THE UNHOLY MIXTURE OF FAITH AND UNBELIEF
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24 NKJV)
You don’t need a faith as big as the size of your problem to handle and overcome your problem in life. All that you need is a small but pure faith, a faith without unbelief.
According to the Lord Jesus, a very small amount of faith as a mustard seed (the smallest of all seeds) is sufficient to remove a mountain if no unbelief is present to hinder or negate it.
The Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20 NKJV).
If you only have a tiny amount of faith without any unbelief, nothing will be impossible for you!
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6 NKJV).
The efficacy of your faith is not determined by its size but by its purity. A small but pure faith is more powerful than a big faith with a little unbelief.
Unbelief always negates, neutralizes, or counterbalances faith. This is why some believers today appear not to have any faith.
Every believer in Christ has received from God the measure of faith!
The Scripture testifies that “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:3 KJV).
No one can be saved without first receiving the measure of God’s faith which comes by the hearing of God’s Word, the gospel of Christ.
Paul writes, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17 RSV).
We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). This faith is not our faith because as sinners we are completely spiritually bankrupt. It is “the faith of the Son of God.” (Gal. 2:20 KJV).
According to God’s Word, if you are a born-again believer, you already have in your recreated spirit the faith which is sufficient to live a victorious, triumphant, prosperous and fulfilled life in this world.
If you don’t allow unbelief to pollute, negate or neutralize this faith, Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20 NKJV).
Many believers today are living a life of defeat not because they don’t have faith but because they have allowed unbelief to overwhelm and submerge their faith by focusing and meditating on the negative things they hear, see, touch or feel rather than on God’s words or promises.
It takes a little yeast or leaven to raise the whole dough. Similarly, it takes a little unbelief to pollute, defile, negate or neutralize your faith.
Apparently, it took a great faith for Peter to walk on the water towards the Lord Jesus. However, all that it took to deplete, negate or neutralize his great faith was a little unbelief or doubt.
As soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and set it on the boisterous wind, fear and doubt came in and depleted his great faith and thus he began to sink (Matt. 14:28-30). No wonder Jesus queried him, “why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).
Many believers today, like Peter, are sinking in sinful habits, defeat, failure, or poverty not because they don’t have faith but because they have taken their eyes off Jesus, thereby allowing fear, doubt or unbelief to come into their hearts to defile, deplete, negate or neutralize their faith.
While it is good to seek to build up a huge faith in your mind by hearing and meditating constantly in God’s Word, if you don’t guard your mind against unbelief; a little unbelief will defile, deplete, neutralize or negate the huge faith you are trying to build, thereby making your faith ineffective or unproductive.
The Scripture clearly reveals that it is quite possible to have both faith and unbelief at the same time. The unholy mixture of faith and unbelief is the primary cause of the defeat, failure and frustration that many believers are experiencing in the world today. It is only the pure or undefiled faith that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
While the Lord Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration with His three closest disciples (Peter, James, and John), His other disciples struggled in vain to heal a boy suffering from epilepsy by casting out of him the demon responsible for this affliction. But, Jesus came right in time to save the situation.
When Jesus was alone, His bewildered disciples came to Him, asking, “Why could we not cast it out?”
The Lord responded, saying, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20 NKJV).
The Lord’s response to His disciples’ sincere question about the cause of their defeat, failure, or frustration in casting out the demon and healing the boy suffering from epilepsy brought to them revealed that they had both faith and unbelief at the same time.
The disciples had cast out many demons and healed many sick people before that time. This shows that they had faith in the name of Jesus Christ to cast out demons and heal the sick (Matt. 10:1).
However, in the case of the boy suffering from epilepsy the disciples could not cast out the demon and heal the boy because they had allowed the boy’s father to sow seeds of unbelief in their minds as they listened to his story of past experiences of defeat, failure and helplessness.
The boy’s father had both faith and unbelief. This is revealed in his plea to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NKJV).
Apparently, the man’s unbelief was what contaminated, defiled, neutralized or hindered the faith of the disciples of Christ from casting out the demon and healing his boy.
Perhaps, the disciples also fixed their eyes on the strange manifestation of the demonic spirit in the boy, thereby allowing fear, doubt and unbelief to come into their minds to pollute, negate, neutralize or counterbalance their faith (Luke 9:42).
Therefore, you must always guard your mind lest anyone sows the seeds of doubt or unbelief in your mind by his words, stories or experiences of defeat in life and thus defile, neutralize or negate your faith in God’s Word.
Don’t focus on the negative things you see around you, but rather set your mind on God’s words or promises!
Martha is also a typical example of someone who had a mixture of faith and unbelief. When Jesus eventually showed up at Bethany, Martha accosted Him, speaking words of great faith.
The Scripture records, “Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” (John 11:21-22 NKJV).
However, when Jesus responded with words of assurance, saying, “Your brother will rise again,” Martha’s hidden unbelief came to light (John 11:24-28).
Jesus had to rebuke Martha sharply for her unbelief when she wanted to stop the men the Lord Jesus had commanded to take away the stone laid against Lazarus’ tomb.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NKJV).
The little doubt or unbelief in Martha’s heart, like a little leaven, permeated her whole being, submerged her faith, corrupted and hardened her mind against the Lord’s words.
Beloved, beware of a little doubt or unbelief in your mind, for it may eventually overwhelm and submerge your faith, and corrupt or harden your mind against God’s Word.
Therefore, purge out of your mind today the evil leaven of doubt and unbelief before it permeates your whole being and negates or neutralizes your faith (1 Cor. 5:7).
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, search and expose every hidden fear, doubt, unbelief, or reservation against God’s words in my mind. Help me today to uproot and cast out all the tares of unbelief that are competing with and choking the seed of faith in my mind, in Jesus’ name. Amen.