You may think, “To each, his own.  If someone wants to be a skeptic, that’s his business.”  Actually, unbelief is a problem not only for individuals,  but for the believing community as a whole.  We see in the opening Scripture in this chapter that corporate unbelief blocked Jesus from releasing more miracles, signs and wonders.  A big enough group of unbelievers can harden an environment and make it more difficult for power to flow.  Unbelief is to Christians what kryptonite was to Superman.  (Sorry…I loved superheroes as a kid – I couldn’t resist!)  Unbelief is a poison that stops power from flowing.  We must eliminate unbelief and get into…faith!        

       In order to receive anything from God, you need to use faith to appropriate it.  What good would it do to find out that there’s a bank account containing millions of dollars with your name on it if there was no way to extract the funds?  That would serve no purpose!  I would dare to say that whoever set that account up went through all that effort in vain. 

       God has provided every spiritual blessing for us to enjoy.  Jesus provided for us on the cross; He provided salvation, deliverance, healing, wholeness, prosperity, power, and anointing.  Let me just say that our heavenly accounts are bursting with provision!  However, in order to lay hold of any of it and see it manifest in our lives today, we need to learn how to access it. 

       Faith is necessary to extract any of God’s blessings.  Without it, it’s impossible no matter how hard you try. 

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.  A double minded man in unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:5-8)

      In order to receive anything from God…you need faith!  If you realize that, you’ll also realize what a problem unbelief is.  Unbelief will cause you to operate in a spirit that is contrary to faith.  You’ll find yourself doubting everything God says.  Rather than reading the Word and believing it, you’ll find yourself doubting everything. 

       Faith will unlock the promises of God and will cause us to experience the fullness of God.  Unbelief does the exact opposite; it makes it impossible for us to access provision.  After we don’t receive it easily, we will begin to strive and apply human effort and might in an effort to experience it.  When that doesn’t happen, failure, disappointment, and discouragement begin to settle into our thoughts.  After that, we enter into hope deferred, which is a state of living where the thing you hoped for is so out of reach that it just feels like if we’re chasing a dream that’ll never arrive. 

       Individuals go through this negative cycle all of the time when they are expecting something from God that never arrives.  Eventually, they’ll feel as if God ignored them and has, in essence, rejected them.  These individuals will eventually protect their own hearts by building a wall around themselves and will create mindsets to keep that wall in place, which prevents them from future hurts.  What started out as a person asking God for a healing or a miracle results in a wounded person living behind a hard outer shell. 

       Unbelief is not just a frame of mind, but I believe it’s a spirit.  Also, unbelief never works alone but has a twin brother called Doubt.  The person who operates in unbelief is a person who also doubts everything.  You may even hear them refer to themselves as “doubting Thomases” as if that’s a badge of honor.  While unbelief can certainly manifest in our thought-processes, the more we yield to it, we can attract spirits of unbelief and doubt.  Then, our situation worsens as we open our lives to demonic oppression.  This oppression can be sensed in individuals who live life underneath the crushing weight of being a victim of unbelief. 

       Jesus Himself wanted to perform miracles in His hometown of Nazareth but couldn’t because of unbelief.  This is the culprit that blocks miracles and breakthroughs.  When we don’t believe God, we can’t accept what He says and therefore we cannot experience the miraculous.  By choosing unbelief, we are closing ourselves off to the truth.  By not believing God, we are putting in question who He is and what He says, and possibly His intentions. 

       No matter how we slice it, there will be those in the church who operate as skeptics.  They will over-question everything that is done and will want full empiric evidence to satisfy their intellect.  Some even believe that it’s their duty to be a skeptic.  They equate being a skeptic as being Berean. 

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea.  When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.  Therefore many of them believed…”  (Acts 17:10-12)

      To those who think that to question everything and act as a skeptic is holy and equal to that of being a Berean, I say No!  The Bereans were credited with having heard the message and then searching the Scriptures daily to make sure the things taught to them were Scriptural!

       Here was a group of people that were open to the truth.  Now, once they received the message from Paul and Silas, they checked the Scriptures to make sure that it was a sure word.  Once they saw that the message preached was confirmed in the Scriptures, it says that they…BELIEVED!  They weren’t skeptics, they weren’t doubting, they were discerning!  That’s a big difference.  When we discern, we’re looking for the Holy Spirit to give us revelation of truth, especially through God’s Word. 

       Skeptics are not like the Bereans.  Many times skeptics will continue being skeptics even AFTER they read the truth in the Word.  Once something is proven to be true in the Word, you have to believe God.  If I’m approached by a believer who wants to learn more about the prophetic and who is hungry to know the truth and willing to pray and search the Scriptures, I will give that person my time in order to teach them what I know.  However, I’ve learned not to bother with the skeptics because they are rarely satisfied.  They will continue to search and search until they find a way to disprove anything new that doesn’t fit their religious logic or experience.  

       When it comes to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, there are many skeptics in the church of Jesus Christ.  It can be for various reasons: 

  • Some were taught that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have passed away with the first church and are not for today.
  • Some were exposed to misuse and abuses of the gifts and do not believe in the manifesting of spiritual gifts.
  • Others have no revelation on the subject and are just speaking out of the intellect. 

      Regardless, the Word of God is our manual for living.  It is clear that Paul encouraged the New Testament church to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He concluded by saying,

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”  (1 Corinthians 12:1)

      Paul made it his responsibility to teach the believers all about how to operate in the power of God.  If this was God’s will for the Corinthians, it’s God’s will for us today.  It’s important to understand this today because, while we are trying to activate the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, there are some in the church who are not open to this.  They view our spiritual hunger as a threat to their religious program.


Excerpt taken from the book, “Prophesy!”
Written by Héctor Santos
G-FORCE Ministries, Inc.