Unbelief is a state of heart in which a person not only chooses not to believe God’s Word, but also CANNOT truly believe God’s Word. It is an extremely perilous thing and the Scripture warns us about it.
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
Sometimes you will hear agnostics saying, “I would like to believe, but I just can’t.” This is probably true. They have given themselves over to the spiritual power of unbelief and are now so bound by it that they cannot believe. Indeed God can break these chains of unbelief through prayer and the Word and through God’s powerful works, but it is not a light or easy thing.
Sometimes it is possible by God’s grace to cast out a spirit of unbelief. I have done this on more than one occasion, even out of myself!
The Scripture warns CHRISTIANS, brethren to watch out for unbelief. It is possible for one of the brethren to slip into having an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God.
The antidote for this is prevention more than cure. Prevention can happen if we beware of these things, exhort and encourage one another daily. Sin is deceitful, and can ensnare a believer, and one of the worst deceptions out there is that “sin cannot cause a believer to depart from the Living God”. If you believe that, you are already partially deceived and you are in danger.
Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 17 that the reason they could not cast out a certain demon was because of their unbelief. These disciples had faith for many other lesser healings and deliverances, but they came up short on this occasion. If Jesus had not come in, or the full story wasn’t recorded, we would probably have concluded that the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon because it wasn’t God’s will, or something like that. Nothing could be further from the truth. They couldn’t cast out the demons “because of their unbelief”. Then Jesus went on to add, “This kind [of demon] comes out only by prayer and fasting.”
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21 NKJV). Note that some Bibles, the ones that de-emphasize victory over Satan and his demons, like the NIV, simply leave this verse out.
Prayer and Fasting is a great way to overcome unbelief. It is difficult, it is painful, and it comes out through humbling the flesh. Unbelief is a serious foundational sin, and it comes out only by serious means, like fasting.
The value of getting delivered of more unbelief is that you will be able to minister like Jesus with far greater power.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
You can overcome unbelief also by continuing to hear the Word of God preached.
Another key to deliverance from unbelief is crying out to the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy:
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
That was good enough for Jesus. You can have belief and unbelief at the same time, and if you cry out to Jesus for deliverance from unbelief, He will have mercy.
Even the disciples had unbelief and hardness of heart after the resurrection.
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. (Matthew 28:17)
If you really want to overcome unbelief, you have to be willing to hear the rebukes of the Lord.
The Word of God rebukes sin. Keep giving attention to any and all parts of the Word and it will work against unbelief in your heart.
A lot of unbelief comes because of pride and deception. It takes deliberate humbling of oneself, and immersion in the truth of the Word to reverse these underlying causes of unbelief. It requires a radical, deep surgery and it may not be done in just a few days.
Unbelief is so dangerous. Consider this Scripture:
Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. (Romans 11:20)
We should take on a certain amount of fear of God lest we succumb to the lure of unbelief in a time or disappointment. Bear in mind that God is faithful, and we are not aware of everything that is going on to oppose our faith. Sometimes we need to be PATIENT before we can receive the blessing.
Hebrews 3:19 says “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Remember that unbelief is spiritual poison. It will cost you so much. It could cost you your eternity with God. God will deliver you of this ONLY if you are willing to humble yourself. It might be good to ponder the wonders of nature and consider how amazing the Designer of all this must be. Those who look at Nature and only imagine the blind force of evolution doing this are truly very blinded. It is going to take a lot of the moving of the Holy Spirit to reverse this kind of thinking, but all things are possible to those who believe.