Pushing Through Doubt
We recently came back from California, where we attended the Equip meetings with the team and churches we partner with in the USA. I had some amazing experiences of extreme encouragement – pretty much straight out of heaven – which brought me a new clarity that I hadn’t realized how much I needed. I was so grateful and I came back home on a high, with a new freedom and with my heart set on some new things as we pursue serving God here, loving this city and seeing people brought into this exciting journey. I was able to maintain the FEELING of that “high” for about a week. And then some everyday, normal life challenges set in. Some issues with my kids, some disruptions to plans, a few minor disappointments and I found myself with thoughts that were threatening to bring me waaayyyy low. Loneliness, doubt, self-disdain, anger, a bad attitude. Of course! I should have seen it coming!
A significant spiritual experience, a realization or epiphany moment, a fresh clarity to a plan or pursuit or even a new, exciting relationship fills our hearts with wonder and excitement, we believe that anything can happen and we start to live differently from that moment. These precious moments in life – when the universe seems to align and we get a clear message about our existence or about what we really want or about who we really are – move us forward and bring the momentum that we all long for in our existence on this planet. As wonderful as these moments are, you can betcha that a moment is soon coming to challenge what you have just been convinced of.
We don’t live everyday life in the exhilaration of the view of new vision. That vista gives us the fuel or the faith, but then we have to move forward and start climbing that mountain, exploring that trail, crossing that sea. And our determination will be TESTED.
I woke up this morning thinking about a moment in Jesus’ life here on this earth when he had one of these amazing moments and the heavens literally opened, the Spirit of God settled on him just like a dove would flutter down and land and a voice from heaven was audibly heard and God said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:17 New Living Translation)
Talk about an experience! That’s a hard one to come down from – one I could live on forever. And yet, scripture tells us that immediately, the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness and the devil came and taunted and tested him to try to get him to doubt who he really was, who God had just said that he was. Even Jesus had to come face to face with what God had said and make it his own on a whole other level so he could then walk it out. He couldn’t remain just in the goose bump experience of it forever. So if this was true for Jesus, it’s true for you and me too.
Whoever God has said you are, whatever dream you have seen clearly in your heart, whatever you know to be crystal clear in your view, whatever you are convinced of will be TESTED. But the result of that testing can be that we are only MORE reassured of the course we will take, more resolute.
Wherever you feel the press, the doubt, the fear, the questioning – grab hold of what you KNOW to be true, of what you’ve seen that no one can refute. Dig your heals in and believe. Write it down. Meditate on it. Talk about it. Pray about it. MAKE IT YOUR OWN. And most importantly, don’t stop moving toward it. This process is necessary for us to grow bigger on the inside to make way for the new things and new seasons of growth. This is one way that you grow into your capacity.