Have you ever experienced a time when you mauled and mauled over something in your mind, focusing, pondering, thinking, grasping over a way to describe in some sort of semblance of complete sentences that made some sort of sense, at least in the English language? (Did that question itself make sense?) Have you ever tried to wrap your mind around a concept that just seemed to grow more and more unwrap-able the more and more you thought about it? I don’t know about you, but I like to “wrap things up”. I like to think and think, and then have a concluding thought or thoughts. I like to tie up my thought time in a nice, neat presentable little package with one of those cute bows on top. I like that… doesn’t mean it always happens.
I’ve been thinking over this post for quite some time now. More importantly than a post, though, is this particular topic. This topic has come up over and over in my life. It’s both a pro and a con in my life. It’s both a soft, cozy blanket, and an unwelcomed guest. It’s helped me to gain perspective, and also taken me away from the focus I long to have. It reminds me of how much truth matters. The topic is… doubt.
A book that I pick up from time to time is titled Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, and the chapter I happened to open up to the other day was entitled, A Doubtful and Unbelieving Mind. In the verb form, doubt is defined as “…to stand in two ways… implying uncertainty which way to take…” To differentiate between doubt and unbelief, doubt causes a person to waver between two opinions, whereas unbelief leads to disobedience.
Do you remember a time where you were faced with two scenarios, both decisions looked favorable, yet only one could be chosen? Maybe both opportunities looked attractive, both had pros and cons, perhaps you sought advice, yet the more you deliberated, the more confused you became? I seem to become struck with these decisions more than I care to think about at times. I can’t say that I have it all figured out, but one instance at a time, I can relate to this statement written on the pages of this book – “Go somewhere, get quiet and still, then turn your head off. Look into your heart, see what is there, and do it!” Basically, tune into your heart, what does it say, acknowledge it, and go forth!
5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to recognize just how “double-minded” I can be. For years, I thought I was doing the right thing in thoroughly thinking through my options before making a decision. I thought it wise, necessary, and even the responsible thing to do. So much so, that I took it to the extreme, becoming so anguished over a decision that I became paralyzed to make ANY decision. I didn’t recognize the lie that I had to be all-knowing, I didn’t recognize from whom my thoughts came. I didn’t recognize that through all my “thinking” I grew more and more fearful of the consequences of making the wrong decision. I didn’t recognize my lack of trust, I didn’t recognize my lack of faith, I didn’t recognize my true lack of foundation. I needed to be filled with truth, and with that truth, I’ve found what I didn’t realize was actually missing…freedom.
How I am so thankful for His truth. I have something to stand on that is unshakable, unchangeable, unwavering in a world that is constantly changing, shaking and changing. God shows me a man named Abraham that, though imperfect in every sense of the word, did not waver when he considered his impossible situation (Romans 4-18-21). He shows us that we can be aware of our circumstances and yet, purposefully, glorify God when we continue to do what we know is right in adverse circumstances. Just like Peter who stepped out and walked on water (Matthew 14:24-32), the storms of life cease as soon as you quit doubting and crawl back into a place of safety and security.
If you are interested in this topic as well, I highly recommend John Ortberg’s book simply titled, Faith and Doubt. I’m currently half-way through it as it’s giving me lots to chew on. As with anything, I encourage you to simply remember to ask God for wisdom. A common phrase or question being asked frequently of our children is, “Did you ask?” Many times the “silent” response reiterates the rhetorical question. John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Thanks for spending time in simply reading this today. God has a great life planned for you. Don’t let the devil steal it from you through lies! Instead…
refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and…lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Enjoy your day with Him!