Once the disciples of Jesus failed to cast a demon out of a boy. I wonder what we would have concluded about it. Jesus told his disciples plainly that the reason for their failure to cast the demon out of the epileptic boy was their unbelief, due to their lack of prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:20)
Today many Christians are offended at any teaching which implies that they may have unbelief. But Jesus was constantly rebuking his disciples for their unbelief, and “little faith”.
If you can get free of unbelief, you will be of all Christians, most fruitful, and most pleasing to the Lord.
We ought to resist all simplistic claims that true believers do nothing but believe. The reality is, there are many who are trusting God in certain areas of their life for example, the forgiveness of sins, who still need deliverance from unbelief. Some Christians seem to refuse to believe the Word of God and act as if everything Jesus taught on certain subjects, such as prayer, faith, healing and deliverance was false.
There are many who genuinely have committed their life to Christ, and trust Him for eternal salvation, who are not believing some very important promises of Jesus Christ.
The spirit of unbelief binds the minds of Christians many times, to the point where they can neither see nor recognize what really should be staring them in the face. Declarations that Jesus Christ himself has given are treated with less credibility by many Christians than the assertions of politicians, ungodly journalists and other notorious liars! Such things ought not to be. Its evidence of a lack of the renewal of the mind.
If you doubt this, I will give you a few examples from the teachings of Jesus. He whose heart does not condemn himself, let him go free:
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”. (John 14:12)
“These signs shall follow those who believe: in My name they shall drive out demons, they shall speak with new tongues.”
Are these statement true or false? Consider this from Jesus:
“He who believes in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37).
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
Is it true that we can come to a place in our Christian life that everything we desire we can have? According to Jesus, it is, but we must first abide in Him. But how do we do that? “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love”. (John 15:10)
“God is a rewarder of them that DILIGENTLY seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6). Do you really believe that God will make it worth your while if you sacrificially give time to prayer and seeking the face of God? If you do believe it, you will do it, and you will enjoy God’s favor. If you don’t do it, you prove that there is still unbelief in your heart.
Many Christians believe some things with their minds only, but not with their hearts. This leads to an internal torment. We want to please the Lord and fully believe all the promises, but something in us resists faith. We find we “cannot” believe even though we want to. This can be due to a spirit of unbelief.
Praise God there is deliverance. But it doesn’t come without a struggle in most cases. We have to struggle first with our own lazy flesh – to stir ourselves up to take hold of God. We struggle against the distractions of the world, calling us to go after some new thing or some important obligation. Then lastly, we struggle against the devil himself, or his demons. These spirits of unbelief that get into our mind, and have lived unchallenged for many years, will do all in their power to resist the Word of God and get us to accept the status quo of mediocrity and no results. I remember feeling tormented in my souls as I struggled with my own unbelief in relation to the healing promises of the Word of God. So much teaching I had received was running counter to the plain declarations of Scripture on the subject. And so it is in many things.
It isn’t until we make a decision from the heart to trust God and his Word that we have a chance to fight this battle and win. Even so, that is only the first step to victory. To overcome unbelief we need to get filled with the Spirit of God, who is also the Spirit of Faith. Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, as well as a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is as we allow the Spirit of God to penetrate our lives and thinking that we can be delivered from unbelief.
The resurrection power of our Lord is released through our lives when we believe. But often, true faith in some area of life can only be born through GREAT DEATH EXPERIENCES. Paul knew that the experiential knowledge of Christ’s resurrection power in our lives was somehow mysteriously tied to our identification with the sufferings and death of Christ on the cross.
The old nature is unbelieving to the bitter end. The carnal mind is enmity with God, and cannot submit to God’s ways, as the Scripture points out in Romans 8:7. Those who live according to the old nature cannot please God, because without FAITH it is impossible to please Him, and faith is a fruit of the Spirit, not a work of the flesh.
To live in a spirit of faith, and give no place to unbelief, is therefore closely tied to walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And to do that means to consent to an experiential death to the flesh life on a daily basis.
One of the ways we can really confront our old selfish nature and overcome it is through fasting and prayer. During such times, the Word of God will come alive to us, and it will have great power in our mouths.
Jesus said that some demons only come out through prayer and fasting, and he told the disciples they had a problem with unbelief.
We need to get our eyes on Jesus. Fasting and prayer helps to unite our focus on the Lord. We come face to face with the real issues hindering our progress and we die to self if we are willing.
We should certainly renounce all unbelief verbally and call upon the Lord for deliverance. We should also realise that some prayer answers only come after much persistent faith and PATIENCE.
We can start to speak to the spirit of unbelief in our own life and command it to get out. Deliverance from this particular spirit will set our faith free to experience the wonders and blessings of God.
So don’t give up. Press in. Get all you can from the Holy Spirit. He is available to you, to patiently teach you, to comfort you, to urge you along in the path of wisdom, faith and love.