Doubts?

When I entered into the ministry, I was sure that, now, because I had "Pastor" before my name that my faith would supernaturally work greater than before, my prayers would be answered quicker, my confessions would have a speedier manifestation that the normal Christian and that any challenges to my faith would be easily overcome, as I was now one of God's generals, under the ministry and anointing of the "Great Bishop Butler"

Little did I know that serving God in this particular office would bring with it some of the greatest challenges to my faith that I would ever experience in my life.  Have you ever found yourself, the man or woman of God, the man or woman of faith, the leader, the counsellor,  the pioneer, the rock, the guide, the teacher (I could go on…) WALLOWING in doubt and unbelief?

The vision isn't where it should be, the people aren't where they should be, the money isn't where it should be, the growth isn't where it should be, your staff aren't where they should be, the prayer wasn't answered the way it should have been answered, and so on and so forth. 

Doubt can creep in! It can hinder the way we function in ministry and even more importantly, our relationship with God!
I reached a point in 2011 where something I had believed for fell through and I was sure I had heard the Lord concerning that particular thing. I call the period after that a "MOJO LESS" time. Things that didn't usually bother me were bothering me. Things I could usually barrel through seemed like insurmountable mountains.  Preaching and counselling the congregation seemed like a chore instead of the honour that is,  the goals I set for myself and the ministry became very limited, so not to suffer the agony of believing BIG and coming up short…..I had lost my MOJO and was undeniably in a position of doubting God!

The Lord in His Goodness and mercy does not give up on us though and as I was reading Mark 11:22

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

Verse 23 in Bible in Basic English really struck me;

"Mr 11:23 (BBE) Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has NO DOUBT IN HIS HEART, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire"

Jesus said that we can get to a place in Him where we "have the faith of God", a Hebraism to say Have the strongest kind of Faith. A characteristic of that kind of faith is to have NO DOUBT in your heart.

The Holy Spirit was saying clearly to me "GET DOUBT OUT"!  How did it get in, in the first place?

 The Scriptures identifies a number of ways doubt can enter into our lives. I want to highlight 3 of them.  

  1. In Matthew 14, we find Peter walking on water per his request to Jesus.  Jesus told him to "Come" and all the power Peter needed to walk to the Lord was active and effective, until verse 30 tells us "He SAW the wind Boisterous".  At that point Peter began to sink. Doubt can enter into our life when what we SEE seems to overwhelm the Word of God.
  2. In Mark 5, we are introduced to Jairus whom seeks out Jesus to procure healing for his sick daughter. Jesus being ALWAYS willing to heal begins to journey with Jairus to his home to lay hands on his sick daughter. Their journey is interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood and Jesus heals her. As they pick up to continue the journey to Jairus' abode they are met with these words "Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?"! The swiftness of Jesus' response to Jairus can only give us insight to the spiritual implications of what happened in a grieving father's heart when those words "Your daughter's dead" were uttered.  "BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE" declared our Saviour! Doubt can enter into our lives when what we HEAR is contrary what we have believed.
  3. Lastly let's look at John the Baptist. In Matthew 3 John receives a powerful confirmation from the Father and Holy Spirit of Jesus' authenticity as the Christ, the messiah of Israel, the Lord for whom he had been preparing the way for. Yet in Matthew 11:1-3 we find that John has sent his disciples to ask Jesus if "He is the one, or should we keep looking?" What happened between those 2 points to get John to doubt such a powerful revelation of Christ?  Jesus called it offence. John was offended at Jesus. Perhaps it was because he was in prison, perhaps it was because Jesus fame was growing and his was declining,  perhaps he had different expectations of what the Messiah should be doing concerning redeeming the children of Israel from Pagan Roman oppression.  It is safe to say that doubt had crept into John's life because things hadn't turned out according to his expectations. Doubt can enter into our lives when our plans and agenda's don't work out the way we thought they would.

With that being said I was able to identify areas in my life where I had allowed doubt to come into my life and take a place in my heart that should be reserved for "FAITH IN GOD ONLY"

It's important that when we sense doubt in our lives, we go back to the basics of growing the seed of faith. Get the Word in front of our eyes and ears, Speak faith filled words, go back to the vision that God gave us and rehearse His goodness, praise and thank him for the victory and act upon His Word.  As the seed of faith grows, doubt will be driven out of our hearts. We can "HAVE THE FAITH OF GOD"!

This article is written by Pastor Timothy Ramsay