Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I struggle with unbelief at times.
I don't like to admit it, but the temptation to disbelieve God lurks in the background waiting to sabotage my best efforts at faith.
I was appalled when I first discovered this enemy living in my home. I denied its presence, incredulous that I was providing shelter for this saboteur of God's work.
"Moi?" I thought innocently. Unbelief had so subtly veiled my sight I could not even see clearly.
At risk of oversimplification, I will share some steps I take to overpower this enemy.
First, I have to acknowledge its presence.
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light ... the blood of Jesus, [God's] Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:6-7, NIV).
When the Spirit of Christ is revealing a new nugget, I ask for discernment whether I need more information or whether there might be underlying unbelief holding me back from assimilating and agreeing with God's truth.
Pretending I always have faith with a only little doubt sprinkled on top is not enough to face unbelief in the eye. While my intellect is God-given for His worship and my joy, I have to agree that God, not my intellect, deserves the last word. When the enemy tries to deflect my trust in God's goodness, I must stand my ground... or rather, God's ground...in exorcising this monster.
"Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God... You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. " (1 John 4:3,4, NIV).
Secondly, when God's Spirit sensitizes me to this attitude that hurts us both, I ask forgiveness for my part in playing hostess and then appropriate Christ's deliverance.
When God first revealed this awful house guest, I chose to believe the overcoming presence of Christ was greater than the lies that had snuck into my living space because of hurt, false teaching, disobedience or ignorance. Since Jesus shares His authority with His own, I opened the exit door and commanded unbelief, by name, to get out.
It's Jesus' accomplishment on the cross that gives us the power to overcome unbelief. We continue to learn what is available to us as Christ followers as we read and study God's word -- not merely listen to others who do.
My unbelief had been dressed reputably, but I had to agree with God's word that its clothes covered tentacles of pride and fear which curled around my heart and mind cutting off life flow. Instead, God wanted to enlarge my heart to hold more of the Almighty's presence and my spirit to discern the unseen.
I truly want what God wants. So, when unbelief comes to my door hiding death under garments of apparent enlightenment, I count on my Lord for the power to overcome.
For Your Consideration
Have you encountered unbelief masquerading in your life?
How might the power of Jesus Christ practically impact your struggle?
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV)