OVERCOMING THE SIN OF UNBELIEF & DOUBT

   OVERCOMING THE SIN OF UNBELIEF & DOUBT

Pastor Paul Abraham

 

The Bible teaches us different categories of sin.  1John5:16-18 says there are sins that lead to death and sins not leading to death nevertheless all unrighteousness is sin.  Rom 6:23 states that the wages of sin is death.

Rev 21:8 explains the gravity of the sin of unbelief: ‘But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” In spite of this we consider the sin of Unbelief very lightly. It is imperative that we understand the seriousness of unaddressed unbelief and its consequences so every believer could confront and overcome it in order to enjoy the blessings and victories our God has already provided for us to lead a victorious christian life.

The word of God teaches us to overcome unbelief.  We can overcome unbelief only by meditating on the word of God, by His grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Unbelief as mentioned in Rev 21:8 is an abomination to God. Fear and cowardice stems from unbelief and where there is unbelief we conduct ourselves in opposition to the will of God.

The Bible is very clear in the above verse about the end of unbelievers.  We are aware of and avoid serious sins like murder, robbery etc.  But the sin of unbelief prevents our name being written in the Book of Life as stated in Rev 20:14-15 ‘….This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire..’ There are different stages of unbelief, one of which is doubt.  In our ignorance of the Word, we do not consider that holding onto Doubt is sinful. If the sin of doubt is not addressed it develops into unbelief resulting in destruction of the person.

It is the privilege of a Believer to have his name written in the Book of Life.  Eph 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” 

You received the gift of salvation because you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth.  Rom 10:9-10 says “ that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  It was your belief through faith that saved you. Jesus emphasizes in Mark16:16 the importance of believing in His word in order to be saved and receive eternal life.  We who call ourselves Believers need to examine our hearts to ensure there is no unbelief in us. Our lifestyle determines whether we are Believers.

 

Signs of unbelief:

 

  1. Prayerless life

If we do not lead a prayerful life it is a sign of unbelief. Decisions made against the will of God or without surrendering and waiting on God is a sign of unbelief. Decisions taken without consulting God is a sign of unbelief.  Unbelief also includes carrying out plans prior to surrendering to God and then asking Him to bless those plans. God expects us to surrender our will to Him and trust in His perfect time. It is evident that you are in unbelief when you do not wait on God for His will nor do you heed to the Holy Spirit’s warning of sin and reconcile with God.  A believer would always seek to walk with God and please Him.  Unbelief leads one to the second death i.e.  the lake of fire. David says in Ps27:14 of the Bible ‘Wait on the Lord and  I say wait on the Lord.” This reflects and encourages us to rely on God’s timing and sovereignty. Align your heart with God’s will and patiently wait on Him praying continually and you will experience His peace and fulfillment of His promises.

 

  1. Wavering Faith

Believing in the scripture is necessary for the salvation of our souls and to have our names written in the Book of Life.  You cannot expect your prayers to be answered if you are in a state of unbelief. James 1: 6-8 states “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  You may be praying to God for a blessing but if you do not believe God will fulfill your request, your unbelief is a sin before God.  Zachariah was praying for a child and in Luke 1:13 the angel of God said to him that his prayer was heard and his wife Elizabeth would bear him a son who would be called John.  In verse 18 of the same chapter Zachariah asks the angel how it would be possible because his wife was advanced in age.  We pray without convincing ourselves in faith that God is powerful to perform for us.  Such prayers in unbelief are unanswered.  When the disciples saw the fig tree dried from its roots they questioned Jesus about its possibility.  The disciples asked Jesus in Matt 21 how could the fig tree wither as soon as he commanded. Jesus replied by saying “…if you have faith and do not doubt..” “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

The devil cunningly sows seeds of unbelief in our heart and eventually destroys us.  Doubts can arise but do not immerse yourself in them.  Instead, uphold the Word of God and stop yourself from doubting any further.  The wicked devil approached Eve in the Garden of Eden and tempted her to obey what was against God’s command.  Likewise, we need to understand how the scheming devil tries to bring unbelief and doubt into our hearts. Even though we may have accepted Jesus as our Savior and been baptized in faith, unbelief can still find footholds in our lives.

Jesus too was tried three times by satan but He resisted by upholding God’s Word and saying “It is written’ all the three times He was tempted, which made the devil flee. By relying on the Word and speaking God’s truth, we can resist the tactics of the enemy and stand firm in our faith.  It may be while we are deep in prayer that our concentration is distracted by doubts. Know that the Bible teaches us that our God not only listens to our prayers but He is also a prayer answering God.  He is the covenant giver and promise keeper and will not alter His word.  Eph 6:17 instructs us to take the sword which is the Word of God and use it to strike off such doubts and unbelief.

Bearing unbelief within oneself is as good as saying there is no God.  When we neglect to pray or seek God’s direction before taking action, it can reflect a lack of faith or trust in God’s wisdom and sovereignty.  The Lord is our Savior and when we seek His will in every aspect of our lives, we acknowledge His lordship over our lives and invite Him to guide and direct our steps according to His perfect plan.

To be strong in faith we need to meditate on the Word of God and give importance to our Time Alone With God. John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”  This is God’s promise for us that He will do for us what we desire. 1John 5:14 emphasizes on the importance of praying according to His will “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”  This is our confidence. Our requests should be aligned to His will and in order to understand His will we ought to believe in and pray based on the word of God,”  Jesus Christ is the Author and Perfecter of our faith and He said that if we ask what we desire, it shall be done for us.  Matt7:7 says “Ask and you shall receive….” This world may change but His Word will never change.

 

  1. Depart away from God

If we do not address unbelief we will unknowingly depart from God.  Doubt grows in us giving way to Unbelief.  Heb3:12 ”Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”.  This verse begins with a warning to take heed or beware that an evil heart is abominable to God.  Unbelief draws us away from God thus being unable to enter into God’s promised rest. Heb 3:18-19 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter into the promised rest because of unbelief.

 

  1. Unable to receive God’s promises

Another consequence of unbelief is being ineligible to receive God’s promises.  If we do not believe in the Word of God we are only mere hearers of the Word. We know Jesus said in Matt18:20 “when two or more gather together in My name I am in their midst.”  If you do not believe in the said Word you do not believe in Jesus’ presence in your midst.  Your utterance of the above verse is without believing in your heart and a mere repetition of that verse with your mouth.  You will not be able to experience the presence of God because of your unbelief.  You need God’s promise to go ahead in every level of your life. If there is unbelief in you God cannot bring His promises into fruition in your life.  His Word never changes.  You need to believe in order to receive God’s promises as mentioned in Rom 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”.  It is only by faith that we receive promises and can hold onto it when spoken to you. You need to hear God’s promises when you go through any adverse circumstances.  Psalms 62:11 “God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this:..”  You hear God speaking the second time when His word is brought into your remembrance during your hard times.  God said He would never leave you nor forsake you.  When you believe in the promise that Jehovah Rapha He is the healing God and that by His stripes you are healed, your belief in this promise will deliver you completely from any physical or emotional pain you may have. Num23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

2Cor 1:20 says that all His promises are “Yes” and Amen”

Heb6:18 says it is impossible for God to lie.  Joshua 21:45 ”Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” God is faithful to keep His promises and He will not alter His word for us.

Hence we cannot go ahead in life without God’s promises.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble (Ps 42:1).  We go through different stages of growth in faith.  God calls into existence the things that do not exist (Rom4:17).  Even His disciples had to be affirmed in faith when they faced a storm and Jesus was sleeping in the boat.

 

  1. Lack of knowledge of God’s Word & Fellowship

Fellowship is indeed the will of God that we should spend time together. Unbelief sets in when you do not have His Word and no knowledge of Him. It is God’s will for His children to come together in community, to encourage one another, share testimonies of God’s faithfulness, and build each other up in the faith.   Heb 10:25 “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,..’  because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. As we hear the Word we grow in the knowledge of God.  Hosea 4:1&ĺ6 ”There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. V.6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Testimonies are  reminders that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and what He has done for others, He can also do for us. Your miracle comes as you hold onto God’s Word. Do not take fellowships lightly because spiritual meetings are a source to hear God’s word.

 

We should not be in unbelief.  2Cor4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  The mind of unbelievers have been blinded by satan.  In order to experience a victorious christian life you need to confront and overcome unbelief.  In Mark 9 we see a father telling Jesus to heal his son if He could. Jesus answered him if he would believe then all things are possible to those who believe. Mark 6:5 “And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” It’s not because Jesus could not perform any miracle but where there is unbelief God cannot perform any miracle. Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Do you have a conviction of your hope and is the foundation of your hope on Jesus Christ?

Matt 6:33 ‘Seek first kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’

 

God is grooming us when we face trials.  He watches how we react in the midst of such trials. He watches how we allow the Holy Spirit to intervene during such situations.  He intervenes not to fail us but to bring us out victorious and to taste and see that the Lord is good. Heb11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God.  God looks for faith in us like the woman with the issue of blood knew she would be healed if she only touched the edge of His robe.

 

He is the one true God.  Isaiah 46:9 says “ I am God; and there is no other; I am God;  and there is none like Me.”

John 17:7 ‘Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.’

Heb 11:6 …”He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  Your breakthrough is in your hands.  He has done it all.

Therefore if there’s anything that delights the LORD it is in us gaining knowledge of Him “But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. Knowledge  in God leads us to accept Him as our Deliverer (Jehovah Mephalti), our Rock, Shield, Fortress, Refuge, our Father. If you are rooted in the Word, God will not allow you to be shaken; He is your strong foundation.

 

James 1:22 “ But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  Moses was encouraged to hold out his staff in faith over the Red Sea and God divided it.  David ran towards Goliath because He knew God who broke the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two was going ahead of him.  Mark 5:35 the woman heard of Jesus and she made an effort to get close to him and had faith that if she would only touch his clothes she would be healed immediately.

God says in Isaiah 43:13 ‘I will do it and who can reverse it’. This verse reminds us that God is faithful to fulfill His promises at the appointed time. His word is sure, and nothing can thwart His plans or reverse His purposes for you.

 

By anchoring ourselves in God’s promises and diligently seeking His will through prayer and meditating on His Word, we can experience the abundant life and blessings that He has prepared for us. Walking with God and abiding in His Word enables us to face the challenges of life,  overcome unbelief and experience His rest and fullness of joy in every aspect of our lives.