Sometimes, the hardest part of walking in faith is the spiritual burden of remaining in the belief that we’re not wrong about what we believe in.
Spiritual attack is not always something severe like possession, such as the portrayals in movies like The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. In fact, most times spiritual attack can be subtle, yet as pernicious as doubt. Not all doubt is as simple as demanding a negative inner voice to stop (and it actually does). Lots of times, doubt plays a role like a sneaky, tempting feeling that something is wrong—or will be wrong, and that it will be our fault, or our undoing. Or, the voice may feed the belief that our life is unimportant for whatever imaginably plausible reason.
This is the reason I used the word ‘pernicious’: doubt can be simple, but it can also be deadly.
Imagine that voice over the course of years, digging into our subconscious the belief that our lives will ultimately not be as significant as we’d always hoped it would be, and that in the end, our most invested attempts towards purpose will be of little to no impact on others.
CHRIST-LIKE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Lots of people can accept that we aren’t all going to be book-writers with millions of copies sold, speaking around the globe and inspiring masses of unbelievers towards faith in Christ. But a Jesus-following janitor at a local public school could make a small comment to a teacher in a “random” but God-ordained circumstance, and that could change the future of that teacher’s life. Merely by planting a seed instigating a path towards spiritual intimacy with God, a life is altered. It’s not always about the major motions of a person’s vocational trajectory revealing Christ-like truth to the masses: the bigger picture of evangelism many times depends on the smallest movements of just one Christ-believing person, initiating the most monumental shift in another’s life; perhaps beginning with one life, but spreading to many.
How strongly we believe in what we believe in, will be directly tantamount to the level of opposition we receive from the enemy, which in real life looks like anything spiritual that fights against the truth, love, and grace of Christ. Doubt is one of many weapons conjured by “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is how it can be deadly, since it can start off small and innocuous, but eventually lead to or end up as threatening as suicide. God’s purpose for us is not carried out by ending ourselves, but by turning to Him in faith, surrender; in supplication for His will. (Ephesians 6:12)
LIES OF THE ENEMY
If we find ourselves feeling doubt, the first thing we can supplant it with is the truth that it’s not of God. God’s very nature is love, and love does not cast doubt. Look at this Scripture, describing love in detail:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
From the above we can deduce with confidence that not only is love from God, but it will not cast doubt, and therefore it is an attack of the enemy, and ultimately a lie.
OPPOSITION WILL NOT HOLD BACK
How often do we listen to the lies of doubt and believe them, compared to when we fight them with truth? Scripture is a double-edged sword, filled with truth. If we use what has been given to us by the Creator of love and truth, we can always discern without hesitation when doubt is trying to creep in. (Hebrews 4:12)
When we believe with all our hearts that Jesus is Lord, that God loved us so much that He sent His Son while we were still sinners to replace us from our seat of judgment, the enemy is going to want to take away what that belief will do in our hearts, and in our lives. He will want to steal the transformation, distract us from repentance and derail our progress with shame. We will be bombarded with thoughts of our worst thoughts and actions, our most humiliating decisions, and the worst alternative futures based on regrettable choices we’d redo if we could. All of this to stop us from receiving the joy, peace, and love of God in Jesus Christ. That speaks a lot for the worth of the truth, and what it is capable of in a person’s life when they repent of their sin and turn to God.
RECLAIMING THE LOVE, PEACE, AND JOY OF GOD
Today is a new day full of choices, beliefs, and feelings. What we come across, the interactions we’ll have and surprises we’ll encounter—all will inevitably have an influence on our internal dialogue and spiritual demeanor. Even the person who respectfully believes Jesus to only be a moral man with no deifying qualities, is impacted spiritually. If even the demons believe in God, then any person who believes Jesus was not God is just as much (if not more) bait for the lies of doubt as any other person. None of us are free from influence. All of us have an inner-world, a spirit. And all of us have a choice, and our choices shape how we live. They will shape how we affect others’ lives too. We can be the seeds for others’ reasons to have faith in God’s love, or to have doubt in the goodness, joy, and peace of God. Our experiences can be reasons to hate the idea of a loving God, or they can be means of seeing how God works through both the good and the bad. For what people intend for good, and what the Devil intends for evil: God works in all things for the good of those who love Him. When we can see the truth for what it is, we can receive it and reject the lies of doubt. Doubt is merely a weapon of darkness, and its weakness is the light. The truth is light, and when we wield it as a weapon, doubt loses all of its power. (James 2:19, Romans 8:28)
Let us live in the light of truth, and bless the world with the love of God in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.