Tag: doubt

Comfort is the opposite of faith

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image credit: Creation Swap user Shane Cappelle

Without an oncoming wave. In the middle of the calm. In an open field with no breeze.

Without a wall to climb. A hill to take. Or a gate to storm.

Without a battle to fight. An onslaught to defend. A war to wage.

Without the need for tenacity. Bite. And digging in my heels.

Without a sprint. A hurdle. Or one more lap to swim.

Without naysayers. Without doubters.

Without chaos. Without a bit of confusion.

Without “but it’s too hard.” Without “but we’ve never done it like that.” Without “there’s no way.”

Without faith.

 

I rely on myself. I trust in me. I make much of Ben.

I move too quickly. I wait too long. I shuffle my feet.

I lax in prayer. I lax in study. I drop in growth.

I grow weary. Get bored. Meddle where I shouldn’t.

I doubt. Blame others. I shift responsibility.

I grow frustrated. Apathetic. Listless.

I am fidgety. Nervous. I can’t sink in my toes.

I scratch. Scrape. But my heart grows cold.

I wither.

 

Give me a challenge and I thrive.

Give me “comfortable” and I waste away.

 

Am I the only one?

 

 

The #1 way to fight insecurity

Moses is one of my favorite heroes in the Bible. Partly because of the danger surrounding the time of his birth. Partly because he was an amazing leader. Partly because he got to part an entire sea.

 

The Delivery of Israel & the Red Sea, 1825, Francis Danby

But mainly because I love how real Moses appears. You get to see Moses’ humanity throughout his story. The fact that he’s weak, doubts his call, and still messes up gives me loads of hope that God could use me despite my weaknesses, doubts, and failures.

God called Moses to lead the oppressed Israelites to freedom from their bondage to Egypt, and Moses doubted whether this would work. After all, he was just Moses. And Pharaoh was the most powerful man in the world.

In Exodus 4, so God could prove to Moses that He is who He says He is, God asks Moses to throw his shepherd’s staff on the ground. When he does, it turns into a snake. He then asks Moses to pick it up by the tail. Not the head. The tail. (For the record, I have some level of faith…but if you ask me to pick up a snake by the tail, I’m out. Call someone else.)

Moses picks it up, then God tells him to put his hand into his cloak. When Moses pulls his hand out, it’s leprous. God instructs Moses to put his hand back in his cloak, and when Moses pulls it out, his hand has returned to normal.

Cool story, no? Crazy miracles, no? Moses had seen two miracles, right before his eyes, but still responded with this:

“O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” – Exodus 4:10

Sticks turning to snakes. Hands being turned all crazy. And Moses still doubted? Doubted that God could use his bumbling mouth to lead a people to freedom? Doubted that God could do what He said He’d do? Doubted God would come through for him?

Yep. Moses listened to the voice of insecurity.

Because Moses thought he was still operating in his own power.

Insecurity does a great job highlighting weaknesses and isolating you from Truth. Moses was weak, and on his own, he would surely fail. Before the most powerful man in the world, Moses would just curl up into the corner and cry, being constantly reminded of how weak and “unusable” he was.

Good thing for Moses, though, he wasn’t going alone. He was simply a mouthpiece for the living God.

We are Moses

We’re no different than Moses.

We see miracles all around us. We see God healing people (often through medicine). We see God reconciling marriages. We see addictions broken. Hearts far from God turning back to Him. Sons returning home. Fathers owning their responsibilities. Mothers selflessly giving of themselves. Walls coming down.

We even see God using us to bring about change in others. We see God working miracles in our own lives.

Great miracles.

But we doubt. We wonder how God could ever use us. Just like Moses did. We feed our insecurities and doubts, relying on our own strengths. We remind ourselves that we’re

  • weak
  • scared
  • busy
  • tired
  • funny looking
  • dumb
  • failure
  • wounded
  • ugly
  • hopeless
  • addicted
  • lazy
  • bitter
  • worn out
  • shameful
  • too messy
  • still in process

So how could God ever use us?

Because God says to you:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s not about your strength and your gifts and your ability to lead. It’s about you trusting God to do what only He can do.

Your insecurities are a chance for God to show off through you. To remind you that it’s not about you.

Ready to fight doubt? Ready to defeat insecurity?

Take a step of risky faith.

And listen to the voice of God, not men.

 

 

The power of a homely testimony

image credit: Creation Swap User Rob Gros

I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were, and still are, amazingly solid followers of Jesus. I look to them and, when I grow up, want to

  • Have a marriage like theirs
  • Follow Jesus like they do
  • Lead like they do
  • Find wisdom like they’ve found

They did a great job pointing me to Jesus and, at the ripe age of 6, I began following Him. I didn’t understand it all. But I understood enough to know that, without Jesus, I didn’t have a relationship with God. And I desperately wanted a relationship with Him!

So my journey began.

As I got into high school, I started hearing “those testimonies.” You know which ones I’m talking about. The radical conversions. The “I was a drug addict when I walked in tonight, and now I follow Jesus and I don’t even want for those drugs anymore.” The “I slept with every guy I looked at for 5 years…and now I love Jesus.”

Part of me, the sinful part of me for sure, wished I had a testimony like that. I mean, come on…I began following Jesus when I was 6. What kind of serious trouble can I get in by then? If I’d waited a few years, say, at least 10, maybe I could’ve added a bit of flair to my testimony. I wish I had a cool story. For a few reasons:

1. I bet they had a crazy amount of fun. Sure, it was empty. Sure, it didn’t ultimately satisfy. But dang, they had a good time doing it! (I know…don’t judge me. You’ve had those thoughts too). I know Christians can, and should, have fun, but…

2. They can look back on their life and assuredly say, “I’m different now that I follow Jesus.” From drugs to hugs. From passionate love with the opposite sex…to passionately following Jesus. From fights with classmates to fights with the devil. From…ok, I’ll stop. You get the picture.

That second reason really hung over me. And if I can be honest, some days it still tries to hook me in. “You’re not really different” I hear whispered. “What has Jesus really done in your life?” is shot my way. “Are you sure you’re following Jesus?” enters my doubt.

If I only had a sexy testimony!

The homely testimony

But wait. My testimony is sexy. It is radical. It is powerful.

Once I was lost, and now I’m found. Once I was an enemy, and now I’m a son. Once I was bent against God, and now He’s my friend. Once I was pointing towards an eternity apart from Jesus, and now eternity with Him has begun.

The radical part of anyone’s salvation isn’t the “sin” part. It’s not in highlighting the depth of depravity that the human soul can dive. It’s in highlighting the love of a beautiful King who’s kind enough to save a sinner like me. It’s in pointing people to a God who rescues the powerless. Pointing people to a God who is gracious enough to save someone who, at the age of 6, doesn’t even fully grasp the depth of His love. Someone who, at the age of 6, has no idea what life holds and how grace will be such a powerful part of it.

A word to the doubters

I share this because I know I’m not the only one who has doubts. I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a radical conversion story. I’m not the only one who has sinned more after I began following Jesus than before.

And I’m not the only one who needs a reminder that salvation is about highlighting the love of a good King whose willing and able to rescue.

Question:

Ever doubted?

*image credit: creation swap user Rob Gros

 

 

 

 

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