Feeling unheard usually prompts several responses. Either one doubts the validity of themselves and what they have to say, they shut up and shut down, or they reconfirm within themselves what they believe to be true and get louder. The question remains, do we continue to attempt to convince others? Have we convinced ourselves? Do we truly believe without a shadow of a doubt that God will do exactly what He said? It is biblical that we are not to through our pearls to swine that is to persistently and consistently present God’s beauty to a beast. Also, we are not to waver in our faith constantly attempting to convince ourselves of what we believe which we profess on nearly a daily basis. Nevertheless, we are not to stop witnessing or stop believing. How can we be sure that we believe what we say we believe? You know it, test, trials, and hardships, illuminate our core beliefs about God. What we profess in our mess may not always be what we confess when we feel blessed.
“”Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
I have an annoying habit of doubting myself. What I am coming to realize is that it is not uncommon and specific to me. There are tons of reasons people doubt themselves. Satan loves to cause us to doubt ourselves because it diminishes forward movement in God. Believers who continually doubt what they have heard from God, who they are, and their effectiveness, are more likely to give up than a believer that is sure of themselves in Christ Jesus. Personally, my self-destructive nature prior to my surrender to Jesus caused a level of distrust in myself. I could use that as a reason to remain in a state of disbelief, but I refuse, as I am not doubting me, but when I operate in this manner, I am now doubting the God in me, “because it is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20 I will rely on the power of God that permeates my being, the wisdom He has bestowed upon me, surely it is as riches and honor. Sometimes I wonder if my flesh doubts itself to escape the responsibility of the reality that it has been made aware of. Regardless of the source of the self-doubt, the result is the same, counter-productivity, anxiety, shame and guilt, waywardness, weariness, and unnecessary frustration.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:48
Think FAST! Firmly Affirm Speaking Truth
Firmly- Let us resolutely proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ without apology. Let us know our testimony as well as the recorded testimonies in the bible to match our faith talk with our faith walk. Again, we do not have to make everyone believe, we can plant seeds, sharing of God’s goodness wherever we go regardless of how we feel. Some may reject our witness. The bible says that we are to shake the dust off our feet (Luke 9:5). Being firm, determined does not mean that we beat folk over the head with our stories and our bibles. Please ask God to reveal the timing, wording, and seasoning for each situation to reach His people. Also, we are to be just as firm and focused when witnessing to ourselves, as we tend to forget why we believe what we believe. To tackle the amnesia, I have an ongoing list of all that I have heard God say that He plans to do, promises, and all that I have seen, visions. When I would share some of these things with others I would get the monotone, “Oh, that’s great.” Almost as if they were saying, “Dream, on girlie!” But they are not doubting me and my ability they are doubting God. That is between them and the Lord. I know what God said. Additionally, I must continue to pray for guidance to know when and who to share what God reveals to me with. Everyone in the body is not privy to the same information. It does not change their relationship to the Father but it will change the dynamic amongst other parts of the body if there is contention regarding a vision shared too soon or a promise that was just for some ears and not others.
Affirm- This is synonymous with confirmation. Unfortunately, confirmation seeking can turn into a doubt quest. For instance, God tells you that you’ll be married in 2 years. For one you do not consider the work He will do in you before the years are up, your husband might not be God’s husband for you, and etcetera. The worst part is, you may go around seeking validation for what you know God said. Sometimes we may even go as far as claiming the wrong man or woman because we are listening to our flesh and not God. To prevent these sorts of heart-wrenching events we can uphold what God said in our hearts. We affirm God’s word by reminding ourselves of what he said, day by day, moment by moment. We proclaim the word’s that God has spoken to us directly and indirectly through varying means in song, scripture, and sayings. An example is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ that strengthens me.” To affirm this in my spirit I say that verse as well as, “I love myself too much not to _____________!” Theses affirmations turn my “sort of” beliefs into developed parts of me. There is no separating a believer from what they believe once they know for sure that they believe it. The enemy’s trick is to get us to do the opposite. He wants us to confirm failure, fear, and the like. What can you affirm today in the name Jesus? How does that change what you believe about God?
Speaking- Most of us possess the ability to speak. Unsurprisingly, that is one of the first things that we stop doing when we get highly discouraged or upset. Have you ever heard someone say that they were so mad they could not speak? I have. In fact, I have been that person. I have been so mad that I could not speak for months. Of course, I spoke at work, school, and to family, but I spoke less and less to and about the One who matters the most- God. When we utter what, we believe to be true it makes our mouths tell us to remember the truth. It’s a memo to self, sort of thing. In addition to a memo, it is empowering. On a horrible day look in the mirror and start telling yourself what you believe about God and who you are in Him, what He promised you, and any visions He has shown you directly or indirectly and watch that day turn around. Honestly, it’s not just Satan that wants us to stop speaking, we prefer it at times because it takes more effort. I can gab on the phone with mom all day but it takes a cognitive spiritual effort to reach out to God and tell Him how much I appreciate Him and how grateful I am. Speaking with mom is awesome and truly a pleasure but it does not change the atmosphere, nonetheless, when I get God’s face by way of my mouth to His ear things change quickly. When you verbalize your beliefs, it makes them more real to you and the world around you.
Truth- Without the truth none of the other steps matter. We must know what we believe and are proclaiming is the truth indeed. How do we know for sure? When we devote time to studying the word of God we can learn to decipher between sound doctrine and fallacies. There are things preached from pulpits that are not always accurate; we are to study for ourselves as well. This is not a license to not attend church, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Timothy 2:15.” “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John 8:31-32 In Timothy we are advised to study to show ourselves approved unto the Lord. When we study the word, we have no need to waver, doubt, or fear as we know the truth. We know that we are victors. We know that we will have trials, but we know we are covered and protected. We can clearly see that without the truth there is no need to firmly, affirm, or speak of anything. We must know the truth. We thank God for the Holy Spirit who brings all things to our remembrance and teaches us. In John 8:31-32 we see that believing in Jesus, is how we can be sure that we are apprehending the truth. It is not shameful to be unsure of all things biblical. I have said many times that I am not aware of everything theological, exegetical, and hermeneutical; however, I am in pursuit, as I want to know God more, so that I can know fully why I believe what I believe which will extinguish doubt for good.
Brothers and Sister let’s think FAST when doubt approaches on any level and combat it with firmness, affirmations, speaking the truth, in the name Jesus, Amen!
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