I have struggled with doubts for as long as I can remember. Doubts about just about anything, really, but especially doubts about my salvation. In fact, they began the very night I accepted Jesus / got saved / surrendered to Christ / however your particular denomination words it.
Now, let me preface what I'm about to say with this: please do not ignore doubts. It may very well be the Lord trying to reach you and trying to show you that, although you may think you are right with Him for whatever reason, you're really not. Those doubts are the voice of God.
But as I've dealt with my doubts, I've realized that they have no basis in Scripture. My doubts are usually based on feelings, random thoughts, even physical reactions - not on the truth of what He has said in the Bible. If you know what I'm talking about, please let me share with you what He's been teaching me lately. Two illustrations that my pastor used in sermons about a year apart have really helped me to see my doubts in a new light.
The first involves the Passover when the Israelites were being rescued from slavery in Egypt. To keep this post from being ridiculously long, please read the full story in Exodus 6-13. God had said that "all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well" (Exodus 11:5). However, as God is always faithful to do for those who trust Him, He made a special provision for them. They were to take the blood of an unblemished lamb (a foreshadowing of Christ) and put it on the doorposts and over the door of their houses. "The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:13).
Now, imagine there are two firstborn sons in two Jewish houses. In both cases, their fathers had done as God had commanded by putting the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. They were both covered, safe, secure. In one house, the boy slept peacefully through the night - confident of his position. The other spent the last remaining daylight hours staring at the blood, asking his father "Are you SURE you did everything you were supposed to do?", and then tossed and turned all night long. Yet they both lived through the night.
They were both equally saved, covered, secure. But only one rested in that fact and experienced the peace.
Assuming you are covered by the blood of Christ, which son's night is a closer reflection of your life?
Many illustrations about faith involve a bridge. In fact, lots of illustrations of the Gospel itself involve Jesus acting as the bridge between God and mankind. When you visualize "taking a step of faith," what comes to mind?
Here's what had been in my mind:
A tiny, rickety bridge, with planks missing, nothing to hold on to, just about to break loose at any minute. So my steps of faith tended to be fearful, tentative, terrifying.
But here's a better picture of the bridge I'm actually standing on:
Strong, secure, ageless, not about to budge or give way.
Here's the trouble: I've been walking across the strong, secure bridge by tip-toeing, holding on for dear life, paralyzed by fear because I'm still picturing the rickety bridge. Why? Well, part of it is because I haven't known the Bridge as well as I should. But another reason is because the bridge we're traveling on is often shrouded in darkness and fog, and we can't actually see the whole thing.
Now, my final destination is certain. The bridge is NOT going to collapse. The Lord is responsible for my safety and security, and it is impossible for Him to fail. I WILL make it across the bridge.
The choice is this: how will I choose to get across? Will I continue to tip-toe, hanging on for dear life? Or will I let go and walk in confidence? I don't think the Lord wants me crawling across the bridge. I think He wants me to DANCE across that bridge!
What about you? Are you actually on the rickety bridge and need to change routes by trusting in what Jesus has done for you on the cross? Are you on the strong bridge but acting like you could fall off at any moment? Or are you confidently moving along the path, enjoying the view, and even dancing now and then?
I wish I could tell you what this will look like specifically in my life. I think part of it starts with publishing this post. Where do I go from here? I don't know. But I know I'm on the strong bridge, even when I can't see it. Even when I don't FEEL secure. Even when I don't THINK I'm secure. Because I didn't build the bridge. I can't make it any stronger or more certain than it already is. Even my fear doesn't affect my actual status as secure or change my eventual destination. It only affects how much I will enjoy the journey.
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