All of us who have received the Lord have the same God given faith (Rom 5:1, 2, 12:3, 2 Pet 1:1). Deep within our spirit that is always in tune with the Spirit of God, we realize that we don’t always get the results that Jesus or His Spirit filled disciples have gotten (Mark). We don’t need to increase our faith (Matt 12:15, Luke 6:19), we just have to minimize the unbelief working against these things to see more miracles and make them commonplace. We fully know that God doesn’t want miracles and provisions for His children to stop (John 14:12), so we have to learn to see what is short-circuiting our faith.
When Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were only God-conscious. When they considered the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’, their consideration and acceptance of this short-circuiting knowledge opened their eyes to make them self conscious. We are in the world of such a thick pile of self consciousness and unbelief, that we think by default that it is a normal and common thing even for Christians; to get sick, die young, stay dead and may make religious excuses of why God didn’t heal someone.
Self awareness instead of God awareness is one of the reasons many don’t take God’s word seriously (James 4:10). Some self aware people may look at what other people are wearing, if the choir or singers sound good, if they see someone they don’t approve during praise and worship as if it is their entertainment time (James 2:3). Self awareness is preached in different manners from pulpits making it unusual to see results in our churches (John 9:2). A lifetime of this makes it easier to have natural unbelief (Mark 16:14). It is hard to see manifestations with a hardened heart. Being dependent on the natural world forces us to set the bar lower than Jesus and his apostles’ ministry (1 Cor 2:14, 2 Cor 5:7).
Jesus would do miracles and His disciples would not consider them because of their hard hearts (Mark 6:51, 52, 8:17, 18). When we are amazed that God uses someone to open blind eyes or raise the dead instead of expecting it to happen because the Word commands us to (Matt 10:8), we have a form of a hardened heart in a similar sense, being more conscious of things that normally happen in the world, but not normal happening in the Spirit with Jesus or His disciples (Acts 5:16).
It is hard for your faith to work when unbelief is somewhere present (Mark 6:5, 6). The man who brought his boy to Jesus could not depend upon the disciples with their natural senses and had unbelief at the same time (Matt 17:16-18). He said Lord I believe, but help my unbelief. His faith was there to bring him to Jesus, but his heart was hardened (Mark 9:24). He told His disciples that they had unbelief and told them about fasting to help them take control of their natural senses (Matt 17:20, 21). When you become conscious of God’s need supplying Spirit and only consider His ever ready provision (unlike the disciples that didn’t consider the loaves); you can stop short circuiting unbelief, leaving only the tree of Life. You can’t be tempted by the unbelief (or any other thing) without thinking about it first.
The way your heart becomes hardened is by what you don’t consider. If you neglect the Word, you will receive what the world has and have your heart hardened (Hosea 4:6, 2 Peter 1:8, 9 Luke 16:13, James 1:8). If you neglect the world and diligently seek God, you will become sensitive to the Spirit and be rewarded (Heb 11:6) like Abraham, who didn’t consider the deadness of Sarah’s womb; did not let his senses trump the Word of God (Gal 4:19, 20). He considered the promise more than the problem. There are even many times, God’s overwhelming compassion doesn’t let you get burnt (Dan 3:27, Is 43:2) or let your loved one die (Luke 7:13)
There may be times when you get an awful negative report (Mark 5:35, 36) but don’t consider it, only set value to the Word. If someone brings you a casket, decide right away that they are sleep and not dead (Luke 8:52). Remove the opposition if you have to (Mark 5:40). Have the God kind of faith (Mark 11:23). Experience is not the best teacher, God is (John 16:13). Do not relate to the natural world more than the spiritual. Everything that God has is ours and it has been imparted to us by God who lives inside of us (1 John 5:4). In sports you can score a victory and have an ‘off-setting penalty’; the same can happen if you have faith and unbelief at the same time. All we have to do is get it in our mind and in our hearts until we see clearly the partnership we have in God (1 John 4:17)!
These are some signs of unbelief that you could tell if your own heart is hardened:
Cares: thinking about your issue and not giving it to God (1 Peter 5:7)
Worry: a negative meditation of the mind (Matt 6:33)
Fears: i.e. afraid that God won’t make it come to pass (Mark 11:23)
We access favor by grace (Rom 5:2)
If you look at the Word and get tempted to think the healing and miraculous does not apply to you, His word becomes just a letter to you (2 Cor 3:6). Recognize what is living in you (Col 1:27). If you are considering all the evidence on both sides, consider the Judge has already rewarded you and any evidence the prosecutor presets has already been thrown out of court.
When praying for others, do it in love. They may have some unbelief and you will need God’s help in what they need to help it. God will put in you that which will terrify the enemy and remove every obstacle. Count on His presence. Count on His power. Count on His provision. He is always there just where you need Him. You are called to empower people to see the revelation of God’s provision. Put to shame impossibilities, man’s opinion and philosophies. Bring a living Jesus to a dying world!