Faith: doubt and fear

There are so many things in life that require one to take a step of faith. And sometimes it is pretty easy because you know what to expect, like going to school, but there are times it is a blind step of faith. Maybe it is changing your course at the university or moving to a new country or starting a new relationship or letting go of some friends or changing career paths. These life changing decisions are normally harrowing enough when you kinda know what to expect but when it’s just a calling from God to do it and you have no indication of how it will end? it can be paralyzing.

When going into a new land; whether it is a new experience, place, job or relationship we have to be prepared for war. And I am not talking about frighting for our place there, because if God has promised it to you then it is yours, but the war over the giants of the place. The faith it takes to tackle this giants is surprisingly small, as small as a mustard seed. And our enemies – who can be anything from the devil to family to friends to our own minds – have weapons. They have arsenals of distraction, of pain, of facts, of money, of time and many more. But the greatest weapon anyone,especially yourself and the devil, can use against you is your own mind. By preying on your doubts, fears and uncertainties that are already lurking in the shadows. Are we true to ourselves or do we live for the expectations of others? And if we are open and honest, can we be truly loved and accepted for who we are? Can we find the courage to release our deepest secrets and aspirations or are we unfathomable even to ourselves? Do we believe in grace, in love and in dreams? Do we live a life worth remembering and do we trust that God has a plan? Do we really want to step out in faith or are we hang up on statistics, pasts and goals that haven’t been achieved?

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Recently I have had to start making some very big decisions regarding my life, taking huge steps of faith in directions that I am only sure of in the spirit but have no physical proof to back them up. In fact with some things, I’m not exactly sure but I know that God is calling me to them. Now it’s easy to talk about trust and faith and stepping out. It’s easy to talk about Abraham,Moses,Joshua,Jael, Esther,Mark Zuckerberg and all those other people who we admire for their ridiculous steps of faith. But when it comes to actualizing it, it can get crazy. You have to not only be in  tune to God’s voice but also have to listen, wait for His timing and move when He says to because some opportunities come by once in a lifetime.

We have to remember that fear and doubt stem from our mind. When logic and passion cannot reconcile with faith; when reason cannot be merged with hope, when facts of this world and opinions of people do not much up to the truth of God’s word.

And I know that it’s not just in big decisions that we need to practice faith; we need faith in the season of waiting, when we can’t see ahead, when we can’t find reasons for what we’re going through, when we walk through the fire or the valley of death. When God calls us to unknown land or to walk upon the waters of the deep sea.There are so many times we need faith and we need to exercise a form of blind trust that it is going to work out for our good. But yet doubt has a funny way of creeping up on us. Just like Peter when he was walking on the waves and switched his focus for a split second to the waves, and doubt took that split second and took a foot-hold in his mind and he couldn’t even see who he was walking to and he started to drown.

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This is the same thing that happens to us when we shift our focus from the blessing to the problem; from God to our mountain; from the present to the future/past; from the lessons to the pain/problems.  All it takes is that split second and all of a sudden your heart and mind become conflicted. You’re not so sure of what you were promised or the good that is to come; you’re not sure you will survive the test or you will walk on the water during the storm or walk through the fire and come out unburnt. And therein lies our problem.

Doubt is a disease that infects the mind and numbs the soul creating a mistrust of one’s self, of God’s direction and promises and making one question their perceptions.

Doubt is the ability to call into question everything you currently believe or have ever believed about something, someone or God and re-enforce your darkest suspicions, your weakest moments and your greatest fears. Tragedy and scandal especially have a unique way of clarifying one’s position on faith and chaos in the planning of one’s life can highlight the areas in which we still doubt God even when we claim to trust Him. There is always that moment when the control that kept you sane, the dreams that kept you awake and the truths and prophecies that seemed crystal clear and you clung on to, slips through our fingers. Doubt is that moment that we try to seize it back instead of leaving it to God.

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Trust is a difficult thing; whether it is trusting the right people or trusting you are on the right path,but trusting in an unseen God is the riskiest business of all. And when we start to trust in God and surrendering to His perfect will, we can experience fear. Fear is that fire that naturally burns inside us because we are human and want to be in control. This fire motivates us as we try and scramble to control things and plan for the future and stress about everything but overtime it paralyzes us and drives us to unbelief, depression and anxiety.

We have to remember that fear and doubt stem from our mind. When logic and passion cannot reconcile with faith; when reason cannot be merged with hope, when facts of this world and opinions of people do not much up to the truth of God’s word. Fear comes when your mind cannot logically see where you are going. A conflicted heart feeds on doubt and confusion that will make you question your path, your life, your struggles, your motives and your faith. When you stare ahead and all you see is smoke and darkness, reason and determination cannot even pull you from the abyss. It is at this moment that you need to cry out ‘Jesus! Save me!” or just cry out and know that the spirit will intercede for you in moans and groans you cannot understand.

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Remember that doubt can only stem from faith; they cannot exist together. You cannot say you have faith and yet still question the path you are on. The questioning will soon overshadow the faith and just turn into fear, doubt and panic. You have to turn off the voices, the logic, the questions, your own personal expectations and standards and begin to trust the journey, to trust that the God who came down on earth to die for you will not save you from eternal hell fire just to let you be drowned by life.

P.S: Post on Thursday will be about trusting the journey. Some verses that inspired today’s post: Mathew 17:20, Galatians 3:22, James 1:6-7, Mark 11:24, Genesis 12, 17 and 21, Hebrews 11:1-39 Joshua 1:8-9, 1 Corinthians 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Isaiah 40:30-32.I pray love and blessings come your way. Shalom.

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