Beyond a Shadow

1oz-originalEven when your mind is made up and your course is set, there is an inclination to look back and question your decision. The place you used to be which was intolerable enough to leave looks better with time and distance. The warts of the destination which is so full of promise become more evident when you have to endure a journey to realize its riches. The questions become doubts and the doubts become distractions.

I’m “all in” and have been for some time. I’ve burned the ships and I’m not going back. I believe and walk in faith in accordance with that belief. Yet, sometimes I doubt. Sometimes I wrestle with God in asking “where are You” and declaring “I don’t understand You.” Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting it, or Him, right at all.

Doubt is not a disqualification. In Matthew 28, the very guys that Jesus was commissioning to carry the Kingdom were worshiping him “but some doubted.” Jesus commissioned them, anyway. One of those men was Peter, who walked on water. The only other time in the New Testament that the form of the word “doubted” found in Matthew 28 is used is when Peter was walking on water; just before he sank.

So the two scenes for this form of doubting was the presence of the risen Christ (who had died and been buried) and a mortal man walking on water. In the middle of two of the most supernatural manifestations imaginable, there was doubt among those that were witnessing these things. I’m in good company, I guess . . . maybe you are, too?

In each case, the doubt that men were challenged with was a question of focus more than it was evidence. They took their eyes off of the realization of the supernatural and decided to focus on the natural. The natural raised questions that combated the reality of the glory of God in their midst.

  • Doubt is a product of focus
  • Focus is a product of choice
  • Choice is driven by desire
  • Desire can be hijacked by fear
  • Fear is the absence of love (perfect love casts out fear)

The doubt isn’t a question of the reality of God; in fact, the tension and argument within ourselves is an affirmation of our faith in God. If we didn’t believe He was there, we wouldn’t entertain the conversation. The doubt is a question of whether He is going to come through for us. The doubt is a question of whether we believe He loves us enough to take care of us. The doubt is the cry of an orphan.

When we have a deep sense of His love for us, we don’t doubt our place as sons and daughters. We don’t doubt His nature extends to us relationally¬†and we don’t choose to focus on the natural distractions instead of the supernatural promises. We keep our eyes on Him and our heart aligned with His proven faithfulness from which He has shown us His love time and time again.

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