PC: Ran Berkovich
Seeing is believing is the age-old adage. If you can’t see it, then how can you believe it?
I agree, I firmly believe in that too. I’m just not going to take someone’s word for it, I gotta’ see the results. I need to see the proof…where is the evidence to prove success or failure?
That attitude might be all fine and dandy in the material world, how about the spiritual world?
I believed for a long time that proof of God with me was seeing results and seeing the miracles. So often we’re taught that our God is a God of miracles, healing, blessings, so naturally that was what I expected.
So, guess what happened when things would take a slightly sour turn? I began to believe firmly that God wasn’t with me and that things going wrong was either some sort of punishment or proof that I had stepped away from His ways.
The agonising part of my faith journey was that the enemy knew that as well and so each time I was hit by struggles, the attack became stronger.
I kept asking for a sign to prove that He was with me, but it never happened. In fact, the opposite seemed to happen all the time.
I began to believe more intensely that God had left me to struggle through the valleys alone, until I began to read the Bible from Genesis…slowly.
As I began to read, I saw a huge link between what I thought was the absence of God in my life to the reality. I realised that God often gives us His word and expects us to activate our faith and hold on to His word.
He did it right at the start with Adam and Eve. Genesis 3 showed us that He spoke His word and asked them to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Eve, in Gen 3:6 took her eyes off God’s word and focussed it on what she saw- she saw that the fruit was good.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” ~Gen 3:6
Eve had forgotten God’s word because her eyes took over…what she saw in front of her marred her perspective.
It is pretty easy to blame Eve and I’m guilty of it too. I’ve blamed Adam and Eve for being the reason for the curse put on mankind, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, I wouldn’t have fared any better.
I’d like to tell myself that maybe I would have been smarter than Eve was and there’s no way that I would have been outwitted by a silly snake, but I know myself better than anyone. I would have done exactly what Eve did, and probably put humanity into the curse much sooner than she did.
Do you know how I know? I look at Scripture and I can see that often after God or Jesus has spoken, something comes up that distracts the player in the story.
Look at Peter in Matt 14. We all know the story of Peter walking on the water. The storm was still blowing, but the Bible says that when Peter looked at the storm, he began to sink.
Matthew 14:30, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!””
I’ve been so guilty of this too, and the reason is because it’s so easy to look at circumstances or the storms around us because they are louder and more present than God’s voice or word.
It’s not the easiest thing to ignore the storms, but that’s where faith kicks in. It is a choice we must make, because God will not make that choice for us. The Bible shows us from Peter’s near drowning experience, that it is imperative that we keep our eyes on the Word and not what we can see.
The moment we take our focus off the Word, we become overwhelmed, and we lose faith. That’s why Jesus’ first question to Peter in verse 31 was, “why did you doubt?”
That’s a loaded question, because just like in our own lives, when we wonder about out own faith and doubts, I don’t any one of us can easily answer why we truly doubt.
At least in my own life, I don’t think that I doubt God because I don’t trust Him, but I sometimes doubt God because I am not sure if He’ll do the miracle for me.
I believe He is a healer, deliverer but sometimes, I do wonder if He will heal me, deliver me? It might sound un-Christian, but unless I can go to Jesus with the same attitude as the father of the demon possessed boy in Mark 9:24, and ask Jesus to help me with me unbelief, I might never find that respite.
I chose to hide my unbelief from everyone, because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? As Christians, we aren’t supposed to wonder whether God will heal us or deliver us or even show us the right steps to take, or worse still, whether the steps we’re actually taking now are even from God.
I’ve learned that the God I serve isn’t too small or petty or emotional insecure that He can’t handle my questions. I believe that He’s looking for a real relationship, something we expect from any relationship as well.
“Faith is not the absence of doubt, it teaches you to fight it.”
I expect honesty and openness in any relationship and if a mere mortal expects that, then how much more will my heavenly Father. I believe that I am able to be honest in my moments of weakness and talk to Him about my unbelief and my struggles, like the father in Mark 9.
I also believe that He is gracious enough to understand my many, many, many flaws, quirks and insecurities and I believe that He is able to give me the grace that I need to work through my unbelief.
I know that the more I talk to Him about my insecurities and doubts, the closer I draw to Him because I trust Him enough to expose my fears and doubts.
It is hard to trust and take the next step in our walk with God, but it is also important that we submit fully to Him and trust Him at His word.
He understands our doubts and fears and no, He’s never angry or upset with us because we doubt.
Even the strongest Christians doubt, even the prophets doubted, the twelve that walked with Jesus daily for three years doubted, and yet He calls us greater than them all, because we choose to believe His word.