God corrected me this morning.
During my regular morning prayer time, I was talking to Him about the primary mission He’s given Angie and me, which is one of those things that requires monster faith, because without a provision that can only come from God, it can’t be done.
So I was wanting to express my complete faith in Him, and I said to him, “I don’t have a doubt in my mind that this will happen.”
And in my spirit I knew He had answered me:
“Yes you do.”
There’s no mistaking when you’ve been set right by the Lord. To call it convicting is putting it mildly. Yet He wasn’t accusing me. He was just imploring me to see the full picture more accurately and honestly.
And then He explained to me how the whole dynamic works.
You do have doubt in your mind, because the enemy puts it there. (Most people when they say “the enemy” in a spiritual warfare context think of Satan, but on a personal level it’s probably a much lower rank of demon who’s been assigned specifically to you.) The enemy is familiar with your psyche and knows exactly where to sow the doubt. If you struggle with low self-esteem, or unworthiness, or cynicism, or anger, or melancholy . . . whatever it is, there’s something in your subconscious that’s receptive to that suggestion of doubt.
And your enemy goes right for that point of vulnerability and sows the doubt. I don’t care how much you insist to me that you’ve strapped on the armor of Ephesians 6, there is no way you’re so spiritually vigilant that you can keep all such seeds out of your psychological soil.
This is why, just the previous day, I had the fleeting thought in my conscious: “What if we do all this and it never comes to fruition?” It was fleeting in my conscious, but in my subconscious it’s constant. Because there are corners of my psyche that are fragile and afraid, and the enemy knows that, which is why he sows the doubt in those corners.
So: There is doubt in my mind, just as there is in yours. And when you tell God “there’s not a doubt in my mind,” He knows that’s not true.
So what do you do? You are welcome to spiritually rebuke the demon that sowed the doubt, binding him in Jesus’s name, and keep doing it until you are sure there truly is no doubt in your mind.
But the Lord actually told me to do something considerably more practical: Rule over the doubt. It’s the same thing He told Cain in Genesis 4. Sin’s desire is to have you, but you are to rule over it.
What does that mean?
Simply: God tells you to follow Instruction A. The enemy sows doubt about what will happen if you follow Instruction A, causing you to fear that the result will be Calamity Z.
You don’t want Calamity Z! And the enemy has given you all kinds of reasons to believe Calamity Z could result, even if only from your own inability to follow Instruction A correctly and effectively.
Yet God persists: Follow Instruction A.
To rule over the doubt simply means that you follow Instruction A anyway. You don’t wait until you feel better about things. You don’t spend hours or days trying to convince yourself it will be all right. You don’t sit there and argue with the enemy, or plead with him to shut up.
Because if you can’t act until the enemy has stopped sowing doubt, then you’ve given the enemy a veto. He’s going to keep attacking you. It’s what he does.
Follow Instruction A. Now. And tomorrow. And every day. Keep doing it. Regardless of how much worry or doubt you feel.
That’s what faith is. It’s acting on the promises of God and following His instructions even when your fragile psyche is worried it will go horribly wrong, because you recognize where that doubt came from, and you know the source of that doubt is unworthy of your trust.
So yeah. I have doubt. What if I do all this and it never comes to fruition? And yet I have my instructions from God.
I will rule over the doubt and follow God’s instructions. Period. The enemy can sow all the bitter seeds it wants, but regardless of how I feel, what I do will reflect my trust in God.
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Powers and Principalities (2009): Twenty years ago, Clay Bender saw the face of spiritual evil with the naked eye while attending a party. Now, Clay’s terrifying spiritual gift returns, showing him that a supernatural threat is looming – one that could threaten everyone in Royal Oak. As the community grapples with bizarre electrical disturbances and a horrible train derailment, only Clay can recognize the true nature of the strange events, and he and his two closest friends have little time to battle the city’s demons – even as all three are forced to face their own. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)
Pharmakeia (2010): Kyla Spears is being warned – in terrifying dreams – of grisly and violent tragedies looming for young people in Royal Oak. But her spiritually gifted friend Clay Bender is reluctant to help, and her feelings for one charming young man threaten her newfound spiritual integrity and her ability to face the truth about what’s really behind the threat. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)