“20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
There are many things in the world that we believe in. And there are many things that we do not believe in. And these beliefs and unbelief’s permeate every one of our lives. From social, to political, to science, and even our theology. But have you ever stopped to consider how much easier it is to not believe than it is to believe?
I personally believe that the USA sent men to the moon and that they walked upon its surface. This is as much a fact for me as the house that I live in or the clothes that I wear. But there is an entire subculture that does not believe this. No matter the evidence put before them.
I personally believe the earth is round, like a ball, hanging in space. But there is a considerable subculture today that believes the earth is flat and not round.
I personally do not believe in Global Warming, Man Made Climate Change, or the data and extrapolations that come from such theories. But there is a considerable number of people who do find this line of reasoning credible.
I personally do not believe that the current US administration colluded with Russia to alter the 2016 election results. But there are many people who do believe this.
I personally believe that abortion is murder and takes the life of a living human spirit. But there are many that do not believe that and view abortion as an acceptable practice.
I personally believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and that He came to earth to die for the sins of the world and that on the third day He rose from the dead proving his deity and solidifying His claims. But there are a vast number of people who do not believe that.
In all of these, my belief is much harder than my unbelief. It is easy to not believe something. But it is hard to actually believe something. This is because our nature, our very human nature, is bent towards questioning and a need for proof. And what I may require as proof is probably different than what you may require as proof. We all want to be masters of our own destiny. We want to be the ones in control. And we all want to be our own judges of what is true and what is not.
Oftentimes we blame our skepticism on lack of faith. We say that we have a problem with something because we do not have any faith in it. We lack faith in our political systems. We lack faith in our in our scientific methods. We lack faith in our society. And we certainly lack faith in our theology.
But how much faith does it take to effect changes in these areas in the world around us? How much faith do we really need to make a difference in the world?
The disciples had this problem when they tried, on their own, to accomplish a task. That of casting out a demon. And when they failed, they came to Jesus and he told them that if they had but a very small amount of faith, that of a single mustard seed, they could move mountains. At least that is what we usually focus on.
What we miss is the reason why they failed. Jesus told them the reason they failed right up front. See it there? He told them the reason they were not successful is because of their unbelief. Unbelief is a powerful thing in our lives and it will weigh heavy on our beliefs, dragging them down. And then he told them that if they had a very small amount of faith they could move mountains.
From this we can learn that it is not the size of our faith that hinders us, it is the size of our unbelief that is important. We are way too busy running around trying to increase our faith when what we should really be doing is working on our unbelief.
As further evidence of this I would submit God’s one requirement for entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, that of belief on the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. God did not require us to first have great faith. That naturally follows once we take care of our unbelief. Rather God requires us to believe. Belief is where we must start and dealing with our unbelief is a foundational piece of that.
When a troubled father came to Jesus asking for healing for his child, Jesus asked him if he believed (Mark 9:23-24). The father emphatically proclaimed that he believed and then immediately asked for help with his unbelief. Jesus had just told him that all things were possible to those that believed, and the father so desperately wanted to believe. But he knew that there were still doubts that were in his heart and he asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief.
I can assure you today that I have great faith that God is upon His throne. He is in control, whether I believe that or not. Faith that could move mountains and that I will stand for even though I walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. And yet mountains are not moved, lives are not changed, and there seems to be little difference in the world around me. Why? Probably because I’ve been asking God for great faith when I should be asking him to help me with my unbelief.
How about yourself? Are mountains not moving in your life? Are you failing to make a difference? And do you double down on your efforts because of your great faith only to no avail? Perhaps it’s time for us to work on our unbelief. Jesus, help me with my unbelief so that the faith you have given me in my life may move mountains for Your glory.