Monday, 07 January 2013
But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
Maybe I confuse the fact that I believe in a God with the expectation that I should have faith in Him. Thinking that because I believe, it is only natural for perfect faith to follow, right? When my faith wavers does that mean I don’t believe in Him? Do I have to be re-saved? I still believe, but I have allowed doubt to have free reign; a simple look back at this past week, month, years and my life will show that my doubt is often bigger than my faith. I don’t doubt that I believe, but doubt battles with my prayers.
Most are familiar with the story of young elephants in India being tied to a tree, as they pull and pull they are never able to break the tree; after a while no matter how big they might become they still believe the tree is stronger. The trainers will tie them to a twig and the adult elephant will not attempt to break free thinking that what is at the end of the rope is unmovable. Doubt is the twig in control of my prayers and faith.
I know that when I ask in faith it should be without doubt, the only reason I’m asking in the first place is because I believe, why else would I ask something to someone I did not believe in? Prayer is not an invalid act, I arrived believing, why do I end up leaving with doubt? The moment I finish my prayer, maybe even before and during the ‘amen’, doubt begins its work.
Doubt echoes; maybe the truth is I don’t doubt He will answer my prayers; I have a hard time understanding why He would? I have failed Him so much, for so long and I am embarrassed to ask. His kindness is welcomed even when I can’t understand the why. The bible answer is -- because He is love, He is jealous for us (not crazy ex-girlfriend jealous), He knows the hairs/dreads on our head, He loves us. But, me? Look at what I did.
Doubt has been around longer than we have, God is still more powerful, even with all this information why does my ‘ask’ still has an accent of doubt?
Being honest to the mature Christian who understands that Salvation is by Christ, not by works or anything we can add/make/do/buy, and never forgetting that faith without works is dead. How can this Christian who probably at this very moment is dealing/living the consequences of disobedience and knowing that he will fail again, why would he still continue to try to live a life for God?
The mistake Christians often make is that we obey in order to receive God’s blessing here on earth. We obey for an earthly reward, if God won’t notice us, we make sure that other Christians will. This Christian is very different from when we first believed in God, remember what we wanted most.
We want to grow, closer, our decrease for His increase; we want a deeper intimate relationship. Yes our faith may waiver, our walk stumble, mouths cuss, hearts sin and all the mistakes that paint the imperfect us. Still we continue to try. Maybe, just maybe some of us are able to hold all that ‘In’ as we pretend everything is perfect, out loud our faith never waivers, we cover up our mistakes so they don’t look like stumbles, we manage not to say a few cuss words by inventing our own, tell others our heart is ready to love, we look perfect. That sounds like so much work, we are quick to judge the latter example but forget we have clocked in hours for both.
No need to add up our hours, both are decisive in who they stared out wanting to be: a child of God. Yeah we maybe got lost, took some terrible advice, mistakes, but both hearts reach a point where all their honesty or hypocrisy can only lead them so far, and our walk requires us to make a decision on how our next steps will be and how our prayers will sound.
I don’t think that a believer will ever be ‘indecisive’ when it comes to thirsting for more of God. When Jesus said, “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed” Mathew. 5:6 Those words are for us, you, me, we are blessed when after completely crashing face first, when we get up again, the thirst for God remains, as we drag ourselves in His direction.
I have learned that when my prayers are filled with doubt, it means I have prayed very little.
Are you facing doubts or the wavering of faith? Do even seemingly "good" Christians face doubts? What can we do to reign in our doubt? How could consistent prayer benefit you during times of wavering faith?