As Christians, doubt is one of the most difficult things we can deal with.
I want to write a little about that. Both about my own doubts and how the Lord is dealing with them, and about something I’ve learned recently which is…
At some point, we should be walking in the assurance of our faith.
First, I want to apologize. Some of the things I’ve written or posted to Facebook in the past had a fear-based approach to salvation rather than faith-based. Though there are things like, “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and the idea that we should “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” I think there is much more to this.
As children of God, we fear Him as we fear a father: with reverence and respect. We don’t fear His judgment as it pertains to the unbeliever. We don’t fall into despair over doubting our calling and election.
The Lord placed things in us for a reason. Our desires to know him, our hunger for righteousness, our disdain for lies and yearning for truth – our faith in Him. These were given us for a reason. He is faithful and true to His children. He will complete His work in us. So, rather than coming to the Lord with a fear-based approach that leads to doubting our salvation, it’s more important and profitable for us to walk with a faith-based mindset – one that leads to peace rather than confusion, trust in the Lord rather than fear, and a single-mindedness towards His Truth rather than second-guessing everything… these things have been my struggles, all because I lived in fear rather than faith.
For me, doubt was more about my own calling by the Lord. From the time He gave me to receive His truth, I rarely doubted that, and what little doubt I did have was meant to solidify my faith in this truth. Sometimes we need to come to conclusions ourselves, even after receiving truth from God-ordained teachers. I certainly did. And I think it’s very profitable for all of us to search the scriptures and test anything we are being told by others.
But, even so, my greatest doubt has always been regarding my own calling/election/salvation – whatever you want to name it. Even with many proofs, I still continued to doubt strongly.
I’ve continually doubted the work I do for the Lord. I’ve always felt it could be better and felt very uneasy about it. But I’m realizing, looking over foolish things I’ve said verses things that are turning out to be true – the foolish writings/notions/postings I’ve made were influenced by others. The truths were given by God, then lumped in with the foolish ideas because I didn’t trust myself.
This has been one of my greatest and doubt-causing struggles: trusting too much in others rather than the Lord. I know I keep saying this, but it’s so very important. We have to look to the Lord in all things and not place too much on our fellow-man. But, for once I am realizing something about myself. I think, just maybe, people aught to listen to some of the things I say…
Sounds totally contradictory and arrogant, right? Let me explain. Now that the Lord is taking me out of fear and placing me in faith, I now have more faith in the work He is doing through me. I believe it. It is not me, but Him in me that should be listened to.
But, I also know there are many who also believe they say truth, and many who claim to be Spirit filled and do lie. A also understand the importance of coming to our own faith and understanding. So, I still vehemently urge anyone who reads things I write or hears things I say to take it to the Lord. I also understand that I can make mistakes, but I trust that even those will work out in our favor – one way or another.
I want to give more of my background information in this. Not because I just like to write about myself (in-fact, I really despise it in a lot of ways), but because this might help someone who also doubts their election of God.
Before the Lord gave me His Holy Spirit, I was a very fearful person (and even after, as you can tell). But, it was far, far worse. I couldn’t hardly look people in the eye and talk to them, much less speak of something so controversial as the gospel. I avoided crowds at all costs, because they’d send me into a full-fledged panic attack. These things were gone instantly when the Lord came to me, and fear – my most formidable foe – is continually conquered by His power!
Everything about what I’m doing with Kindling Truth and associated works is in opposition to my natural mindset. I’m very introverted. I’m not a natural leader. I despise being the center of attention. Each time I publish a post I get a little nauseous. I always feel it could be better, and I know how despised I’m becoming by some people. I was told once by someone that when we have a desire to be seen by others as something – it is vanity. I totally agree. But, that has not been my struggle (though I did entertain an idea inwardly for a time that was vanity and pride). My struggle has been accepting what the Lord is doing through me because of my own incompetence, fears, desires, and other influences that could corrupt that work.
But now, I’m taking comfort in this, because I know it has to be the hand of God pushing me to do these things and changing me so that I can.
There is so much in me that I want to write about. But, I have other obligations, so instead of stressing about it and feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done, I now trust in the Lord. Anything that I need to do or write will happen according to His perfect will and timing.
On a final note, I don’t believe in random coincidences or chance. God is in total control. He is wise, powerful, merciful, and He will direct our paths whether we perceive it or not. I understand how our sinful natures and other human components can cause us to doubt and even make us feel ashamed to call ourselves Christians. I don’t want to continue fueling that doubt in anyone. Don’t despair over your salvation. Trust in the Lord, and if you seek Him with all your might, know that He placed that desire in you.
Have faith, friend! No one can take you out of His mighty hand!