THE FAITH SERIES: 10b
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:19-21 KJV)
In the last capsule we started the discussion on the interplay between faith and unbelief, this is the continuation. This concept is not commonly appreciated, the generally accepted concept is that faith and unbelief are mutually exclusive, this is not so. I will suggest you go through capsule 40 to grasp a full flavour of the discussion.
I intend to go further in this capsule and show you several other instances where this was in play.
1. In Mark 11, this is the popular fig tree story, Christ said 'Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:22-23 KJV)
Why would Christ say 'have faith in God' and doubt not in your heart'. The reason is simple, because you can have faith and yet doubt at the same time. Your faith can be counterbalance by doubt or unbelief. Most of the time we emphasise on the faith whilst ignoring the unbelief thinking that it will go away. All we need is faith as the size of a mustard seed (referring to the size), as long as it is not contaminated by unbelief it will move mountains. In case you think I am playing tricks with scriptures, see the same story in Matthew 21'Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. (Matthew 21:21 KJV)
2. Matthew 14, this is another popular passage, where Peter walked on water for a short distance then began to sink. 'And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?' (Matthew 14:31 KJV)
Christ said Peter had little faith, but that was not the problem. The problem was that he doubted, which subsequently counteracted the faith. Remember, he walked on water with the little faith and that would have been enough if he did not mix it with unbelief . Peter had faith that was why he could work on water, but when he looked at the boisterous wind he let in unbelief and doubt. Did you notice that Peter did not sink all at once which is what one would expect, but the bible states 'beginning to sink' (strange turn of phrase suggesting that it did not happen suddenly). To my mind this means, the more the unbelief the more he sank...wow!! can you see that?
Examples of doubt counteracting faith are rife throughout the scriptures, other examples for you to consider are James 1:8, James 4:8, Luke 8:50. But back to our index text Matthew 17:19-21, Christ was specific that this type of UNBELIEF does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Meaning there are different types of Unbeliefs and that is what we are going to look at in the next capsule. How to overcome it by prayer and fasting.
THIS TYPE OF UNBELIEF DOES NOT GO OUT EXCEPT BY PRAYER AND FASTING