Sunday, July 5, 2009

To Believe or Not to Believe; Doubting God

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
--Albert Einstein

When doing strenuous exercise it is wise to keep your head above your heart so that your brain is getting plenty of oxygen-rich blood flow. I find that principle applies to many other areas of life as well. If we make major decisions primarily guided by our hearts instead of our minds, we may act unwisely.

One exception to this rule is when we talk about faith. The moment I begin to contemplate some of the stories, promises and principles in the Bible from a strictly cerebral perspective doubt begins to creep in. Think about it: water turning into wine, multitudes being fed by a few loaves of bread and a couple of lousy fish, a sea parting so that people can cross without learning the backstroke, little guys killing giants, dead people coming back to life...come on! Sounds like something from a Tolkein novel.

Fortunately God knows of my over-thinking, doubting nature (just as He did of Thomas) and loves me in spite of it. When my mind begins to wander down the path of doubt all it usually takes is to steer my mind toward the opposite. Can I believe Jesus was a liar? Could God not be real or faithful? Is there no plan for my life...everyone's life? When I die is that the end?

Well, when you put it that way the answer is a resounding NO! I simply do not believe we are in the world alone to fend for ourselves and turn into dust at the end. I've experienced too many spectacular, undeniable encounters with my God to stop believing. But it has to be one or the other; I either believe or I don't and the answer becomes clear (once again) that I DO.

Why is my faith so week? I'd like to think it's because my mind's so strong, but that's obviously not it. I simply fall into the "What have you done for me lately" camp. I need to be reminded frequently that God is always with me but that I often forget to do my part; seek His face. I go on about my busy life, and then suddenly need comfort, peace, protection or rest and wonder why I'm not getting it.

Faith needs to be exercised and nurtured in order to gain strength. The sustenance for faith comes in the good times and the busy times, not just in the needy and desperate times.

If you start to doubt God's love, promises, faithfulness, or even His very existence, try imagining how it would feel to stand firmly claiming those things are false. Can't do it, can you? So get off the doubting road and get back to the path of believing, then stay put. Time to change up and keep your heart (and spirit) above your head. You may not always be able to see what He's done for you lately, but what He did once and for all is the undeniable foundation to build lasting faith on.

Are you a Doubting Thomas or a Faithful Francis? When you have doubts, how do you regain your faith equilibrium? Share comments here.
Diane Markins


Margie said...

Thanks for this post! It is so easy to fall into the doubting trap. I have been praying about it pretty consistently this week. Last night I was reminded of the beauty our great God created as I watched a 4th of July fireworks show on a beach. The almost full moon on the ocean waves was so spectacular that I watched it and wondered if there would ever be anything more beautiful. The clouds covered up the moon just as the fireworks started and so I watched the display and celebrated with many Marine & Navy patriots this year. As soon as the fireworks were done, the clouds parted and the brillance of the moon shone once again on the breaking surf and rolling waves. Thanks God for all your wonderful gifts! Thanks Diane for sharing your gift of writing.
God's Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane,
Bless you for your article. I love it because it often happens to me as well.

Applying simple faith is one of the best thing I am now experiencing. When I met the Lord personally in 1998, early in the morning while doing my morning walk we became very close and friends though I found it so hard to live up to his standard. He personally taught me simple and practical thing about his word. He taught me to ask Father in Heaven “faith like mustered seed”. I did it, at one time I personally felt that I had it and the Lord provided circumstances and trials that enable me to apply ‘mustard seed faith’ into the situation. I tell you, you can move the world if you have this. But the point is ‘mustard seed faith’ applies to small and practical thing and problem in daily life like, lack of food etc. One of the best wealths from Heaven that I now possessed. I love to apply this “small mustard faith” and see results. Amen.

May the name of the Lord alone be the glory.
Joseph, Fiji