Unbelief is a Parody to me

It seems it takes faith to have non-faith? As one parades around words and actions of unbelief parody begins to lead the parade. Why you might ask? How could this be? I believe it is an exercise in self-parody. I recently read portions of “Welcome to Your Brain” by Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt. They gave an interesting thought on mental aptitude:

Q. “Why can’t you tickle yourself?”


A. “When doctors examine a ticklish patient, they place the patient’s hand over theirs during the exam to prevent the tickling sensation. Why does this work? Because no matter how ticklish you may be, you can’t tickle yourself. Go ahead. Try it. The reason is that with every move you make, part of your brain is busy predicting the sensory consequences of that movement. This system keeps your senses focused on what’s happening in the world so important signals aren’t drowned out in the endless buzz of sensations caused by your own actions.”

If we were to take a trek through our intellectual terrain we might find why we have unbelief? This takes a little thought. Well, at least for me it does! I also read that it takes more brainpower to look at a photograph than it does to play chess, do long division, or sleep. Now, do you believe that? I had to laugh at this one. When I see my friends, not me, look at themselves in a photo they don’t miss a thing, age, weight, hair, lips, hips, feet, and even heart they seem to see!

How does one increase their faith? How can we turn unbelief into belief? “The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” And, the Lord replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:5 NLT) Note: Mustard seed may be small in size but full of nutrients and valuable in the market place.

“And because of their unbelief, he (Jesus) couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:5 NLT) Note: Healings did happen!

Look again at Jesus and his emotion about unbelief. “What do you mean, if I can! Jesus asked? Anything is possible if a person believes. The father instantly cried out, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-25 NLT) I affirm with the authors, “Welcome to your brain.”

It takes a certain type of action to overcome unbelief. Did you notice the words of the father that was crying out to Jesus? He said, “I do believe! But, help me overcome my unbelief?” What a parody? I do but I don’t. I do but not enough. I think that is more like it. I have some faith but I need to ‘up the ante.’ We need to increase what is at stake or under discussion by taking the appropriate action that is needed to make it happen. Believe it, dream it, pray it, and use every resource you have to brain it. Have you recognized that God has given you gifts and talents to use? Brain them!

(Deuteronomy 8:18 NLT), says, “The Lord is the one who gives you power to be successful.” He gives you the ability, creative ideas and desires for your talents and spiritual gifts. But, you have to be zealous and do your part. We sow seeds into the dream/project/work to see the fruit. Use your mustard seed faith and brain it. Put your brain in your heart and enjoy it!

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17 thoughts on “Unbelief is a Parody to me

  1. Have not processed this all out at all, yet but it came to me that you are saying…..
    “PLANT your brain in your HEART and enjoy the crop” ????NO?????

  2. MG your comment reminds me that the Bible does say we reap what we sow.
    I have never thought about parody very much. I had to go look it up to understand it : a feeble or ridiculous imitation. And I keep re-reading Sara’s description of parody leading the parade when one parades around words or actions of unbelief. That’s an incentive to get moving and pursue faith.

  3. Debi…Did you look up self-parody as well as parody? The belief here is unbelief! Why do we have it… unbelief? Do we enjoy it? Do we have to keep it? If not, how do we unload it? Is it as simple as it seems Jesus makes it out to be? If so, why do we tolerate it? Where is it? Does it live? Does it talk? Does it sleep? Or, is it just the tickle of the being?

  4. Mg, I would have thought it said, “Put your hand to the plow” and enjoy it. Or, as Mahalia Jackson sings, “Keep Your Hand on the Plow.”

    Luke 9:62…”Jesus told him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

    Not sure I want to plant my brain in my heart until I know what seed of my thinking I am planting. Maybe I need the great physician’s hand on the tickle with mine riding over his. Hopefully, I won’t spend so much time on things that tickle my fancy.

  5. A tad bit more from,“Welcome to Your Brain” “For instance, as we write, we are unaware of the feel of the chair and the texture of our socks. Yet we’d immediately notice a tap on the shoulder. If the only information your brain received was pure touch sensation, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether someone was punching your shoulder or whether you’d just bumped into a wall. Since you’d want to react very differently to those two situations, it’s important for your brain to be able to tell them apart effortlessly.”

  6. A tickle can be dangerous as when the Lord talks about itching ears in the Old and New Testaments. In Ezekiel 3:10, HE tells Ezekiel, “All MY Words which I speak to you, receive in your Heart and hear with your ears.” That is an interesting reverse order of what we usually think. First you hear and then you plant….but God says FIRST with the Heart and then hear with the ears. Sort of like what Sara says about your heart had better be pure when you Plant…..
    In 2 Tim 4:3, God talks about itching or tickled ears. This is scary. Paul writes to Timothy, “People will not tolerate sound doctrine or WHOLESOME instruction or admonition but have itching ears…to be tickled for something pleasing and gratifying (to our fleshly nature, or our soulish nature) under the guise of spirituality And they will “sit” under many teachers (probably gathering large crowds of ticklish ears) who satisfy their own likings and thus they (teachers) foster error.
    Like Lisa Bevere says, ‘teachers reading & teaching what they believe from the Bible rather than believing what they read in the Bible’ And giving great laudation and commendation to false teachers whose HEARTS are far from GOD, even though they quote, unquote teach the bible and call themselves Christians.

  7. Sara, you asked …’If not, how do we unload it? (unbelief). I was reading tonight in Matt 17:20-21 that Jesus told his disciples that the reason they couldn’t cast the demon out of the epileptic child was because of their unbelief. Then he told them the same scripture you used above from Luke 17 to tell them about faith and the mustard seed. And he also said, “however this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” So maybe one way to unload unbelief is through prayer and fasting?

  8. Interesting concept, Debi. Fast and Pray for a specific kind of thing, that being epileptic in a child. Now would fasting and praying make unbelief a fugitive on the run in any area of unbelief? If you were to fast and pray for a child with epileptic would they be healed? Is there a prescribe fast for this? Or, is Jesus once again letting the reader-hearer know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    Does our faith go back to our talents, spiritual giftings, time, and energy with desire in heart and to be united together in commitment with other believers?

  9. Romans 10… ISV “Consequently, faith results from listening, and listening results through the word of the Messiah.”
    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary…10:12-17 “There is not one God to the Jews, more kind, and another to the Gentiles, who is less kind; the Lord is a Father to all men. The promise is the same to all, who call on the name of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as God manifest in the flesh. All believers thus call upon the Lord Jesus, and none else will do so humbly or sincerely. But how should any call on the Lord Jesus, the Divine Saviour, who had not heard of him? And what is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It shows that we feel our dependence on him, and are ready to give up ourselves to him, and have a believing expectation of our all from him. It was necessary that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles. Somebody must show them what they are to believe. How welcome the gospel ought to be to those to whom it was preached! The gospel is given, not only to be known and believed, but to be obeyed. It is not a system of notions, but a rule of practice. The beginning, progress, and strength of faith is by hearing. But it is only hearing the word, as the word of God that will strengthen faith.”

  10. That’s good, Debi. But how to systematically dismantle a belief system that is based on unbelief; not taking God at His Word.
    David Teems writes, ” Some say Metaphorical, allegorical, symbolic or parabolic. But he says, “Scripture is literal, every word set in its proper and unquestioned place.” Prayer and fasting…that is fasting those things that take our thoughts and minds & hearts away from the living God and His direction in our lives, our time with Him. Paul tell Timothy in 2 Tim 2: 15 to study (the Word) analyze and correctly and accurately dividing the Word of Truth…” I believe Paul was saying as we study and deduce the truth from the Scriptures , literally “eat” the Word of God faith will arise in our hearts, by the IMPLANTED Word of GOD.
    Kenneth Copeland once asked ‘how can we build up our faith if we have only one “hot meal of the Word” on Sundays and a cold snack during the week (WED. nights)’

  11. If I am understanding your comments Sara and MG then prayer and studying God’s word enables listening and fasting focuses the listening and faith?
    I’m thinking Sara’s comment ‘Up the ante’ requires action after listening to get directions, like using your hands (or your tools, giftings, talents)to pick up the ‘poker chip’ and stretch yourself a little further in an area of gifting. Also maybe the action of uping the ante helps others that you are in committment with to spring to action also (and up another one)so their faith can be increased?

  12. Debi, not totally sure I understand what you are saying or mean with “use your hands or tools,” etc. Maybe one should connect theirs to others for a magnificent worship of God. I believe in the power of people. When people come together in one accord and of one purpose you see things begin to happen.

    We have just seen Barack Obama bring a nation together in vast numbers, ie the larger majority. President Obama is not moving to the White House alone. The White House is the house of the people. The people of the USA have moved President Barack and his family there. As Matthew Henry above states “the Lord is Father to all men.” We need a love of people and a joining hands together to show and give God Glory! How does the church bridge its people together to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven.”

  13. I can’t help but think of the lesson taught by the vision that Peter saw (in the book of Acts) as he was waiting on the roof for his supper to be prepared. In the Vision a large sheet was let down from heaven by the four corners and within the sheet were all kinds of 4-footed animals, beasts, birds, reptiles, etc. Then the word of the Lord came to him….’Take, kill and eat.’ At first Peter was repulsed. The sheet was let down 3 times. At last Peter replied that he would never partake of any unclean animal or bird, according to the LAW. But Jesus answered from Heaven, ‘Call not unclean or inappropriate anything that I have cleansed and sanctified.
    Later Peter spoke and said, ” Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons. But in every nation, he who venerates and has reverential fear of God and acts with worshipful OBEDIENCE is acceptable to the Lord and welcomed by Him., (into the Kingdom)”
    It is the coming together of God’s people in Reverential worship, in one accord, that moves the hand of the Lord. That is called “the congregation” of the faithful wherein we gather together to bring laudation to the Lord and to work the works , using our spiritual gifts, our talents and our skills to increase and prepare the Body of Christ for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and to bring into the Kingdom, such are to be saved. It is a ONE-ACCORD kind of labor. When Jesus told us to love our “neighbor” as ourselves He was making a connection between our brother and ourselves.
    When the Pharisees tried to shoot down Jesus’ teaching about loving your neighbor with the question…. “And just who is my neighbor?” Jesus told him the story of THE GOOD SAMARITAN. Working the works, in love, in the congregation and with whosoever God sends in our direction…those are the PEOPLE that God is talking about. Know any??

  14. Where is the faith? It seems we are talking about everything but the subject. Aren’t we discussing faith or lack thereof?

  15. Gary, this IS All about Faith. It’s about believing what the Bible says, in every word of every verse in every chapter of every book in the Bible. Faith comes by HEARING the WORD OF GOD…as one preacher put it….”spoken out of our our own mouths” Always speaking the Word, praying the Word and reading the Word, teaching the Word and listening to the Word. And then BY FAITH, again, acting on THE WORD. That’s our part and portion. The rest is up to the HOLY SPIRIT.

  16. After talking with Dorothy and looking at Jon’s picture of the Gypsy Girl. I like Dorothy think it takes less energy to take up chess than to figure out the details in the picture. At least as Dorothy said you can do one step at a time with chess or long division. If God gives pictures to hold on for his kingdom and I place them in my heart’s pocket and pray and work-them, I will go on an adventure which will be like a roller coaster – exciting, enjoyable, unpredictable but yet focused and controlled by the hand of the Holy Spirit. If we want an adventure, brain it, work it, and watch what God does. Don’t take it out of your pocket or the Brain BuZZ of the world will surely replace the picture with stuff to do that just might drive you to death.

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