What to Do About Doubts
One of the Devil’s primary goals, of course, is to convince you that you can’t hear from God and that it was a mistake for you to even try in the first place. Refuse to listen to or accept such lies!1 The only way the Devil could possibly rob you of God’s gift is if you surrender it to him-so don’t!
The Devil will do everything he can to get you to doubt. First he’ll try to convince you that there’s no such thing as hearing from Heaven. Then if that doesn’t work, he’ll try to convince you that you’re too sinful, too shallow, or carnal to receive anything from Heaven. His ultimate goal is to get you to lose faith in God altogether.
Of course the Devil doesn’t always come out with obvious lies like, “There is no God.” He usually begins with little questions which raise little doubts, and his questions seem so reasonable. He takes advantage of our earthbound natural reasoning-our “carnal mind,” as it is referred to in the Bible-which is simply unable to understand God or the workings of His Spirit. How could we ever understand the infinite God with our finite, little minds? “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”1 “As the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”2
How can we rationalize receiving messages from a God that we can’t see, in a manner that defies our natural senses? We can’t! We just have to accept it and believe it by faith, because God says that’s the way it is. If God has chosen to speak to His children through prophecy, or by any other means for that matter, who are we to question Him? God doesn’t appear before our eyes, nor does He often give obvious physical manifestations of His presence or power. If He did, we wouldn’t need faith, and would miss out on the blessings He wants to give us for choosing to walk by faith. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”3
How do we walk by faith? By staying full of the Word. As we said earlier, “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.”4 There’s only one way to find the faith you need to partake of this special and supernatural gift: Read, absorb, believe, and act on God’s Word.
Faith is also the opposite of doubt. So the heavier the attacks of doubt, the more time you should spend absorbing the Word. Feed your faith, and starve your doubts. Let the light in, and the darkness will flee!
The way to rid yourself of his doubts is to refuse to listen to them! Give no place to the Devil!1 Take a tip from Jesus: Answer the Devil’s doubts with Scripture, “It is written!”2
For example, if the Devil says, “God’s not going to speak through sinful you, of all people,” you can answer, “It is written, ‘Ask and it shall be given …'”3
Even after you understand and accept this basic explanation of prophecy, you may very well have questions from time to time. Sincere questions about prophecy-or any other work of God’s Spirit-are different than doubts. Questions only become doubts when you refuse to accept the answers that God gives in His Word or through prophecy itself. It’s good to get your questions resolved by taking them to the Lord and asking Him to explain, or searching for the answers in God’s Word yourself, or talking with those who are well versed in God’s Word.
You can’t ignore or suppress either your questions or doubts, and pretend they’re not there. But neither can you resolve them by natural reasoning. You’ll only think yourself into a bigger muddle. You must ask Jesus. He has all the answers, and He will give them to you if you take your questions to Him in a sincere, humble, open spirit. He’ll either give the answers to you directly, through prophecy, or He’ll help you find them in His Word, or He’ll use others to help you find them.
Don’t be ashamed to confess your doubts and fears to other Christians who have strong faith in the areas where yours is weak. Of course it won’t do you any good to discuss your questions and doubts with others who share those same questions and doubts; you’ll only drag each other down even more. But those who have strong faith built on a foundation of God’s Word can be a big help to you through their prayers, counsel, and godly instruction.
Like all of God’s other gifts, you have to accept the gift of prophecy by faith. It’s also like electricity: You don’t have to understand it to use it. It works, and that’s all you really need to know. God may help you understand it better in time, but He wants you to start using it and enjoying its benefits now.
[In a box:]
You can’t avail yourself of Jesus’ power while you’re looking down at the waves and at the muddy water that blurs your vision. But if you look at Jesus and tap into His power, it will result in a wonderful change in your whole way of looking at things and your feelings about things.