James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
James 1:8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
There are two primary things that rob us in the body of Christ of what God desires for us to walk in as covenant children who have been redeemed by the blood that Jesus shed, doubt and unbelief. I want to deal with these two things this week and talk about how we can overcome them. Let me start with some well-known statements about each of these. If you doubt you will do without. Unbelief is a thief that will rob you of the things God desires for your life. They are both similar, but yet not the same thing. There is something we can do specifically in dealing with each one. Let’s start by defining what they are.
The first of the two I will define is doubt as talked about in our verses above from the book of James. Notice that for us to walk by faith we can have no doubting for he who doubts is a double-minded man, unstable in all their ways. The word for doubt is defined as: to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, or oppose; to contend, hesitate, stager, or waver. Doubts come from listening to and feeding on the beliefs that come from the world. We live in a world filled with doubt. When one doubts God they are now questioning His ability to do what He said He could do.
Notice in verse 7 above that one who doubts will receive nothing from the Lord. This is not because He does not want us to receive what He has provided for us, but it is because when doubt is present faith is not. This is an important truth to learn about doubt so I want to say that again. When doubt is present faith is not. Doubt causes one to have no faith in God, or to eliminate what faith they may have had. As I stated earlier and you can see that from this verse we have looked at if you doubt you will do without.
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
As Jesus stated here in Mark 11, if one does not doubt in their heart, but believes what they say will be done then they will have what they say. There are those who have persecuted people such as Kenneth Hagin for teaching the Word of God on confession, but scripture here is clear you can have what you say if you do not doubt in your heart. Realize that neither Kenneth Hagin nor anyone who has taught the simple truths about faith would ever just teach that you can have whatever you say. You can have whatever you say if you do not doubt in your heart. I can assure you that a believer is going to have doubts in their heart trying to believe for something that they know is not God’s will for their life. So let’s look at how we can deal with and get rid of doubt.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
If you look back to James 1:8, you will see that one who doubts, James tells us, is someone who is double-minded. As he continues in the writing of this letter we come to an important statement he makes here in James chapter 4. Notice in verse 8 he refers to those who are double-minded. He tells them to purify their hearts. Remember in Mark 11:23 one must not doubt in their heart. So you see that doubt is a result of what we are putting in our hearts. Doubt comes primarily by filling our time with things that come from the god of this world, in which 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us is satan.
The way things get into our heart comes primarily through what we see and hear. Think about what the average person listens to and sees in a week’s time today. Look at what you see on television and in magazines, books, the Internet, etc., and notice how much of what is being heard and seen has it’s roots in the work of satan himself to fill our lives and our hearts with garbage that will cause us to doubt God. The only way according to James chapter 4:8 that one is going to get rid of their doubts is by purifying their hearts. To do this they must guard what they see and hear.
I am not implying that we must never see nor hear things that are ungodly for we would have to be taken out of this world to do that. What I am saying and what scripture says is you need to guard your heart for this is where faith comes from and that is how you tap into the very life of God. Simply stated if when we are at home or doing other things on our own free time we fill our hearts with T.V. shows filled with foul language, adultery, sexual temptations, and influences that are at their core drawing us away from God and what He stands for, we are not going to have a pure heart. We will be double-minded when it comes to believing God.
Prov. 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
When you have a choice as to what you listen to or watch if you don’t guard your heart from the influences of the god of this world it is going to fill your heart with doubt and you will unfortunately do without what God has desired for your life. To walk in the God-kind of life one must walk by faith and not by sight. But the influences of this world teach us to walk by sight, not by faith.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Unbelief is defined as: want of faith, unbelief: shown in withholding belief in the divine power. Unbelief does not mean one doubts God’s ability to do what He said, but unbelief believes something more than it believes in God. Notice in its definition the referral to that which withholds its belief in the divine power, or God. When someone is walking in unbelief it does not mean that they don’t believe God is able to do what He said, but they believe for example their circumstances more than they believe God. For example what they may feel or what they may see.
In Mark chapter 9 here we have the story of a man who had a son that was demon possessed. Jesus had been up on the Mount of Transfiguration with three of His disciples. This man had brought his son to the other disciples while they were waiting on Jesus and had asked them to cast the demon out. They were not able to do so. Jesus comes back down from the Mount of Transfiguration and the man now brought his boy to Jesus and asked Him to cast the demon out. Jesus first rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith, which is a sign of unbelief. Then Jesus makes this powerful statement in verse 23 that is speaking to everyone, not just this one man. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Notice the statement that this man makes in verse 24. He declares he believes, but asked for help with his unbelief. When unbelief is present it does not mean you don’t believe in God’s ability, but you believe in something else more than you believe God. He did believe, but his unbelief was now discounting his ability to believe. Doubt means one has doubts about God’s ability, but unbelief does not doubt God’s ability, but instead believes something else above what God has said. So what can we do to get rid of the thief of unbelief?
Rom. 4:19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Rom. 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom. 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Here in Romans we find the story of Abraham who was given the promise by God that he would be the father of a multitude even though he was about 100 years old and Sarah was past the age of child bearing and had not been able to have children. Abraham though had God’s Word to stand on. Here we see that he was not weak in faith. Weak faith reveals that there is some unbelief present. He did not consider his body, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise God had given to him through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith giving glory to God. Abraham was fully convinced that what God has promised (said) He was able to perform.
When there is unbelief present there is a lack of faith. One who is weak in faith will have unbelief. So the answer in getting rid of unbelief is learning what we must do to make our faith strong. To get rid of unbelief you must stop focusing on the circumstances of life and get focused in on God’s Word. There are three main things one must do to strengthen their faith and get rid of unbelief.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you want to strengthen your faith you need to be hearing God’s Word preached which is what the context of Romans 10:17 talks about as stated here. Realize that if you don’t hear people who teach true faith in the Word you are not going to build faith. You must also feed on the Word of God for yourself. Jesus said man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Feeding on God’s Word builds faith. God’s Word is faith food. Last you must use the faith you have just like you must exercise a muscle for it to grow. Faith without works is dead.
So to get rid of doubt you must keep your heart clean from all the garbage that is filling our hearts with doubt. You must guard your heart. To get rid of unbelief you must build your faith for unbelief is a sign that your faith is weak. Get the doubt and unbelief out and receive from God what He has for your life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker