I want to share a small thought about unbelief. Have you ever seen someone rejoice about God speaking to him or her? Maybe such a person didn’t expect God to speak at all and that is the main cause for that kind of joy. Or maybe sin crept in and after confession there was a slight uncertainty about having God speak to His cleansed ones after all. Maybe, maybe, maybe - there is a lot of possibilities for someone to rejoice just because God spoke or said something. Do you regard this as faith? Well, it can well be. But think about it again. Can it be ‘little faith’, as Jesus said of Peter? Could be. Or could it be happening because of unbelief? Let’s see.
Let’s be honest. Faith is a mystery. Things there are nothing but obvious. It is sure. “Faith is to make sure about things we don’t see”, Heb11:1. Faith is so sure it even surprises any who finds it for the first or even for the last time. Why? Because people never think or thought of God as a real person. All of a sudden God becomes real and different from whatever everyone expected Him to be like. He’s not expected to be real - no, that’s heresy, they say. Some only stumble at it because it goes against their view of having God, since a real God removes one from sinning and from pet sins. For them it is sin to have God so close or even so real. And to kill such by word or motive is to be doing a favor to God, they believe. Why is this so? Isn’t it because their power is being taken away, their sandy ground or foundations are made unsure for some reason? And this being done it brings a kind of uncertainty that makes such stumble at truth. Judgment has arrived. "Nobody understands, nobody perceives our word oh Lord: they are all gone astray". And this causes those who hear from them about God to stumble once they really hear from God.
It is so because it goes against their own sin to have God nearby and so real; God make a desert look like a bountiful plane and makes sin and pleasure in it look like dung. This turns to be so strange that people do rather reject this sudden change and this bountiful life, than their own ways of old because they are not used to it! The ways of old of which they know all about, and which makes them be adapting their fittings into their likings is their stumbling place. This happens to be rejection also, I mean, to accept God this way, but none seems to care. Because all of a sudden things do have to change, even them, it is not understood or taken! The Invisible God is alive and it frightens many. Should He not be real just because He is as He is, I mean invisible? Surprise of all surprises: God is alive!! Just as someone said when I showed him how God leads people. (I was surprised that he did not care about what I was trying to explain - he was taking in the fact that God is there for real! He was seeing God through the massage and not looking at the massage itself). This Christian said in a kind of honest language I would not reproduce here, stating more or less this: “yea, I always thought of God as someone we would worship in church, but now I see that He has nothing to do with that at all. Now it is a question of Him and me - it is personal and true, and it looks like frightening! There’s no more joking about it or flirting the idea of God - no, God is genuine and it frightens me!”).
This man was surprised that God was so real, it was no more a question of feeling, wisdom or thought - no, He was seen just as He is: real! He had to be taken in and fully accepted that way as well.
What is unbelief then? It is, not believing what is true. But it is also looking at true, genuine things our way, so they can carry on being unreal! Why is it so condemnable? Because it rejects what is real and living just because it is invisible and we will rather go for what we think must be visible, even to the blind. “You say I’m rich and have need of nothing and knowest nor that thou art wretched, miserable and poor, and blind and naked”. It is a crime so huge its penalty is death towards God and its reward is eternal fire. It is not God’s fault that He is invisible! He is just as He is - life invisible. Why on earth do you think to be needing to see life your way? Isn’t it like the air you breath everyday, which if you are able to see, then it is only because it is polluted? Do you see your thoughts perhaps? The cleaner the air you breath is, the more invisible it will be. So, why try to make it visible because of unbelief, trying to do some addings to its invisible purity still?
Polluting it, so you can see it and ‘become aware’ you are breathing it, is to commune with darkness' ways so you can see light and not what light shows to you! Beware that in doing that, you will surely also commune and share with its rewards, and darkness will also give you to eat from her table, sharing with you its laments, its groanings and complaints, its dangers towards you, only not life eternal. This crime is even greater when thinking that He was made flesh (visible) and even so was rejected “because He has nothing in Him that we should desire after”! It is not appealing to our senses to have Him that real and that heavenly minded! Now that He is resurrected and walking among His own, people rejoice not. “The children play the flute, and none wants to dance!”
But let’s think on some reasons why people rejoice, feel flattered or even go talking highly, hotheaded when God manages to talk to them. I want to exclude from this thought the joy those have who, being sinners, rejoice at their acceptance by God (as long as it is not a faked joy at all). I want to touch only on the cases that are plain unbelief. I’m excluding faith from this writing, dwelling on unbelief alone.
Whenever people make sure they believe or even apply some method to reinforce ‘faith’ upon themselves or others, do you regard that as faith? Can you do that, somehow? Do you rejoice at such a sight when any come to accept to join church by forced, unnatural own believing? Is God not real anymore just because one is to be joined to us? Do we forsake truth this easily? If you do share in it by taking full part in the motivation of any such, in biblical terms, you are actually sharing on people’s sin or establishing a new one along with your own new one! Faith is to make sure about Reality and not to force belief within, turning reality to seem unreal somehow. Faith is looking at a living God as He is and not believing on someone who is not seen at all! When rejoicing about such ‘faith’, think that maybe there’s no joy in heaven on the sight of what you regard as faith, because faith is not death, but a living issue. Any unnatural kind of believing is worse a sin than idolatry, and such would be far better off if they only would stay cold, because now that “you say we see, you have no excuse”, as Jesus puts it. Do you think worshipping an image of Jesus to be repugnant? What about cherishing a self made church idea about God, even when not carrying such images into church? How bad is a mind image in us? Living on with such dryness of spirit and forcing faith upon the heart is not reproachable? Does John not say “if our hearts condemns us greater is God than our hearts”? The closer the lie is to the truth, the greater sin it is able to work out! Amen.