Updated: Jan 20, 2020
“Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23
Our spiritual growth will always be limited by our pride and unbelief. God will only take a believer as far as his/her trust dictates. He has graciously given us the power of free choice and with it comes the ability to say “I will obey” or “I will disobey”.
If people proceed through life in unbelief, they will never take a step in faith. It is possible to take a step of faith if one doubts in terms of uncertainty—that is natural, because walking in true faith means we do not know the outcome. However, unbelief says, “I’m going to rely on my own understanding”. Unbelief is a form of pride because the person is basically saying, “I know better than God”. Unbelief is so deeply rooted within the soul that we often do not even recognize it.
A person can still take a step of faith even if he/she has doubt, but the person should examine his/her heart to try and better understand why doubt exists. Is the person doubting God’s abilities? Is the person doubting His direction? Does the person doubt because he/she is hesitant to go in the direction God is taking him/her? Understanding doubt will help to see where weaknesses lie within ourselves, and we can ask God to help us overcome this doubt.
If left unchecked, doubt will eventually lead to unbelief. This is illustrated when doubt prevents a person from taking a step of faith. Thus, doubt becomes a barrier to experiencing the fullness of God, because we are not taking steps of faith. It won’t take long before the person begins obtaining a wrong view of God that contradicts the truth of who God really is. In other words, the person begins walking in unbelief instead of walking in faith.
Paul provides a great illustration of how unbelief impacted his ability to see the truth of God. In I Timothy 1:13 he states, “Even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;”
Unbelief is almost always linked to ignorance, because if a person does not know, he/she cannot believe. Knowing is a prerequisite to believing. That’s why it’s so important for every person to confess to God that unbelief exists in his/her heart. We must humbly ask God to make us aware of our unbelief and give us another opportunity to believe, so we may have the opportunity to take a step of faith. God will graciously give us this opportunity, if we approach Him in true humility.
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” II Corinthians. 4:3-4
Don't let unbelief blind you from receiving God's best. Begin asking God to reveal areas in your life where you do not believe Him and are not trusting Him, and you will be amazed at what He will reveal to you! But be prepared, once you come face to face with unbelief, you must decide whether you will continue to live in unbelief or make a change for the better by acting upon God's truth in faith. This can be a very uncomfortable moment, but the short amount of discomfort is quickly forgotten the moment you experience God firsthand by taking that step of faith.
Kevin Hover is a Christian Author and Life Coach. His new book, 'American Pharisee: Overcoming the Beliefs that Deceive' is due to be released on November 1, 2019.