So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Mat. 17:20
The disciples asked Jesus why couldn’t they do the miracle. They tried. Prayed. Prayed some more. Prayed with more intensity. Exerted more authority, and still nothing. Jesus’ answer was pointed, “because of your unbelief”. I know it says in the next verse that He also told them that it takes prayer and fasting too, which it does, but the key here is in the belief. In fact, belief is the core root of our walk and growth in Jesus. Without belief we are planted in shallow dirt and are limited with no room for expansion.
The man in Mark 9 that told Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief!” hit it right on the head. He realized that he couldn’t move any further in believing until he dealt with his unbelief, and asked Jesus for help in achieving it. His belief roots were hindered from growing because the ground around them was dry and hard. He needed his belief ground to be worked and watered, so that his roots could spread out and dig in deeper so that his belief could grow. He believed, but it wasn’t firmly planted unshakable belief. Just shallow belief. What amazed me the most in that passage is that before Jesus healed the man’s son, He dealt with the man’s belief and said “if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Now how is our faith? Is it hindered by our ground of unbelief. Do we only allow a few drops of God’s Word to water it? Are we shielding the water that Jesus provides from touching the ground by our unbelief? Do we restrain Jesus from coming in and tilling the ground? Do we want to see the mountains move in our lives but only have enough belief for a mole hill to be stomped on? For our belief to grow we must draw closer to Jesus. When Jesus said it was because of their unbelief – unbelief in what? Their abilities. The words that they used… it was their unbelief in the power of Jesus to work through them. Does our mustard seed, when it sees the ground it is getting ready to be planted into, rejoice or cringe? Lord, help our unbelief!
Elder Steve Smith