26 Nov Experiencing the Master of the Breakthrough: Faith vs Unbelief
Unbelief is a function of the thoughts we permit in our minds. These thoughts hinder our acceptance, hence believing and receiving God’s truth into our hearts. This can be seen in the account of Jesus not being able to do mighty works because of their unbelief.
“And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who listened to Him were utterly astonished, saying, ‘Where did this Man acquire all this? What is the wisdom [the broad and full intelligence which has been] given to Him? What mighty works and exhibitions of power are wrought by His hands!’
Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offence at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall.
But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honour (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.
And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.
And He marvelled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching.”
Their unbelief was a function of the kind of contrary thoughts they had permitted in their minds. What we believe and the thoughts we allow determine what is inside each one of us. Sometimes we allow beliefs that are contrary to God’s word and we still do not get results. Faith needs to have corresponding actions for the results to be seen. Many believe they do not have faith simply because they do not see results. They do not ask themselves whether they have applied themselves to corresponding actions that faith demands. So it is possible to have faith and not get results if we do not act out our faith. Faith must be based on God’s word, believed in the heart, spoken in expectation and acted upon. So we have Believe, Actions, Speaking, then Expectations! (BASE).
“Believe with the heart” implies that we believe by choice and put our whole being behind it. It implies being established in the belief!
“Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.
[No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith].
For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.”
CORRESPONDING ACTIONS ARE VITAL FOR FAITH TO BE PRODUCTIVE
“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith.
You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]!
Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?”
Sometimes even the act of praising God is an action that shows we believe and expect God to release His power on our behalf. We see this in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises. Jehoshaphat also put the praise singers ahead of his army when they had committed the situation to the Lord and had received from Him that the battle is the Lord’s. See 2 Chronicles 20.
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”