayer and fasting. Because Jesus had already overcome it, so He was able to remove the demon. The disciples needed to pray and fast more, in order to remove their unbelief, so they could also remove the demon. Does this make sense? Jesus even told the dad of the boy, that anything is possible if you believe, why would He say that if the only way to get rid of that demon was through prayer and fasting? It doesn’t make sense.
So other than praying and fasting, what else can we do? Read the Bible. Faith comes through hearing, hearing the Word of God. Learn, meditate on scripture, renew your mind. We need to know the scripture so well, we need to believe so much, that these thoughts of unbelief don’t stand a chance. We need to know what the Bible says so well, that when the thought of ‘are you sure’ comes into our mind, our answer is ‘100% Yes’! I have even decided not to watch the news anymore, and I don’t read newspapers either. Why? I prefer to read the Bible and take my truth from that. The Bible says that God will provide, the papers say that you have to provide for yourself and that we face more recessions. What are you going to believe? This is just a simple example, but very often, the news we see opposes the Word of God. This can all add unbelief.
There is one other cause of unbelief which I want to draw your attention to, but we need to be careful with this, as this can be taken too far. Jesus healed/delivered all who came to Him. He didn’t go looking for those who didn’t come. I think that there is wisdom in this. We don’t really know what happened when Jesus couldn’t do miracles because of the unbelief of the people (Mark 6:4-6), but I’m going to assume that Jesus didn’t try and fail. I assume that He picked out those who believed, who were not preventing Jesus’ miracles. I doubt very much that Jesus would have been trying to perform a miracle and failing. I’m sure he would have known that it wouldn’t work. We need to be aware of that. Now I am not saying that we pick and choose who we heal, I am saying that we be aware of who we minister to. I don’t go chasing people, begging them to let me heal them. I minister to those who come and ask. Why? Because if I hear of someone who is sick, and they don’t believe that they will be healed, how can I overcome that unbelief if Jesus Himself couldn’t? If I go and try, and fail, what does that do to my unbelief and the unbelief of the person I am ministering to? That action could in fact add more unbelief to them, and get myself some in the process. Next time I step out in faith, I may be reminded that this didn’t work last time. Will I be able to overcome that, or will it trip me up? That is why I avoid adding to my unbelief by praying for people who do not want to receive. Now we can take this the wrong way, and refuse to minister to anyone, but that would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I am not suggesting this, I am merely suggesting that we have some wisdom when it comes to who we minster to, and how we do it. Please don’t misunderstand me here, I am all for ministry, just minister to those who will receive it. God doesn’t force His will on people against theirs, and neither can we.
Now I don’t want to leave you on a negative, but I want to encourage you to build your faith. Read the Word, fast (see Why I Fast), meditate on the Word, pray, and remove all unbelief. Remove anything from your thinking that opposes the Word of God. Get out there and do what Jesus has instructed us to do. Preach the Word, heal the sick and cast out demons!
Go in strength!