Monday, May 24, 2010

Beyond Faith and Doubt - My God is Real

I was reading about doubting Thomas the other day. Over the years, he has been the poster child for doubt in the church. Whenever any preacher, pastor or priest talks about faith, many talk about doubt, and invariably Thomas's name comes up.

This week the brethren are going to write about doubt. Every Christian has a crises of faith from time-to-time.

There are lots of times when, in my walk as a Christian, I have doubted. I would often take comfort in the fact that Thomas was a doubter - and that I am blessed if I don't have to see proof. Amazingly, last week I was reading and writing about Thomas. I thought I would share the part about Thomas here on Kingdom Bloggers. I wrote the following over on a  Fire & Grace blog.

"Trust me, if you were Thomas, you’d have much more faith than the average American Christian. You may remember the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

John 11:16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

We all know how the story ends. Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. Of course Thomas was there when the Gaterenenian Demoniac was set free, the storm was calmed, the water was turned to wine, and he was one of the guys watching bread and fish multiply before his very eyes as he distributed it on the hillside to 5,000 men and their families!"

When I view Thomas from that perspective, I believe I am much more of a doubter than he was.

As a Christian, when I talk about doubt, I noticed my doubts have changed over the decades. In the early days I was concerned about Jesus the man/God. Later on, I struggled with the supernatural - healing, tongues, demons, prophecy, words of knowledge, miracles - it was all unfamiliar to me. And because of that I doubted the Bible in other areas, though I seemed pretty secure in my salvation. The truth was, I did not know how to hear God's voice - it was unfamiliar. As I have said before, I thought it was some random act when God spoke to me about something.

Finally, I learned to have 2-way relationship with Jesus. I learned how to pray, to listen, to flow with the things that I was sensing. It took years because I had a lot of Bible, but no real mentoring. Many men tried to make excuses for the parts of the Bible that were unfamiliar to them. I thank God that I just abandon myself to Him, that I read many books about miracles and other supernatural things that my God did for others - hmmm... was it possible that He would allow me to be a part of that too?

I remember one day I was I read this passage.

1 John 1:2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

The apostle John wanted to testify in writing what He had seen. What do you suppose John thought at this moment? Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

I had received a prophetic word about writing - "you will write, write, write." Little did the one giving the word know I had failed English and/or reading 9 out of 12 grades - writing - heck spelling wasn't even a strong point.

One day I was sitting at my PC and I heard the voice of the Lord tell me to write about the wedding in Cana. I read the passage and I felt an amazing anointing and I simply understood it as a picture of salvation. And so I wrote about it. A few days later I began to write about things God did through me and others that I knew - shared about prayer, power, and anything else that God would give me during my morning devotions. I searched God out at every conference and meeting that I could find - and I began to see God work in powerful ways.

In fact I have seen so many things that God has unquestionably done, that I must tell the stories. 400 or so are within the this blog and Fire & Grace. But there were over 500 daily emails that I sent out as well. I love to give God glory, and to testify to the things that He has done in my life. I write about these things because, for so many years, I was simply told to have faith, pray for faith, operate in faith, but I doubted.

Testimonies are a good way of building your faith, and the faith of others. It is how I have overcome doubt. It is important to tell others what God has done, that is one of the ways we overcome the Devil!

Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

When I do not doubt, I can see the dry or desert times for what they are. I can ask for wisdom and knowledge, or I can ask God to heal or change a situation. It is because of what He has done on the cross, His great love for me (and you) and because I dared to believe even the wildest of biblical claims.

My God is real, how about yours?


Tracy said...

You make some really good points here. I adore your phrase about just abandoning yourself to God, even when you don't mentally understand everything, and daring to believe that it's possible that God would allow you to take part in His supernatural work.

Tony C said...

I'm glad you started writing in His name. I, for one, have benefited from those words.

Just write slower...I don't read so fast.