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Doubt Limits the Blessing

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

This past Christmas Eve I was blessed with the privilege to lead a praise and worship service to honor the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At the outset I was told that not many would turn out for a service on Christmas Eve as most people stayed home and spent time with their family. Yet I believed where else should a follower of Jesus Christ be on the Eve of His birth than at His house praising Him for His advent and the promise of His ministry. The ministry of a righteous life lived seeking the lost and healing the afflicted that men might find life here in this world. A perfect life that was sacrificed upon a Roman Cross that through His death the debt of our sins might be paid in full. A life that through the power of His Word rose from the grave in resurrection that through Him all might have live eternal with the Father in His Heavenly Kingdom. Where else should a flower of Jesus Christ be on the Eve of His birth?

I set aside the words of discouragement and spent the week prior in the Sanctuary where the service was to be held praying over the pews that the Lord would lead many to come and praise and worship Him. On the day of Christmas Eve as I finished my prayers in the Sanctuary I took a hymnal and, even as I cannot sing, sang O Come All Ye Faithful. It was a blessing that only the Lord heard the flat monotone voice rising to the heavens. Then I did a terrible thing. I allowed the adversary to place doubt into my heart. As I turned to leave the Sanctuary I said that if at least ten people do not come I will not next year accept this privilege that the Lord had given to me. I immediately knew that it was wrong but continued to leave and go about my day before the evening service was to come.

All through the day the Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthian Church ran through my mind, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) I was setting a physical measure that I expected the Lord to meet and not seeing with my spiritual eye the measure He would fulfill. All week long as I prayed in the Sanctuary in my spirit I saw a Church filled with people singing praises to God in the highest. Then on the day of the service I limited the vision that God had given to me by making a physical requirement. It is true that God is not limited to or by physical measurements but what I had really done was allowed doubt to enter into my heart.

We cannot please God if we do not believe that He is, that He is capable to provide all that we ask for, and that He is willing to provide for us the desires of our heart. The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) As we take our delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) This is the promise from God and it is assured.

If God said it, then it is absolute truth. I trusted the words of my earthly father and most times obeyed him. I most certainly trust the Word of my Heavenly Father because unlike my earthly father He is infallible and knows the way I should go. Then if we believe that He is, that He is infallible, trust that He is absolute truth, we should act upon His word in complete faith. I displeased my father many times by not trusting and acting upon his judgment, neither can I please my God by not acting in faith upon His judgment.

On my way out of the Sanctuary I allowed the adversary to place doubt into my heart and my doubt limited the blessing that God had prepared for me. Jesus said to us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.” (Matthew 21:21) Doubt is the opposite of faith. If we have doubt then we are saying to the Lord, “You can’t do it, or your promises are not true.” If we don’t have faith in God’s Word, then we have already accepted defeat. This displeases God and puts a smile on the face of Satan.

When I was in high school all the kids had a car. I wanted a car also. How was I to cruse the beaches in Longboat Key if I didn’t have a car? I certainly wasn’t going to make an impression in the back seat of someone else’s car. My dad said he couldn’t afford to buy me a car but he could buy half a car. He told me to save up and then he would pay the price of half the car I wanted. I kind of doubted that dad would be able to do that so I didn’t save as much as I could have. About six months passed by and dad came to me and asked, “Are you ready to go get that car now?” Off we went to the car lot and they had some nice cars and I found a 1967 Mustang that was Canary Yellow and I wanted that one. To my surprise dad had his half of the money in hand but I didn’t have my half. Dad was true to his word and he paid his have of the car I bought. If I had more faith in his word I would have had the Mustang instead of the seven year old Volkswagen I drove off the lot in. When we have doubt we limit the provision that is available to us.

There are those who try to make excuses for the words of our Lord. Oh Jesus didn’t mean that you could move a literal mountain, He just meant the troubles that come into your life. As a young kid growing up in West Virginia there was one thing that was normal. You were either going up a mountain or going down one. There was a Church out in the country that had outgrown its building. They had saved up enough money to build a new larger Church, which they did. When the new Church was completed they didn’t have enough room left to park their cars on the property. In the back of the Church there was property but it was a rather large hill. The cost of removing that his was prohibitive and the congregation had to park two blocks away in the Kroger parking lot. The Church prayed and prayed for that mountain to be moved. They cried out to the Lord saying Lord you promised that mountains would move. A contractor came by one day and noticing their problem made an offer that was nothing less than miraculous. The Contractor needed a large amount of fill dirt for a project he was working on and said he would remove that mountain at no cost to the Church. Can God move a mountain? As my dad said, “A little faith in a big God and the mountains will move.”

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) God is a provider and is able and willing to provide for all our needs. When Israel was wondering in the wilderness God provided them with their physical needs each and every day by the manna that came down from Heaven. (Exodus 16:4) The Lord also provided them with meat causing quail to fly into the wilderness for the Israelites to have meat in the evening and bread in the morning. (Exodus 16:8) The Lord also provided water for them to drink from a rock. (Exodus 17:6) Some have tried to explain away this truth by saying that a certain rock in the wilderness has little water that can be extracted from. I think not! The population of the Israelite nation would have required 800 gallons of water each day. So much for a few drops from a rock. The water flowed forth from the rock. Paul explains to the Church in Corinth that this manna and water was spiritual food. Not that which can be seen but that which requires faith. “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) God is able and even if He ever were to deplete His riches in glory God is the creator and will create that which we need. Even now Jesus sits on HIs throne making all things new. (Revelation 21:5)

In December of 2012 the Gallup poll said that 77% of Americans profess to be of the Christian faith. The same poll found that only 20% of those who profess to be Christians attend Church. You decide what that says to you but it tells me that 57% percent of Christians do not believe in God and cannot have a vibrant faith that will receive the rewards of the true believer. With 57% of the Church absent on Sunday Services there is plenty for us who are present to be praying about each and every day of the week. Our faith can bring the sheaves back into the service of the Lord they claim to serve. Our faith will awaken our testimony and they will see the difference of the truth that lives within us.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;” (Hebrews 10:23) Let us hold on to the faith that we have and not let the accuser to place doubt into our heart. Let us increase our faith by the hearing of His word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Our faith in the Lord will take us places that we have not yet imagined and certainly have not yet seen. God is our provider and has set aside marvelous possessions for us if we do not limit His gift by the doubt in our hearts.

How many you may ask came to the Christmas Eve service? Does it really matter to you or me for neither of us are the judge of these things. We all will make our excuses at the throne in due time. The Lord always answers prayer and He answers in abundance. Those of us who gathered to praise and worship the new born King this past Christmas Eve witnessed His showers of blessings. Do not my Christian brethren let doubt limit the blessing that the Lord has prepared for each of you.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor, December 27, 2014

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