“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double–minded man, unstable in all his ways.” -James 1:5-8
God wants us single minded and stable (Col. 1:23 ESV)—established in His grace (Heb. 13:9). This means convinced and certain of His will, of His wisdom, and of His glory (Eph. 1:18). Think about this: we were born into darkness; but Jesus has brought us into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13). Darkness means we don’t know, we are unsure, and unconvinced—that is the way of the world. When we are brought into the kingdom of light we are made aware, alive, and given wisdom (I Cor. 1:30) to understand (Eph. 2:5) the Father’s will. When we pray and don’t know God’s will on any matter this is not a prayer of faith (vs. 6) or strength, it is a prayer of weakness (Rom. 8:26) (We have been given the Spirit to overcome this weakness). We have confidence and assurance when we pray knowing His will (I John 5:14, 15).
Doubt causes us great suffering and pain. Doubt is stressful and full of worry; when we know something we are at rest and in peace—settled (Col 3:15). We can remove doubt in our life when we remove the uncertainty we have surrounding His will. Is it God’s will for us to know His will? Absolutely:
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” -Col 1:9
Paul’s prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit (therefore it is God’s will) and is reflected in many scriptures found in the epistles. Fundamentally, remember that God is not confused (I Cor. 14:33), heaven has no doubt, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). One of the characteristics of Jesus was His knowing authority that was revealed in His ministry (Luke 4:32). One of the characteristics of anyone filled with the Holy Spirit would be peace and joy from knowing God’s Word and will (Rom. 8:6).
Faith in us produces peace, rest, and comfort from knowing God’s will (II Tim. 2:22). For faith only comes from knowing God’s word and will (Rom. 10:17). Doubt therefore, is not of God but is a product of falling from God’s grace. Sin perverts, distorts, and darkens our understanding of God’s will.
We can overcome doubt by not settling to remain in darkness; by not being in between opinions about God’s will; and by not choosing to believe God’s will is supposed to be a mystery. For the unsaved and unregenerate God’s will is unknown and far above them (Isa. 55:8); however, for the son and daughter of God, it pleases Him for us to receive and walk in the kingdom of His dear son (Luke 12:32). This is a kingdom of light not darkness; it is a kingdom of sons and daughters (friends) not
servants. When we became born again we know we are saved—that produces peace. As we have received Him so walk in Him (Col. 2:6).
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” -John 15:15
If we are in doubt, confused about God’s will, this is not where God wants us. This is a place without peace! God wants us trusting His word (Ps. 18:30). He wants us in His revelation of the truth so that we can exercise it in the world around us (Eph. 1:17). The religious rulers of Jesus’ day didn’t know the truth; therefore, they could not speak it with authority. We know the truth, it has set us free (John 8:32); therefore, we can speak with power and authority in Jesus’ name (John 14:14).
This Lenten season let the sacrifice of Jesus’ atonement bring a renewed desire for all that God has given to us in our salvation, (for it) to be understood and entered into (II Pet. 1:1-3). Let our struggle against ignorance, doubt, and unbelief be overcome in us (I John 5:4) through the Spirit of truth that dwells in us (I John 4:13). We fight not for God’s blessing of wisdom but because we have it in Jesus— the word of God (I Cor. 1:30 and John 1:1).
We have been given spiritual life, awareness, wisdom and understanding (when we became born again) and we wrestle against the spiritual forces of darkness—in this case the darkness of remaining in doubt (II Cor. 10:5). When we are in God’s will we have been led by peace, peace rules our heart, and we overcome doubt (Col. 3:15). How? It is by becoming single minded and established in His will and grace—through the Word of God and His Spirit of revelation (Matt. 16:17). Do not take doubt for an answer…doubt your doubts.
Dayle Tate is the pastor of Lord of Lords Bible Community Church and a past member of the camp’s board of directors. Photo credit: Emmanuel Carrizo, via CreationSwap