Doubt. One of the greatest weapons the devil uses to thwart the miracles of God.
God is all that is miraculous in this world, He does miracles like how we take breaths. It is necessary and intrinsic to who He is and the best part is He loves to do it. He is giving, loving and gracious, He absolutely loves to rescue, restore and bless His children.
So with all that said, why are there not more miracles??
In Mark 6, Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth, ready to bless them with the word of God and the miracles of healing and salvation but he could not because they had no faith. They were too familiar with him, they knew his family, they remembered him as a child and could not wrap their minds around Jesus the Savior.
So what did Jesus do? He left. He took all His power, His salvation, His miracles that He graciously did for so many and He left.
There is a lesson for here for us, in the face of stubborn doubt and unbelief, Jesus cannot work and move our situation. Doubt chokes faith and immobilizes it not allowing grace and blessing to flow in our lives.
And typically whatever issue that you struggle with the most in the area of faith is where God most wants to bless you.
So let’s unpack this issue of doubt some more. I can tell you where I get tripped up and I believe it will be familiar for many, it is the question of how?
We just do not see how it can happen. The cost is too high, the statistics are too bad, no one like me has ever done it before or it is impossible to achieve it so quickly are the thoughts that race through our heads when we face a seemingly impossible situation.
And right in that moment of ruminating the utter hopelessness of your situation, you have to STOP!
The how is NOT your responsibility or problem, you are trespassing in a territory that is not your own.
The how is God’s plan and not yours.
So my friend, you must let go of the reins, pass them over and allow God to guide the situation. Easier said than done right?
We live in a society that is all about doing, if you have a problem, DO something about it, don’t just sit there and that can make faith hard.
I remember when I was waiting for God to provide a job for me to move to Atlanta. He had specifically told me to stop applying for jobs and just be still about it. I knew God told me I was moving but there was no job not even any prospects. Friends would ask me, well what company are you interested in? Where are you applying? All I could muster up was not sure what company and I am not applying. I would then say I am praying and believing God for the job. The incredulous expressions said it all, “how are you going to get a job without applying for it??” Their guess was as good as mine but I stayed the course. During that period of waiting, I got busy doing other things, I prepared to go on a missions trip, launched my ministry in DC as well as prayed and fasted for God to do a miracle. One day, a friend of mine who lived in Atlanta contacted me said she had seen a job that would be perfect for me, she sent them my resume, within two weeks, I interviewed over the phone and had an on-site interview in Atlanta with the staff for the organization I would support…not having applied for the job. When I finally did complete an application, it was a formality, they already decided to select me for a position. A miracle…
God is good and He is consistent but in order for Him to do a miracle in your life, you must give Him the room to do it and that space is called faith.
So how can you build up your faith?
Prayer and Fasting, this is huge, your flesh and spirit are on opposite sides of the spectrum, the first is self-led and the other God-led. Think of it like a seesaw, when you discipline and starve your flesh, your spirit gains strength and the same could be said vice-versa. You should fast as led by the Holy Spirit and a good rule of thumb is if you do not want to fast from it, you probably should. If there is an activity or food that is a stronghold in your life, that is a good candidate for fasting. The prayer part is just as important as the act of fasting, both go hand in hand. The prayer is what strengthens your resolve and spirit.
Identify a Faith Hero. There are so many great examples of faith in the Bible. Hebrews 11, one of my favorite passage of the Bible details the numerous individuals who put their faith in God. The Bible is not a bunch of fairy tales for us to enjoy in the confines of the church or Sunday school. They are examples meant to inspire courage, faith and trust in our Father. Despite the changing times, these stories of faith are still very relevant today and we can draw parallels from their lives to ours. Three of my favorite faith heroes are David, Daniel and Joseph, each one of them remained rooted in faith despite the impossible and life threatening circumstances. God always came to their rescue and met them at the level of their faith.
Spend Time in the Word of God. As you spend time in the Word of God, you will get to know the Lord. A relationship with God is like any relationship, the more time you spend with Him, the more you will know Him and the more you know Him, the more you can trust Him. He longs to be known by you. Also, just like any relationship, trust engenders love and greater intimacy.
Don’t be like the children of Israel in Numbers 13, 14. God brought them so far, delivered them from Egypt, parted the Red Sea, provided them with manna and then quail among many other .miracles. He provided for them, protected them, professed to them and just loved them. Yet, when it came time for them to pass the last test, they failed. They looked at themselves rather than looking towards Him. They got so caught up in their own frailties, weaknesses and fears, they denounced him. They complained about the Lord and did not see the immense blessing in the Promised Land.
In order to get to the Promised Land, it requires faith in God. Why?
Because that is how God gets the glory, that is how you know God is at work when he gifts you The Promised Land by faith.
God can only do that when you cannot receive the Promised Land in your own strength.
Perhaps, the statistics are not in your favor and you do not have the right credit score or resources for a much needed home or perhaps, your child is sick and you do not have money for the care or medicine. Or just maybe, God has promised you abundant land for your family but it is already occupied and the inhabitants are powerful and frightening.
Where God guides, He will provide, we must believe that so we can take hold of all that God has ready for us.