Lord I believe, Help my unbelief ~ Mark 9:24
Our scripture this week is from the story of the Father with the epileptic child. We find the story in Matthews gospel chapter 17 as well as Mark 9:14-30.
This father meets the disciples, whom we know were given power to heal and cast out demons by Jesus. They had worked and experienced the results. Now we find them met with a situation that did not respond as they expected. I imagine they had done everything the way they always had and now it wasn’t working. Ever been there?
In this scenario we see where Jesus addresses three heart conditions; faithless, unbelieving and believing. Strongs’ Concordance shows this word unbelief to be the negative form for the word faith. It is defined as distrust. Unbelief is a faith. Its just in the wrong thing. In others words, you have something you are rejecting. You won’t reject the promises without holding to some other belief system. So unbelief is faith in the wrong thing. Its a negative faith.
You can have faith in cancer’s ability to kill you. You can have faith in lack. You can have faith in broken relationships. You can have faith in sickness. Unbelief is still faith, it is just faith unto death.
This fathers cry was, Lord, I believe but help my unbelief. Could he have been saying ~ I came to you because I believe, but I’ve met some circumstances here with the disciples who are your representatives and I’m now believing that if they can’t do this maybe you can’t either?
A questioning of God’s ability or His will only serves to remind us that faith in God is waning. FF Bosworth said, Faith begins where the will of God is known. Hearing all things are possible to Him who believes is our constant reminder to check our hearts! Keep our eyes on Him and His promise. We don’t look at others we look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
So ~ Lord I believe, Help my unbelief. How is we get to a place of unbelief or confidence in something other than God’s promise? Simply by looking at; attending to and communicating, all the wrong things. We feed our faith in whatever we attend to. Again, unbelief simply a lack of faith, but a negative faith, a believing of the wrong things.
I want to stir up our pure minds to remembrance with the following scriptures:
- Hosea 4:6 tells us what happens when we are ignorant about the word - when we forget what the word says or when we absolutely reject it - We perish.
- Romans 10:17 reminds us faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
- Proverbs 4:20 Tells us we must attend to the word. Let it not depart from our sight. Keep it in the midst of our heart for it is life and health to all our flesh.
The word of God is our faith food. Apart from Jesus, who is the word, we can do nothing. God is a faith God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Webster's’ Dictionary says Impossible means incapable of being. But the Bible says - no word of God is impossible of fulfillment. God said the word He speaks goes forth and does exactly what He has decreed. It does not return void or empty. Every word of God starts as a seed and bears fruit absolutely dependent on the condition and content of my heart. Hebrews teaches us the children of Israel were unable to enter into the promise of God because they did not mix faith with the word they heard the word. Can I add here the word they heart from God, but they did have faith in those giants ability to kill them.
So ~ Lord I believe but help my unbelief.
The wonderful thing about this father’s cry for help is Jesus’ response. He rebukes the unclean spirit and raises the boy up. Above and beyond our “perfection” every ‘I dotted and every T crossed’, is the heart of God to help us. We must always remember from the Fathers heart ~ He is unwilling for any to perish and simply coming to him, believing He is a rewarder, is enough to be met with mercy and grace to help in our need.