Wednesday, 22 October 2014




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)

As promised we would conclude the discussion of the interplay between faith and unbelief in this capsule but I would implore you to go through capsules 40 and 41 over and over again. Understanding this concept have radicalised my thinking and really helped in ministering healing although it applies to all aspects of the faith walk. By now I believe you are looking at the scripture in Matthew 17:19-21 differently. I intend to shed some light by the grace of God on the reason why Christ said 'Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.'

This caveat would suggest that there are more than one type of 'unbelief' otherwise Christ would not have said 'this type'. In my study of the scripture and from discussions with other Christians I have come to identify three types of 'unbeliefs' ( I confess this is essentially a Femiology or Femism). The First type is what I call unbelief due to ignorance or lack of knowledge. This is the type Christ referred to in Matthew 22:29, the only way to deal with this is to expose yourself to the word of God (this is over simplification, but will suffice for now). The other type of unbelief is what I called disbelief. This is usually due to wrong teaching or tradition, this is the one Christ referred to in Mark 7:13. This type is a lot more difficult to deal with. Its like wanting to write on a blackboard that's already been used, you will have to first get rid of what has already been written or clean it off otherwise the struggle is unending. Once you've been taught wrong , it takes extra effort and commitment to accept the truth, however the antidote is also the word of God. The type of unbelief referred to in Matthew 17:19-21 is completely different from these two and for want of a better name I will call it 'natural unbelief'. This type of unbelief is based on the physical senses. I personally think this is the most difficult one to shift, it is something we must constantly deal with.

The disciples commanded the demon to come out of the boy and contrary to there expectation things got worse, 'he foamed in the mouth and convulsed', apparently things got worse instead of getting better. This will rock anybody except you know what is happening. In practical terms when you minister healing to somebody and instead of healing the Doctor tells you the disease is worse and they present you with medical report showing you that the cancer has spread further, how do you deal with this ? How do you maintain your stand in faith when the physical evidence is to the contrary? How do you stop this 'natural unbelief from overwhelming your faith? The answer is 'this type of unbelief does not go away except by prayer and fasting'.

This will be an abbreviated explanation. Prayer and fasting are both purely spiritual (John 4:24, Romans 8:6). When you are praying, for your payer to be effective you must believe in God that you cannot see yet He exists. The implication is that you come to a place where your physical senses must accept that there is an unseen world which is superior to the physical world, because you are expecting the solution to the physical problem to come from the spiritual (Hebrews 11:3). If you understand this properly then you must know that it's not how loud or how hard you pray but what you believe. Similarly when you fast, after sometime your physical senses become quiet and you are more aware of the spiritual (Matthew 4:2-3, Luke 4:2-3). The net effect of these is that when you are standing in faith and you see something contrary to what you are expecting in the physical, because you have trained your senses to know that there is a spiritual world that trumps the physical, you are then able to resist the 'natural unbelief' so that it does not weaken or contaminate your faith (Hebrews 5:14).

I have seen this over and over again, there are instances when you pray for somebody to be healed, they call you the next day that the disease is worse. I once agreed in prayer with a Christian brother concerning his pregnant wife, that she would not have a surgical intervention, the next day things took a turn for the worse, but because I understood what was going on, I encouraged him and we stood firm, refusing to change our confession, we won. Prayer and fasting sensitises you to the spiritual like no other.


‭‭‭'Femi Idowu