Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sin of Unbelief

There is an exciting story in Mark 9:17 of a boy that was bound by a deaf and dumb spirit. This kid would be thrown to the ground, foam at the mouth, and grind his teeth. It sounds like an acute case of an extreme temper tantrum. It goes on to say that often times he would fall into the fire or into the water in a self destructive way. You ever feel like the hot fiery trials of life are more than you can handle? Or like you are drowning in the overwhelming waters of your problems? Jesus called this spirit a foul one. That which is foul stinks and is disgusting. Mark in chapter 17:15 called it a lunatic spirit. In other words the kid was acting crazy. Actually he was crazy.

The real issue at hand, however, was that the the boy's father lacked the parenting power necessary to confront the problem and bring positive change nor could the disciples offer any real ministry. That is probably why so many churches turn into social clubs or places of entertainment. They end up referring families in crisis to the pharmacists, psychiatrists and psychologists who have produced no results. Ministers today have become powerless over the challenges of life's problems.

Jesus then took authority over the crisis as every believer ought to do and said,
"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Mark 9:23
He laid down a truth before he acted on it. You must tear down the stronghold in your heart that says that your situation is hopeless and impossible and replace it with the strong tower that says, ALL things are possible to him that believes;
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Immediately, the boy's father said something that you must listen to carefully for it is the key to activating powerful and effective faith.
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Wow! there it is the secret to your success. Admit and confess your sin. It is unbelief. This man got a rhema. He got a revelation. It was an "aha" moment. He cried out and with tears and repented!

You will never activate true faith until you have had a heart change with remorse and desperation. You must admit that you are the problem. You must take responsibility for your own problems. Quit blaming the economy or your boss. It's not because of any other reason than your doubt and sin of unbelief.

According to Matthew, Jesus rebuked the disciples. He called them faithless and perverse and basically expressed that he was sick and tired of putting up with their stubborn and continuously negative attitudes. It appears to me that he rebuked them publicly. It was the law of attraction in play. These negative disciples drew out a negative response from Jesus. Frustration sown, frustration reaped.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
What do you think most people would do if we held them responsible for the negative outcomes in their marriages, children, jobs, health and problems? What if we told them that the problem is that they are perverting the gospel by their actions or lack of it and that they were really not people of faith but faithless? How would you feel or respond if it were you? I know people who left the call of God or the faith because they exasperated others and got rebuked for their anemic faith and fruitlessness.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
You may be a believer or an elder in your church. Maybe you are a young leader or a deacon. Whoever you are, I want to challenge you to take responsibility for the lack of growth, abundance and miracles in your church, home and work. Are lives being changed? Are sinners running to your church? Are believers getting committed? Are people being healed and delivered? Can your community rely on you for answers? If not then you are pitiful and disgusting.

You should get together with other believers and fall on your face with tears and cry out, "Lord forgive me for my sin of unbelief." Tell him that your life, actions and words have been a perversion. Others look at you and think that is what the gospel is supposed to look like: Powerless and ineffective. You are perverting the truth with how you live your life and the things you complain about.

After Jesus laid down the key principle of believing, the father of the demon possessed boy repented and the disciples got rebuked, he spoke to the problem with authority and confidence and the boy was delivered. Then it seems like the deaf and dumb spirit jumped onto the disciples because they still could not figure out why they were so impotent. And of course he told them it was because of their sin of unbelief.
Mat 17:18-20 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
I challenge you to go before the Lord in prayer with a repentant heart and memorize scriptures of promise. Change your attitude and outlook on life. See God as a big God who can do all things. This will cause you to have a heart change. Do it every day for as long as it takes until you have changed. Then you too will rise up with faith and authority and you will convince demons and mountains to get out of the way of your dreams coming to pass.