Pastor E.A. Deckard

By Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

“From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That’s what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest.” Jane Goodall

“The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.” M. Scott Peck

Forward Thinkers, Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, when he was a child he thought and acted like a child but when he became a man he changed his thinking and behavior. Paul was describing a power move going from a weak little boy to a powerful full grown man. Today, the church needs more full grown powerful believers instead of little children thinking and acting weak.

Forward Thinkers, as a child growing up in church we used to sing this song, this little light of mine I’m going to let it shine. Shine, shine, and shine everywhere I go I’m going to let it shine. As a child, I thought that was a cute little song but as I grew up in my faith Forward Thinkers I realized that is a powerful song. Everywhere I go I’m going to let my light shine is a power statement because weak people don’t have the power to shine everywhere they go.

Forward Thinkers, we must be operating in the power of God; to have the power to shine in every environment and situation. Powerful people shine while weak people make excuses and play the blame game.

Luke 10:17 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 Then the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!”

Forward Thinkers, one of the most popular songs out today, “Break Every Chain”, by Tasha Cobbs has a powerful line in it, “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain, break every chain, and break every chain.”

Forward Thinkers, Tasha Cobbs sings about the power in the name of Jesus; seventy-two disciples of Jesus came back with a powerful report that even the demons submit to them in His name. My question today is where is the power? We discovered God created us with power and Jesus gave us authority to use His Name and walk in the power of His name. So, again where is the power?

Forward Thinkers, could the problem be we have stop saying amen? Amen means, so be it or to be in agreement and many of us show up to church week after week and never say amen. The power is released when we stand in agreement with the word and when we declare; so be it no matter how things look. Forward Thinkers, the bible says let your light shine now can you say amen?

Forward Thinkers, we saw last week the enemy used fear to rob us of our power and today I want us to look at how our lack of faith or our unbelief has affected our power. We just saw seventy-two disciples of Jesus return with a praise report of their power in His Name but now let’s look at what happens when we don’t believe in the power of Jesus.

Matthew 13:58 New International Version (NIV)

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Mark 6:5 New International Version (NIV)

5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Forward Thinkers, don’t get it twisted, Jesus did not lose his power; he is still the same Jesus that gave sight to the blind, healed the woman with issue of blood, raised the dead man Lazarus and the dead daughter of Jarius, walked on water, turned water to wine, and told the water storm peace be still, and yes the same Jesus that overcame the grave in three days. Forward Thinkers the old preacher would remind us, “He got up with all power in His hand”.

Forward Thinkers, the problem is not with Jesus, the problem is with our faith in the power of Jesus. The phrase ‘he could not’ does not mean he literally could not but rather he chose not to under those conditions. Ok, let me make it even clearer, have you ever said I can’t go to church today? The fact is you could go (you could drive, walk, catch a ride, or call a taxi) but for whatever reason you chose not to go. Jesus could still operate in power but he chose not to under those faithless conditions.

Jesus is not going to release the power in the wrong atmosphere. Let’s pause and invite Jesus back in our lives and our communities so he can freely release the power.

The seventy-two believed Jesus operated in the power but, those who grew up around Jesus doubted his power; therefore, they could not experience the power. What a tragedy to have access to the power of Jesus and remain powerless.

Unbelief robs you of your power. In this passage, we see it affecting the power of people in three ways:

Unbelief Robs You of Your Vision

Matthew 13:54 New International Version (NIV)

54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.

Forward Thinkers, miracles were happening — the dead were being raised, the lame were walking, the blind were seeing, the deaf were hearing. It was obvious God was working. But unbelief was blinding the eyes to the obvious. People are still blinded today, even though it is obvious God is real.

People perish because of a lack of vision and unbelief is robbing many of us of our vision. Forward Thinkers, unbelief has us waiting to see something happen before we believe in the power of faith making it happen. Forward Thinkers, when I plant a seed in the ground I don’t see it anymore but I believe in the power of seed time and harvest time.

Forward Thinkers, while you’re questioning why Jesus has not showed out in your life lately maybe you should be focusing on increasing your level of faith to receive and experience the power of Jesus in your life.

Unbelief Poisons Our Hearts

Forward Thinkers unbelief not only robs us of our vision, which results in skepticism, but unbelief also poisons our hearts, which results in cynicism. Church out of the heart flows the springs of abundant life therefore the enemy desires to fill our hearts with unbelief.

Matthew 13:55-57 New International Version (NIV)

55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

Forward Thinkers, no matter what the lesson is I’m always reminded the bible says so as a man thinks in his heart so is he. Therefore, when a person will not believe, his heart will inevitably become poisoned towards the family of God . . . ‘isn’t his dad a carpenter — just an ordinary carpenter? He’s not a scholar nor a rabbi, a Bishop, nor a miracle worker. We know his dad, he’s the carpenter. We’ve heard about his mother Mary and her problem. She was pregnant before she got married.’

You see, Forward Thinkers, the unbeliever will always attack the family of God. His heart will become poisoned as he points out the problems of others connected to Jesus.

Unbelief will have you looking at the errors and mistakes of others instead of looking at the amazing power of Jesus. We can’t allow unbelief to harden our hearts were we stop believing in the power of Jesus to use us in a mighty way. One of my favorite people in the bible was Peter and in spite of all his issues he believed Jesus and followed Jesus and was greatly used by Jesus to do mighty acts.

Forward Thinkers, notice the doubter can’t find fault with Jesus so they put their doubt on those connected to Jesus.

Unbelief Robs You of Your Joy

Matthew 13:58 New International Version (NIV)

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Forward Thinkers, when Jesus went to his home town, he would have healed many if they would have believed. Great joy would have filled that city. But Jesus will not work outside the arena of faith. Jesus has chosen to limit Himself in certain ways. And because they didn’t believe, he chose not to put in work. Forward Thinkers, unbelief robbed the people of experiencing the joy of the power of Jesus.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church now located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at or the church website

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