Sunday, June 27, 2010

Doubt (Standing in Two Places)

There are times that we stand in two places.  We have the faith to believe in God and his promises.  On the other hand we are uncertain that He is really concerned with us at all.  "Where is God?"  Doubt is the standing in two places at the same time.  One foot on the Rock of Jesus Christ and one foot on the shifting sand of human understanding.  This is a disconcerting place to be.  You by placing your feet in both places make yourself vulnerable to spiritual attack, discontent, anxieties, and ever growing skepticism about God.  I have had a chance to talk with people who are in this state and I can assure you that they are not happy people.  I admit I may have a limited interaction in this matter, but I would go on to say that those that are content with this double mindedness have sunk themselves into blissful unawareness (which could be even more dangerous in my estimation).  I must also confess that doubts have been in my own heart so I know that I am not immune to this standing in two places. 

When you stand in two places then you tend to sink toward doubt.  Consider standing on the edge of a sinkhole.  one foot on the ground that is in in place and one foot on the part that is sinking.  If you continue to stand in this position it will not be long before you fall into the hole and are swallowed up.  In the same way doubt (standing in two places) will swallow up our faith if we do not change our position. 

It is also interesting that this doubt tends to dissipate with worship of God.  The opposite is also true, when we enter into a time of lack of worship our doubts arise.  I believe that worship keeps our spirit in tune with God's Spirit and allows His power to flow into our lives. 

Have mercy on those who doubt;
Jude 1:22 (HCSB)
The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7 (HCSB)

I have been guilt of letting my frustration get the best of me when dealing with someone that doubts.  It is good to have zeal for the Lord, but if that zeal is against a person standing in two places you are more likely to push them into the hole than to put them back from their doubt.   Compassion on the other hand is what is called for.

Consider if someone was drowning in the pool.  You would not take this as an opportunity to explain to them why they need to be cautious around the water, learn to swim, or that they should be wearing a life jacket.  The immediate need is to rescue them. 

save others by snatching them from the fire.
Jude 1:23 (HCSB)

Doubt languishes in silence.  It robs the soul and destroys the gladness, the full life that God desires for us.  It is a wasting away in silence. I read an article about pastors "loosing the faith*."  It was sad to me that in each of these cases they were isolated and the first person they shared this with was researchers who explain religion in terms of evolutionary survival.  It is sad that none of these men had a brother or sister to turn to.  It seems they were too afraid of the implications of sharing doubt.  They were pastors after all.  Hogwash.  Would God put in His word to be merciful on those that doubt if we were not to admit our own struggles.  Superstar Christianity is a complete farce.  It is time for us to lay bare that which has been kept secret.  Bring it to the light.  Perhaps if these pastors had done this they would have found God's mercy working through the lives of other believers.  Leading to greater understanding of God's place and plan for their lives.

 


 

Father I ask that you be with these men.  That you would lead them through this dark valley of their lives.  Help them to see the power You have manifested in their lives up to this time.  Help them to hope for the blessing that you have before them.  Open their eyes that they may see that no man is an island.  God lead them to a fellowship that would be merciful and snatch them back from the fire.  Lord renew, restore, reconnect your salvation with them.  Lord help us to take heed.  We go there with them if we stand in two places.  Help us to recognize when we stand in this manner.  Help us to get back onto solid footing.  Bring others into our lives that we can lean on.  People willing to pull us back.  Lord rescue your people from doubt.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN

 


 

* "For Clergy, Losing Faith Can be an Occupational Hazard"  Solange De Santis, Religion News Service, June 22, 2010, Retrieved June 27, 2010 http://www.crosswalk.com/pastors/11633654/