The Dangers of Doubt
Exodus 3:10-11 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Jeremiah 1:4-9 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
Both Moses and Jeremiah experienced doubt when God called them to service. However, as demonstrated in the lives of Moses and Jeremiah (and many others), trusting God leads to glorifying God.
As Christians, doubting God is one indication of the weakness of our flesh (whether we are being tested by God, tempted by Satan or influenced by the world). Doubting God is a very slippery and dangerous slope (James 1:12-16).
Doubting God is often the first step in disobeying God.
- Questioning God’s abilities, plans or intentions.
- Lack of faith.
- Questioning the interpretation of what God is saying.
- Lack of discernment.
- Questioning if it is actually God speaking.
- Lack of relationship.
- Making excuses because of fear, ignorance or laziness.
- Rejecting God’s providence.
- Clinging to prior commitments out of stubbornness or pride.
- Rejecting God’s priorities.
- Declaring not to have the time, talents or treasures.
- Rejecting God’s provision.
- Deciding not to believe.
- Rejecting God’s truth.
- Declaring the truth is a lie.
- Contradicting God’s truth.
- Determining not to acknowledge.
- Disavowing God’s truth.
- Doing what is forbidden.
- Not doing what is required.
When Jesus was crucified, there were two thieves crucified with Him (one on either side). Initially both thieves insulted Jesus (Matthew 27:41-44). Regardless of what other factors led these thieves to insult Jesus (self-pity, anger, desperation), at the core, doubt drove their behavior (they both doubted that Jesus was Messiah).
Yet one of the thieves turned from doubt to faith (Luke 23:39-43). The faith of this thief led to forgiveness, salvation and eternity in heaven.
At the first sign of doubt, turn to God: read His Word, pray to Him, worship Him, serve Him. As His children, He will always forgive us and ultimately restore us to right relationship with Him. However, the further you slip down the slope of doubt, the closer to sin and dishonoring your Heavenly Father you get!
Dear Lord, forgive me when I doubt You. Forgive me when I doubt who I am in You. Although my flesh is weak, Your Spirit indwells me and is infinitely more powerful. In Your strength, help me to trust and obey. Please give me wisdom, courage and strength. And when I do doubt, convict me and guide me quickly back to right relationship with You. I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for Your Holy Word. In Christ name I pray. Amen.