Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Wet Blanket of Doubt

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Worship the Lord in your car or shower too!
James 1:6-8 (NIV1984)
But when he asks, 
he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts 
is like a wave of the sea, 
blown and tossed by the wind.  
That man should not think 
he will receive anything 
from the Lord;  
he is a double-minded man,  
unstable in all he does.

Our doubting is like a wet blanket on the fire of our faith. God did not intend for us to be tossed about like the waves in our double mindedness and indecision. God is looking for our resolve to believe that He is able to handle our situations. He desires to build a relationship of trust with each of us. To build that trust we must walk through stuff together in a on going relationship. You and I need to know that He will see me through. That kind of trust is built little by little over time as we experience his faithfulness and love in our lives. 

 I may not always know what to do but if I will seek Him, he will help me to figure it out. There are times that I may pray and ask for the wrong things when he has a better plan. At least I am praying and seeking him even if I have things convoluted and confused. I believe he sees and knows when our heart is seeking him even when we don't see the big picture. Even Jesus prayed not my will but yours be done. My will can come up with all kinds of ideas and solutions but in the end what I need is God's plan. If I am seeking him I will find him and he will help me to see what I may not presently be able to see or understand. 

We live in such a fast food, instant gratification society that we too often expect that our God should respond like a gum-ball machine.We want to just put in your prayer and to have our instant answer. Or we think every problem, like a sitcom should be able to be resolved in thirty minutes or less. 
I believe that the Lord has a bigger agenda. He is looking for us to be in a mind to mind,  heart to heart, spirit to Spirit relationship with him. He desires that we would daily walk with Him and bring our prayers and concerns to him as part of a bigger relationship with him. He wants more than just a long litany of requests or the letter to Santa Jesus prayer for all the things I want. In a relationship there is dialoge, it is a two way conversation. I share and pray and I listen and consider. When I see something I should do, I should take the step of faith to be a doer not just a hearer of His word.  In that loving relationship we can be confident He is going to do what is best for us. Trust is hard for some of us, because we have been hurt by the people in our lives who should have nurtured and protected us. We often can see God as that harsh authority figure who was always correcting because we just never seemed to be able to do anything good enough. We might have known rejection or indifference or lived in constant fear and instability. None of us comes to our relationship with the Lord without some brokenness or baggage. We have believed all sorts of lies and half truths and as we sit at the Lord's feet and learn His word and his ways those things get sorted out.

 If I am walking closely with the Lord he can show me things I may not see. He can also help me to see things I really need and helps me to want what He wants. If we are not in an abiding in Him relationship, we are often tossed about by our own ideas and our desires, fears and doubts. To be unwavering or held securely in his love we must be in a relationship where trust is being built. 

One of the things that I do is I remind myself that he was there for me in previous times of need and he will be with me in my present concerns.  I can look back and realize that a lot of the time His solutions came in ways I did not expect or even think of. So I remember that it is His will not mine but even to be able to pray that way one needs to have built some level of trust. Sometimes his answer is no and I have to trust that he knows what is best. It may even be a good thing that he is asking me to lay down because he has another plan for me. 

Lord, We don't want to be wet blankets that put out faith in our own lives or in the live of others. We want to fan the flames of faith and burn brightly for your glory. Lord where we are being double minded help us to seek you for your direction and help us remember as we take a step of faith to make a decision to act that you will be with us. Thank you that as we move by faith you will be there to help us adjust and fine tune, but until we make a decision you wait. Until we invite you into the decision you will not step in and we will continue to try to sort thing out on our own faulty means.

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