Summary: Many Christians believe they are "faith people" when in reality they are living in more unbelief than they are faith. This message looks at the one thing causes us to be "faith people" or people who are living in unbelief.
You are the blessed of the Lord and I want to say something on the frontend for you to remember as we go through the message.
You often hear “God does extraordinary things through ordinary people.” How many of you have heard that? It’s not true. You see, we are born ordinary. We are born with a sin nature. But ladies and gentlemen, once we are born again we go from ordinary to extraordinary. We’re in “Jesus territory”! There is nothing ordinary about you. Nothing!
Once you are born again. Once you become God’s son or daughter, you are extraordinary. That’s why God can work through you to do the extraordinary. He can’t work through a person with a sin nature and do the extraordinary. He can get some things done but not the extraordinary. It’s only for you ladies and gentlemen. Only for you. So never sell yourself short because there is nothing ordinary about you.
We’re going to spend some time on faith tonight. I know most of you have heard of Smith Wigglesworth. When I’m not reading the Bible, I’ll probably pick up something by Smith Wigglesworth. I want to share something with you from his book called “Ever Increasing Faith.”
“When I was a young man I always loved the fellowship of elderly men and was always careful to hear what they had to say. I had a friend, an old Baptist minister who was a wonderful preacher. I spent much of my time with him. One day he came to me and said, “My wife is dying.” I said, “Brother Clark, why don’t you believe God? God can raise her up if you only believe Him.”
(Notice he didn’t say why don’t you pray for her? He said “Brother Clark why don’t you believe God? When he asks that question he’s going back to who God is and what God does. God heals. )
He asked me to come to his house, and I looked for someone to go with me.
(It seems like the man’s faith is more in Smith Wigglesworth’s relationship with God than his own. The man had the same capability as Wigglesworth if he’s born again. But it is undeniable that God worked mightily through the man.)
I went to a certain rich man who was very zealous for God and spent much money in opening up rescue missions, and I asked him to go with me. He said, “Never you mind me. You go yourself, but I don’t take to this kind of business.” Then I thought of a man who could pray by the hour, Brother Nichols. When he was on his knees he could go around the world three times and come out at the same place. I asked him to go with me and said to him, “You’ll have a real chance this time. Keep at it, and quit when you’re through.’ (Some go on after they are through.)
“Brother Nichols went with me and started praying. He asked the Lord to comfort the husband in his great bereavement and prayed for the orphans and a lot more on this line. I cried, “O my God, stop this man.” But there was no stopping him and he went on praying and there was not a particle of faith in anything he uttered. He did stop at last, and I said, “Brother Clark, it’s now your turn to pray.” He started, “Lord, answer the prayer of my brother and comfort me in this great bereavement and sorrow. Prepare me to face this great trial.” I cried out, “My God, stop this man.’
(What he said next really got my attention.)
The whole atmosphere was being charged with unbelief.
(For many Christians, what these men were praying is what they’re used to hearing. But Wigglesworth says the atmosphere was being charged with unbelief.)
“I had a glass bottle full of oil and I went up to the woman and poured the whole lot on her in the name of Jesus. Suddenly Jesus appeared, standing at the foot of the bed. He smiled and vanished. The woman stood up, perfectly healed, and she is a strong woman today.”
What caught my attention when I read this were the two statements Wigglesworth made after the men prayed.
(1) “There was not a particle of faith in anything he uttered.”
(2) “The whole atmosphere was charged with unbelief.”
What was charging the atmosphere with unbelief? Words. Words can charge the atmosphere with unbelief. How many of us do this every single day? How many of us do this every day by some of the programs we watch on TV? By some of the music we listen to?
We’re charging our atmosphere with unbelief and when we do this we’re creating a place where God can’t work.