Fear and Doubt

I don’t know if these are the enemy’s greatest weapons but they certainly seem to be a part of his arsenal, or maybe your prefer—his toolbox, and we seem confronted by them often, maybe daily.

The dictionary defines FEAR as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

A lot of us are facing some real fears these days. If it isn’t fear of the coronavirus or something related to it—elderly loved ones suffering from sickness, financial worries from loss of income or the virus’ impact on our economy, or just the great change & impact covid19 has had on our way of living and our freedom, then it could be any select concern or worry that impacts us every other day, month or year of our lives, that picks at our personal security, self-worth, understanding of faith & God, relationships, or our psycho-social being. Our fears can and are used against us humanly… spiritually.

The Bible depicts Satan as one on the “prowl”, “like a roaring lion”, “looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Blame it on the devil, or just look to our own humanity, but fear is very real & present in any one of our lives and because of it, we are caught running from it, or even worse—caught in its limbo of doubt.

Satan is very clever—very sly. It’s his serpent’s way. He’s very cunning, using our sinful nature against us that we might sin even the more or pause in doubt, making no moves to the positive or the negative, to the right or the wrong, to that which is godly or that which is evil, lest we be injured again or violate the belief we found our lives on. Like with a car’s transmission, we are thrown into neutral, powerless to make any move.

Can I tell you a secret? God doesn’t care about our sin—that very personal past that continues to haunt or the words/thoughts that have slipped out and impacted another. Yes, yes, yes, of course God cares, but more than caring about our sin, God cares about US. What does the Bible say, “Even while we were yet SINNERS, Christ died on the cross for us?” God didn’t wait for us to clean up our lives, our choices, our actions, our attitudes, or our values. God, in his very proactive way, proactive love for us, sent His Son anyways—despite the content of our lives.

Like the prodigal, who worried so much about his sin against his father and struggled with the decision to go home, we too struggle with our sin and what ways we might “go home” to the Father. Our adversary loves to capitalize on, make good use of, our fear & our doubt. But like the prodigal, who knew his father’s heart and could trust in his father’s embrace, because all that mattered to the father was the return of his child, we too have a heavenly Father who is far more interested in our return than in our sin. This is how much He loves and empowers us with His love. “Perfect love casts out fear!” (1 John 4:18)

So, don’t fear. Don’t doubt. Do this by having another foundation, a different world view & life philosophy. God doesn’t call us from sin that we might qualify somehow for His favor and attention. God calls us from sin that we might truly experience the magnitude of his love, grace & forgiveness. Can I share a last thing with you? It’s one of my favorites and has fueled me for years. It comes from a little devotional book edited by AJ Russell, “God Calling.”

October 13th’s devotional is entitled, The Sculptor’s Skill. It reads like this—

Lord, we believe, help Thou our unbelief. Lord, hear our prayers and let our cries come unto Thee.

Along the road of praise, as I told you. Yes! I will indeed help your unbelief, and in answer to your prayers grant you so great a faith, such an increasingly great faith, that each day you will look back, from the place of your larger vision, and see the faith of the day before as almost unbelief. The Beauty of My Kingdom is its growth. In that Kingdom there is always progress, a going on from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Be in My Kingdom, and of My Kingdom, and there can be no stagnation. Eternal Life, abundant Life is promised to all in it, and of it. No misspent time over failures and shortcomings. Count the lessons learnt from them but as rungs in the ladder. Step up, and then cast away all thought of the manner of the making of the rung. Fashioned of joy and sorrow, of failure or success, of wounds or healing balm, what matter, My children, so long as it served its purpose?