Apostolic Perspectives #13 - Challenging the Spirit of Unbelief
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
I have come to believe that unbelief is a cultural mindset that can sit on a whole generation. As unscriptural as it might sound, unbelief has the ability to halt the power of God; to stop God's awesome power from manifesting in its fullness.
I wouldn't have believed it, had I not read it in Scripture myself. Unbelief tried to limit Jesus and it will also seek to limit you. I said "tried" because it did not succeed. If you look carefully at the text again you will see the word "there". This means that the resistance to the power of God which was on Jesus' life was confined to a specific area.
Culture has a way of taking on a spiritual identity. When the default mind-set of a whole generation is to seek to bring about their own salvation through science and technology and the very idea of a God who miraculously intervenes in our lives is set aside as the stuff of fairy tales, a culture of unbelief has been formed.
For this reason, I want to challenge the saints and apostolic leaders everywhere to resist this spirit of unbelief.
This is a season to encourage yourself in the Lord and to rise to the occasion. This is not the time to embrace rejection and self- pity. Your destiny awaits you! Just because the people "there" did not embrace the grace and power that was available to them didn't mean that the story ended there. Jesus didn't let unbelief stop him and neither should you.
I see the words "mighty works" in the text. It is quite reasonable to conclude that Jesus was going after mighty works. His intention was not to heal "a few sick people" as Mark states. (See Mark 6:5). This is the season to set your sights on mighty works!
What does this mean in your context? This is a question that only you can answer.
There are some practical steps that you may need to take to strengthen yourself against the spirit of unbelief and move into your destiny in this season:
Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him.
(Matt. 13:55-57 NKJV)
The biggest challenge that you will face in regard to the spirit of unbelief will come from those who are familiar with you - from those who know you like family. That's what it means to be familiar with someone. They knew his mother, brothers and sisters. Perhaps they even shared the same classroom at school. There shouldn't be anything wrong with all that, except Scripture goes on to say that they were "offended" at Him.
Why? What did He do? Or rather what was He thinking of doing? Sometimes what offends the people around you is not what you have done, especially if it's nothing much. It is rather when you dare to climb out of the proverbial box that they have put you in, that's when the problem starts. This is also the time that you need to take steps to ensure that your God-given dreams aren't destroyed by those who are too familiar with you.
The following are the steps that should be taken:
Know the difference between celebrate and tolerate. There are those who will tolerate you as long as you stay in their box. It is only a matter of time before you will offend them. God will also provide people in your life who will celebrate what He is doing in you. Spend more time with those persons.
Know the difference between your history and your destiny. We all began somewhere. It really is not so much about where we began that matters but where we are heading. If you read the text carefully and compare it with other references in Scripture, you will pick up the subtle contempt and social bias coming from Jesus' critics. There were rumours surrounding Mary due to the circumstances of Jesus' birth. God had to visit Joseph in a dream and instruct him not to disgrace Mary by not going through with the wedding plans. We know also that Mary and Joseph couldn't afford an elaborate sacrifice when they dedicated Jesus in the temple. All this coupled with familiarity with members of Jesus’ immediate family created a barrier of unbelief for anyone who couldn't see beyond these things.
Don't take it personally. See it prophetically! It is easy to internalise rejection when you don't have prophetic insight into your circumstances. This is the surest way to short-circuit your destiny. Jesus interpreted the situation as a social phenomenon. Socially speaking, your own countrymen and members of your own household may be the last to recognize greatness in you. Jesus had brothers who did not believe that He was the Messiah. None of these things stopped him from fulfilling His destiny.
In this season where the sound of Jubilee is in the air, I encourage you to use this time as a marker. Let it signify the time when you rose up and embraced your destiny in God. The spirit of unbelief is no match for the power of God's grace on your life. Believe big and go for it!
Kingdom blessings to you!
Apostle F. Wilson