3 Ways to Keep Your Faith Alive in the Face of Unbelief
Have you ever had a time when you doubted God’s direct word to you?
One of my favorite testimonies of timing in the Bible is that of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. In Luke 1, an angel visits Zechariah and foretells that he and his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son.
“…the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.’
And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.’ And the angel answered him… ‘You will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.’” -Luke 1:13, 17-18, 20 [emphasis added]
Zechariah’s response revealed something. During the time period between his original asking and the moment of getting the answer, he was no longer hoping or expecting anything. The angel told him, “Because of your unbelief, you’re going to be mute until the baby is born.” Zechariah’s words impacted the angel and the angel impacted the situation. Words can affect manifestations! Making him mute wasn’t a judgment on Zechariah, but rather it was God’s way of protection, preventing him from talking his way out of the manifestation.
When the baby is born, in a beautiful prophetic moment, Zechariah writes, “His name is John.” Often, you can’t name the thing that God wants to do in your life until the fulness of time and the period of contradiction is completed. When Jesus took up a towel and washed the disciples feet Peter protested the role reversal but “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand’” (John 13:7; emphasis added).
*Remember this: Sometimes it isn’t the prayer that's wrong but rather the time for its fulfillment.
How do we partner with God in His timing?
- Keep your faith alive. Zechariah had fallen out of faith with his own prayer. Fan the flame of faith within your own spirit. Be assured that God has heard your prayers and knows what is in your heart. He is faithful! Ask the Lord to confirm if the thing you seek is something Heaven wants you to contend for. Ever consider how some answers to prayer fall upon our children? (Hebrews 11:13). Some, as was the case with Zechariah and Elizabeth, come in a later season of life. (It’s interesting that Elizabeth was ready and her husband wasn’t!) And yet, some answers come unexpectedly and sooner than we think.
- Endure the contradiction. Don’t be like Zechariah. His response to the word of the Lord unauthorized or interrupted the manifestation. Watch your words and remember that what you speak has power to either interrupt or partner with God in what He is doing—in HIS timing. Don’t talk your way out of God’s blessing!
- Cooperate with divine timing. Thirty or forty years ago I prayed for things that are just now becoming a reality. God might have a season of fulfillment in mind for something you’ve been seeking the Lord for your whole life, but when the time comes you’ve forgotten that you prayed for it! It is also possible that we are the delay in the timing. The children of Israel lost time wandering around in the wilderness of unbelief. Let’s believe that God is going to do the things He says He will. We can trust His divine timing.
Question: What is God stirring within you even now?
Tell me here and comment below!