When You Doubt

doubt

It is not a sin to doubt what God is doing in your life during the dark, quiet moments. We are human, and through our frailties, we will have moments and sometimes seasons of doubting his existence in our lives, crying out like Jesus, “Lord, why have you forsaken me, why are you so far from saving me?” Psalm 22:1. But like Jesus, we will eventually say, “not mine, but your will be done.” Mark 14:36. It is during these times that our faith is either fortified or wanes.

Consider this – When we doubt, we are in a period of growth. We are not in our comfort zone; we are preparing for our next big step. Doubt creates the process of gestation.

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Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples. He lived and worked with Jesus; he saw miracles, was informed about what to expect during Jesus time on earth. Yet, when Jesus was crucified, Thomas began to doubt. He knew the story, the purpose of Jesus time on earth, but in reality, if Jesus was the Son of God, he should not have suffered as he did.

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Jesus was not supposed to die as forecasted. When he was resurrected, Thomas could not fathom Jesus reappearing as a spirit-man. He told the spirit-man to prove he was Jesus. After he touched the wounds, he believed. His faith was restored, it was fortified.

Thomas became a radical believer through doubting, not through walking with Jesus and not through observing miracles. Witnessing these things did not fortify him beyond doubting the reality of the resurrection. After Christ said to Thomas touch my wounds, he knew it was Christ resurrected and no longer doubted. Because he moved beyond doubting, he traveled outside of the Roman Empire to spread the Good News to a foreign, distant part of the world. Would he had done so, if he did not doubt? Perhaps not, his fellow disciples stayed closer to home. The doubting was the catalyst for change. He no longer hoped, he knew that Christ was his Lord and Savior.

Mirroring Thomas, Finding Our Strength

We do not have the advantage of physically experiencing Jesus’ life on earth. Ours is a spiritual relationship. Doubting is part of the process of knowing. It eliminates blind obedience. It reinforces our faith, because during these times we must in faith believe for the change, the miracle, the growth. We cannot faint not, we have to stand.

We must say to the devil, “he that is in me, is greater than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. My circumstances are temporal, my relationship with the Lord is eternal. This too will pass. These trials are just that, trials. I am an overcomer through Christ, who dwells in me. My doubting is leading me to victory. It is part of the process of becoming a radical Christian, a Christian Warrior thoroughly embedded in our relationship with the Lord.

Crucifixion and Resurrection in a Nutshell

The crucifixion and resurrection marked time. God sent his son to serve as our example and experience what it is to be human. Through this process we are saved through Gods grace. He also left us a gift to help us live a Christian life in Jesus’ absence.

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Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit who resides in us. He’s the nudge, the quiet voice that tells us not to veer but stay the course. He’s also the voice that tells us what to say in interviews, to loan officers and friends in need. Luke 12:12

Listen for his voice and recognize his nudge. We often ignore them to our detriment. Like me, we live, and we learn.

Today, think about three instances when you did not listen and the consequences and three times you did listen and the outcomes.

It is through Christ that we live life with purpose. It is through His purpose for our lives that we will join Him in heaven.

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,”
‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭2:3-6‬ ‭NKJV
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Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

 

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LOVE – Truth in Action

 

This month the central theme has been obedience and dependence, and today we add a third, love. I consider these three actions as defining elements in our lives.

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Two require submission and one action.

Love is one of the three things God gave us: Faith, Hope, and Love. We abide in Love through Faith and Hope. Obedience and Dependence are the vehicles in which Faith, Hope, and Love operate.

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT

Obedience and dependence do not require outward interaction, they are a state of being. Love, on the other hand, requires a second party and is an action taken.

God’s love is eternal and our wellspring. It never dries up, we never have to search for the living water. He loves us and it is our place as Christians to love others.

The first step in loving others is loving yourself. The question is, if you are commanded to love your neighbor as you love yourself, how can you love others if you do not love yourself? To love others, you have to first forgive yourself for all your actual and perceived sins that haunt you. Once you have accomplished this and believe you have been forgiven, then and only then can you show God’s truth, which is love, through your actions. 

It is important to note that, we are not saved through our works, we do not live in the Old Testament dispensation. Through the New Testament, we are new creatures in Christ and live through GRACE. We cannot be saved through this action, we are saved by grace and only grace. The action is only a demonstration of our faith.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Further, we should not misinterpret this act as a deed, it manifests itself as action. It is not a work that we do to receive Gods love, it is a gift. God loved us first, and because He loves us, we love others and act to meet their needs. We love others sharing Gods love for us through our actions.We are a branch of His tree. Our actions are demonstrations of God’s love for us.Love4

Fruit of the Spirit3Love is the most important Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. Without agape love, Christ-centered love, we cannot show the other Fruit listed. It is through the action of Love that all other Fruit of the Spirit is given life.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Christian love

As Christian Warriors we must all strive to love others as an action. This simply means we step out of our comfort zone to assist others in need of help; others can be a co-worker, friend, family member or stranger.

I find that when I am nudged by the quiet voice of God, I need to step out of my comfort zone. Take a moment to discover when God nudged you and caused you to pay greater attention to others. We should all become more aware and present in the moment. It is important that during these moments we take immediate action. If we do not take action, i.e. the failure to take action, you will find these moments tend to haunt you.

Practice displaying God’s love through your actions. As we do so, we become more Christ-like and mature in the Word as Christian Warriors. You’ll become the person others speak about saying, “I don’t know what it is about Sam, there’s a warmth and caring I sense when I am around him.” This means others are beginning to sense the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. It also is a sign that you are doing God’s work.

Love is truth in action!

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From Verse-by-Verse Commentary, 1 John 3:18, by Grant Richison, June 17, 2001, BibleStudyTools.com.

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com; BibleHub.com; Bible.com

More on Fruit of the Spirit from Lisa Blair:
lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com/Posts – Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice, Feb 22, 2018; Valentine’s Day, Temporal Love, Feb 21, 2018

YoungchristianWarriors.com/From Punishment to Correction and Healing, Feb 21, 2018; Core Values Early In Life, Sept 23, 2017; Children-Fruit of the Spirit, Sept 22, 2017; Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children, Sept 19, 2017
Images – /bible.com/111/1jn.3.18.niv; Google Image

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox.

Lisa Blair

My name is Lisa Blair. I’m a parent, wife, and grandmother, a Christian educator, blogger, and public speaker. I am the owner of Youngchristianwarriors.com and Lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com. The sites are designed to inspire people to live through the Word of God.

Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

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The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’ (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Images from Google Images

God, Crisis, and Grace

How often do we find ourselves in fervent prayer when we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty and crisis? The answer is all too often. We seem to call out to God most often with heartfelt tears during these times. And, our God is so loving, He returns our prayers with grace. His grace is stronger when we are at our weakest. It is through faith that we receive God’s free unmerited grace.

“My grace is sufficient for you, For my power is made perfect in weakness.”       2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

It seems that when we are in constant prayer, we open our hearts to Him in search of help. How wonderful would that be if we always prayed as if we are in crisis, and in some respect, we are, maybe not as obvious, yet in crisis? The battle over our soul rages daily. The evil one does not want us free, he wants to strip away our salvation, shackle us to demons and lead us to hell. I would say that is crisis enough to stay in fervent prayer.

But through our Lords grace, we survive to tell our stories, our testimonies, to others to show them the way. It is through these testimonies that we share our relationship with God with others. It is through these experiences that we become disciples.

As the battle rages and we become more intimate with God through reading the scriptures and applying them in our daily lives, the stronger in the Word we become, the more we take the mantle of Christian Warriors, and the greater the number of people who want to follow Christ and establish the same relationship with God as you. Through our testimonies, others come to Christ and more readily receive God’s Salvation. “My power becomes perfect in weakness,” says the Lord.

When we are weakest, His grace is sufficient (enough) to carry us through times of uncertainty. When we are weakest, we stay in prayer. When we are weakest, we seek His lifeline.

When are we weakest? The answer is every day because we are under attack every day. The evil one wants our soul. We must be ever vigilant and stay in prayer.

Our strength rests on our weakness. Our weakness connects us to His grace and mercy.

Active Practice

To Young Christian Warriors, we might think of the word, weakness as lacking strength, fitness or vigor, a liability. However, biblically weakness is defined as dependence upon the Lord. This dependence cultivates the endowing of grace. It is not until we run out of our own options that we, in weakness, call on the Lord. Man is weak by nature. We succumb to our weakness, human frailty, finding it easier to give in to the negative behaviors than those defined as the Fruit of the Spirit. When our weakness abounds,  it is at this point that God reveals His power and grace. (BibleStudyTools.com/weakness)

In line with the mission of this site, we learn that to become a Warrior we must become equipped with the power of The Word and how the Holy Spirit uses it to communicate with us. It is through God’s grace that we have been invited to receive His grace and unmerited favor, and it is through His grace that we are strong in our weakness as Paul says.

Steps:

  1. Receiving Gods grace means we must practice living in our weakness, stop relying on ourselves and begin calling on the Lord for guidance and direction.
  2. We must learn self-restraint. When we begin to exhibit negative behaviors and our internal self-talk begins, we must listen. Self-talk is often the Holy Spirit prompting us to stop what we are preparing to do or say.
  3. We must identify scriptures that affirm our strength in the Lord and use them when we begin to tell ourselves that only we can resolve what is before us.
  4. Finally, we must tell our experiences, our testimonies, to others about how God provided a way of escape, supplied our need, open doors, healed us and loves us.

 

Image from: Google Images