I am at a place in my life in which I must believe God. I know his voice.. yet, I am not one that just takes him at his voice. Just as I don’t take a prophesy as a done deal. I must see and hear him over and over again. I hate to admit it, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m truly a doubting Thomas. It is not God who I don’t trust really, it is myself. I’ve been told this before, and since I’ve been told this, I’ve found out that it is true. I think most people will admit that if they heard God’s voice, and they knew it was his will, then they wouldn’t doubt. We see a few examples of this in the bible.. 1 John 5:15 states that when we know God hears us, then we know that we will have what we asked for. Also, we have an example in Matthew 8:2 in which a man with leprosy told Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing.. then you can make me clean”. The issue isn’t that we doubt that the Lord is able, rather the issue is that we doubt he is willing. So, when I hear God’s voice and it doesn’t make sense, then I will keep asking or trying to figure out the answer. I am admitting right now that I must hear it in many different forms, and see it in many different ways before I will finally say, “The Lord is clearly telling me…….” because I do not want to delude myself or misinterpret anything! Plus, doubt is there…
Now, there certainly is a difference between doubt that we have, and the doubt that talks to us and makes us question. Questioning is not bad, after all.. we should be sure that we are sure that we are sure that we are hearing God. So, that being said, maybe all this doubting or “questioning” is a good thing. Maybe there is a difference between doubt, which is truly questioning our belief, or believing, but wanting to make extra sure.. this is caution. Now in Philipians chapter 4 we are told to be cautious/anxious for nothing, supposing which version of the bible you are reading. However, if we step out in faith, but have doubts.. then how is whatever we are stepping out to do ever going to weather the storm.
This is how I gain so much confidence in any stand that I take. I take my stands with confidence that won’t waver, because my stance has already been affirmed to me. I’ve already weighed it, or it was given so clearly to me beyond a shadow of the doubt. If having temptations to doubt, or if having doubts leads us to question God for extra confirmation, then is that a bad thing? I think not! Let’s take Gideon for example. I have a friend who always recommends Gideon’s approach to faith. Gideon was told by God that he was to raise an army to defeat the enemy. At first he questioned, not God’s ability, but rather he questioned himself. He questioned his own worth. He questioned if God would really do this for him, he wanted to be certain that he heard God right. So he tested God. You see, the word says do not test God, but in this situation Gideon was seeking reassurance, not being challenging… he wanted to know for sure, so he asked God for a specific sign, and he gave it to him, a couple days in the row. Until Gideon was sure. You see, I think that the bible gives us enough examples of men questioning God and asking specific requests and requirements of God, and God being patient and granting them to show us that God is NOT concerned that we question him. He is actually very patient. He is more concerned about us being sure. So we should seek his face until we are sure.
Now, once we are certain, then we should take the step of faith. Because once we are doing what we are told to do in Ephesians 6:13, to do all that we can do to stand, then we continue to stand. This means that challenges will come against us in the form of circumstances, people discouraging words, tests.. and this is how we develop patience. Do not grow weary in doing good, in this case obeying God and trusting in him… but rather hold fast to that promise that you have not yet received. God told Abraham he would have a child by Sarah, yet they grew weary in waiting, actually it was sarah who grew weary in waiting, so she offered her hand maiden, suggesting the promise would come by her. She was a test to Abraham. Abraham did as she suggested, however if he had stood firm on what God had originally said to him, then maybe they would have never beget Ishmael. However, God is so wise in that he allows certain events to take place because he has a bigger plan and purpose. There is yet a plan for this enemy nation towards Israel, the Ishmaelites . How do I know? Well, I could give you scripture about how God makes everything to work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes. Abraham beget Ishmael, do we really think that God would not also bless him? Even if he wasn’t part of God’s instruction, God is good and still has a purpose. Do you believe? I believe.
I went on a bunny trail for God’s purposes. What God is doing in my life is he is bringing me to a place of surrender to trying to figure out things in my own understanding, and just to trust him. You see, it was also Gideon who God did the impossible through. He not only gave Gideon victory, but he did it with a handful of men compared to the large army that Gideon in his rational mind concluded was needed, God reduced that. You see, God specializes in doing the impossible. We just have to obey him. That is the only part we are to play. God, please help me trust and obey. Amen.