The Difference Between Lack of Faith and Unbelief

Posted By Yvette Dempster on Oct 31, 2016 | 8 comments

I’ve been in repentance mode. I’ve been changing the way I think. It’s important to change the way we think because the enemy is after our minds. If he can affect our thinking he can affect our behaviour.

Repentance means: change the way you think. If you change your thoughts you’ll change your behaviour.

The following is what I’ve been discovering about lack of faith and unbelief. I believe if you can understand the difference it will radically change your life.



BELIEF: an opinion or judgement in which a person is fully persuaded.

FAITH: belief that is not based on proof. Bible says faith needs an outward display (faith without works is dead)

Have you ever heard someone say they needed to increase their faith? Or have you ever said–when you didn’t see an answer to prayer– that something must be wrong with your faith? Have you ever thought you had a lack of faith? If so, I have good news! You don’t have a faith problem!

The Bible says every man has been given the measure of faith. Not just a measure, but the measure; a specific size. (Romans 12:3– the measure of faith. A standard of measure that’s equal) Not just every believer, but every human being. If that weren’t true no one could ever become born again, since it takes faith to believe with our heart and confess with our mouths that God raised Jesus from the dead in order to be saved. (Romans 10:9)

So everyone has been given the same amount of faith, it’s up to every individual whether or not they use it, and what they use it on. But what is the ‘size’ of our faith? I believe it’s the size of a grain of mustard seed. (Matt 17:20)

That’s small faith! But isn’t small faith bad?  Didn’t Jesus call His disciples ‘oh men of little faith?’ Wasn’t He rebuking them for having little faith?

That phrase (little-faith) is Strongs 3640 oligopisto (from oligos: low, small amount and pisitis: faith, belief, trust) occurs 6 times in Scripture and it’s always used  when the disciples were faced with natural circumstances:


  1. Matt 6:30 (about grass of field being clothed, doesn’t God care more about you)
  2. Matt 8:26 (the storm in the boat)
  3. Matt 14:31 (Peter walking on water then beginning to sink)
  4. Matt 16:8 (When Jesus commented on being aware of the bread of Pharisees and disciples thought He was rebuking them for not bringing bread, and He said ‘do you not understand or remember the 5 loaves for 5,000 and how many baskets left over?)
  5. Matt 17:20 (when disciples couldn’t cast out demon in the boy who was seizing. And they asked Him why they couldn’t. He answered, because of oligopisto. Then He says, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”)
  6. Luke 12:28 (same as Matt 6:30-grass of the field and being clothed)


Why would Jesus rebuke the disciples for having “little faith” if He told them many times that only a little faith the size of mustard seed would make the impossible possible?

And how could they be responsible for the SIZE of their faith if it was gift to begin with?

I asked Holy Spirit this: and He said to look at those scriptures again. Not the translations but the original Greek text. What I found was that depending on the translation, sometimes pistis was used to describe faith, and sometimes belief. So which one is it? Is there a difference?


Scripture will always explain itself

Let’s go back to Matt 17:20. Jesus wasn’t talking about prayer and fasting being the only thing that will cast out the demon that caused the boy to sieze; if the name of Jesus won’t cast a demon out, then we should all go home. NOTHING STANDS AGAINST THE NAME OF JESUS!

No, this particular scripture  in a few translations like KJV, Aramaic Bible In Plain English, and others, is directly translated as Jesus explaining that it was”because of your unbelief.” That the demon wouldn’t go. Jesus said, “this kind (of unbelief— NOT demon) doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting.”


In Mark 9:29 we also see this verse. However, a closer look at the original Greek text says it this way: “This — kind by nothing is able to go out but by prayer.” The word ‘fasting’ isn’t in the original text. Again, Jesus is addressing the disciples question. Why they couldn’t cast it out. Prayer, in this context, is the Greek word ‘proseuché’ taken from two different words: proseux (towards, exchange) & ‘euxe’ (wishes). It literally means ‘an exchange of wishes.’ So if we properly translate what is being said here, Jesus is saying the disciples could do what was asked of them by an exchange of wishes. Jesus always did what He saw His Father doing and He showed the disciples how to live the same way: by doing what they saw Him doing. In this case they wished to cure the boy. So, in prayer they were told to exchange that with God’s wish. What is God’s wish? It’s His will: That everyone would be well.

Unbelief is a 5 senses thing…


Whatever you focus your attention on will dominate you.

Whatever you don’t focus on CANNOT dominate you

Our senses can affect us if we let them.

Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear…” Mark 4:24

1 Cor 15:33 Paul says, “Don’t be deceived: evil communications corrupts good manners.”

Example of 5 senses affecting mankind from the beginning:

Satan was talking to Eve about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen. 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”


Eve didn’t focus her attention on the fruit until Satan pointed it out. She hadn’t considered it before so she was never tempted by it before. But as soon as her focus shifted to it, she engaged her five senses.

We could not be tempted with disbelief if we didn’t focus our attention on something other than God’s Word. The Bible says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

If all you do is mediate on the Word of God, then all you can do is believe God. If you’ve been tempted with doubt and unbelief it’s because you’ve been thinking about something other than the Word of God.

If we go to the Doctor and receive a bad report, or even if we have a pain, what do most of us do? We GOOGLE IT. We let Dr. Google diagnose us and we let that affect us. It puts doubt and unbelief in our heart.

I’ve asked Believers why they do that and their response is, “We should understand the symptoms because God gave us wisdom. It’s common sense.” I disagree. Whose wisdom? Man’s? Google’s? Or God’s? And I don’t want to live by common sense. It may be common for the rest of the world, but Believers have the Mind of Christ. We have a higher sense.

Romans 16:19 Paul tell us that we should be wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. But it seems we’ve turned it around. We have become wise about evil (we know so much about negative things that are contrary to the Word of God) and we’ve become simple to that which is good. HOW? By educating ourselves on diseases, and what to expect when we’ve been diagnosed with something. That kind of ‘common sense’ is contrary to the Word of God and it builds up unbelief in us.

It’s time we separate ourselves from what is ‘normal’ to the world and start renewing our minds to what is ‘normal’ in the Kingdom.


SMITH WIGGLESWORTH STORY-excerpt from Andrew Wommack

Click for story

A woman in one of Smith’s meetings had a huge tumor. In his meetings, Smith would often say, “The first person to stand up will be healed of whatever problem he has.” He said that and this lady, with two other ladies holding her up, stood up. She was in terrible pain and her legs were so thin she could not stand by herself. They took her up on the platform and Smith said, “Let her go.” The two ladies with her answered, “She can’t stand if we let her go—she’ll fall.” So he said again, “Let her go.” They let her go, and she fell over with a thud. You could imagine what the crowd thought. Smith said, “Pick her up.” So they picked her up, and again he said, “Let her go.” They said, “We can’t let her go, she’ll fall,” so he raised his voice and said, “Let her go!” They let her go, and she fell again, crying out in pain. So they picked her up, and for the third time he said, “Let her go.” They answered, “We will not let her go—that’s cruel,” so he raised his voice again and said, “Let her go!” They answered, “No!” Just then, a man stood up in the audience and yelled, “You callous brute—leave her alone!” Smith yelled back at him, “You mind your own business. I know mine.” He yelled again and said, “Let her go!” They let her go, and that tumor just fell off on the floor. She walked right out of there healed. Do you know why it worked for him? Because whenever he saw something contrary to what God had told him, he hardened himself to it. He was hardened to his senses, even his good, natural senses, so that he was not moved by anything except what God had told him. That’s why it worked.

Smith didn’t look at the situation with his natural eyes when that woman fell on her tumor. He didn’t waver. He told her friends to pick her up.

And when that man shouted at Smith to leave her alone, Smith didn’t judge by his emotions and start feeling bad, or judge by what that man thought about the situation, He simply told the man to mind his own business. Smith was doing His Father’s business.

What if you went to someone in a wheelchair in faith that they would walk the minute their feet touched the ground, and you pulled them out of the wheelchair only to have them fall flat on the ground? What would you think? Would you look around and wonder who saw? Or would you worry that you’d embarrassed that person, or caused them pain?

If any of those thoughts crossed your mind, it’s the minute you’ve been tempted with unbelief. Nothing happened to your faith. It’s there. God gave you faith, it didn’t go away. But suddenly, looking at the person on the ground and thinking ‘oh no, I’ve hurt them…” is when you’ve let your natural senses dictate what you should do. That’s what unbelief is. It’s focussing on the natural. It’s contemplating the wrong thing.

If you’ve been tempted with unbelief, don’t throw in the towel, give it all up and go home. It’s not the temptation that counts, if it were then Jesus would’ve been in trouble the minute He was led to the wilderness and the devil tempted Him.

No, it’s when we GIVE IN to the temptation that it matters.

Instead of looking at the person on the ground, apologizing and helping them back into their wheelchair we should take a lesson from Smith Wigglesworth.

I had a situation similar to this when I went to a restaurant with my mom a few summers ago.  The woman who owned coffee shop was in a wheel chair. I was having a conversation with my mom while keeping my eye on the woman wheeling back and forth. The place was full of people. When the woman passed by our table I called out to her.

After asking her if she wanted to be out of the chair, I grabbed her and yanked her up. Then I let her go. She wobbled and held on to the table. She hadn’t walked in 3 years she said.

I told her why it was possible for her to walk again. Why I was doing what I was doing. I gave her the Gospel. So she could HEAR Truth.

After a few minutes, she let go of the table. She told me she’d heard the Gospel before but she believed she was meant to be in the wheelchair. I said, but you walked! What do you mean you’re supposed to be in that chair! She turned around and walked back to it and climbed back in.

I left sad. I had given her a gift and in the end she refused it. I saw her a few weeks later at church in her chair. She came for a few weeks, always steering clear of me. Then she sold her restaurant and I haven’t seen her since.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. She heard, then she chose.

God had nothing to do with her healing.

What? That’s hypocrisy!

Healing has nothing to do with God BECAUSE God doesn’t pick and choose Who He is going to heal. He isn’t even handing out healing today. He already healed everyone 2,000 years ago, just like He forgave everyone their sins 2,000 years ago. Is everyone saved? No, because they have to believe and confess it. Is everyone healed? No, they have to receive it. Salvation is a gift and healing is part of salvation.

Read here, for Part 2.


  1. Soooooo good! Never heard before the unbelief going by prayer and fasting, NOT the demon. Thanks for overflowing with all that good stuff God gives you 😉

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    • Crazy how often we’ve heard interpreted differently, isn’t it? All I know is, we aren’t limited in Him. All things are possible to those who believe. For this I’m thankful ☺️

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      • Our sails will become full and we WILL carry His beautiful and powerful wind to the ends of the earth. What an extraordinary time to be alive! God bless you Yvette as the largeness of your destiny unfolds into something you only vaguely perceive at this time. The best is yet to come!

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        • Thanks, Lon! That’s very encouraging. And I can hardly wait to see what else He is unfolding for us all!

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  2. Really Good, I know what you say is true. I haven’t experienced this revelation but believe that I will and when I see from heavens perspective I will walk in the healing that has been paid for and those I encounter can also receive.

    I so long to live beyond the COMMON sense of this world.

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    • I hear you, Chris! And I agree that when we see from Heaven’s perspective everything changes! Thanks for your response. Peace and joy to you 🙂

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  3. Thank you Yvette for this article! I love your articles and it always seems that you write something about a subject that the Lord has been speaking to me about too!! I felt the Lord told me that I needed to get a telescopic vision of Just Him instead of a CinemaScope vision – viewing all the world sees! We need to just look to him!! Thanks so much for this article!!

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    • I love that He said that to you! I fully agree. I just want to keep my eyes on Him at all times. Thanks for that reminder and for taking the time to comment.

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