By Stephanie Parker
This week I doubted God.
I doubted God’s goodness, his provision and his justice.
All at the same time.
And I was angry. It wasn’t one of my finer moments. My family is going through something that is just not fair. I don’t understand it, quite frankly. When there are circumstances in my life that I don’t understand, I can easily succumb to the belief that I don’t understand God either. It’s a frustrating feeling and a feeling that I know many people can relate to but are reluctant to admit. It’s sad that more people aren’t more open about their doubts really. I think there is an element of shame that keeps us quiet. We think, “If I admit I have questions or doubts about God, that is the ultimate and unforgivable sin.”
Satan has us right where he wants us when we leave our doubts in the darkness. I once heard someone say, “Your faith can move mountains but your doubt can create them.” As I was thinking about our family’s ‘unfair’ situation this week, I could feel the mountain of doubt growing. Disappointment, fear, anger and uncertainty built up until I was staring at Mount Everest. I’m pretty sure Satan was doing a little happy dance at the top of my doubt mountain.
The only way to tear down a mountain of doubt is with faith… but how do you muster up faith if you feel like you are clean out?
Speaking of mountains, do you want to know another mountain in my life? Laundry. My sweet husband’s definition of “doing the laundry” is dumping the basket of dirty clothes into the washing machine. He will proudly come to me and say, “I did the laundry!” Bless his heart.
Attacking a mountain of laundry is a four step process (wash, dry, fold, put away). The worst step is folding, in my opinion. Why is it that not one single sock matches another!? This still thoroughly confounds me. There’s only one way to fold a mountain of laundry. One piece at a time. Once it’s all finally folded, you actually have to put the clothes away before you can officially say, ‘I did the laundry.’ In my house, it might be days before the laundry gets put away into actual drawers. Sometimes it has to be re-folded because the piles of clothes get knocked over or stepped on. Just being real here.
When you have built a mountain of doubt, tearing it down can also be a 4 step process too. It’s a process I haven’t quite mastered, but I’m working on it. This is what helped me the other day so I’m hoping some of it might help some of you.
Step 1: IDENTIFY THE DOUBT-
You have to wash your dirty laundry before you can fold it. How do you feel and why do you feel the way you do? Put it in writing if you have to. What emotions are associated with your doubt? What are the roots of your doubts? Take some time to really hash it all out and ask God for guidance and clarity. Pray this verse over your doubt, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there is any unholy way about me and lead me to the way of everlasting (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Some of the biggest heroes of the Bible doubted. In Judges 6 and 7, when Gideon asked God for a sign to confirm his faith, God not only obliged once, he obliged THREE times (twice with the fleece and once with a dream). It’s OK to tell God your doubts and ask for His help to bring you clarity and faith.
In my situation, my doubts were rooted in the fear and uncertainty of the unknown and my frustration with what I couldn’t control.
Step 2: EXPOSE THE LIES-
If you think for a second that Satan doesn’t have a part in your doubt, you are dead wrong. Any doubt that is contrary to God and His Word, is founded on lies, NOT truth. Ask God to reveal to you the lies surrounding the doubts you have. You will be surprised what you discover.
Once I identified that my doubts were rooted in fear and an inability to control the outcome of our circumstances, I had to expose the lies that surrounded my doubt. One lie I believed, was that I had to be the master of my fate because God clearly didn’t care. I felt like he didn’t care because he hadn’t done anything yet to intervene in my ‘unfair’ situation. I believed the lie that God didn’t love me enough to intervene. The lies built a mountain of doubt that separated me from the truths of God.
Satan hasn’t changed his tactics since the Garden of Eden. Eve took the first bite in the garden because of her doubts. The serpent got her to question the truths that God had given her.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden (Genesis3:1)’?”
Then, the snake got Eve to doubt God’s good intentions for her. He made her start thinking that God had lied to her about the consequences that would befall her if she ate the fruit. That slimy creature even went as far as to make Eve think that she could be as wise as God if she only would disobey God’s orders: “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4).”
Eve believed the lies and began to doubt the truth. Then she took the bite that would change history.
Step 3: ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOUR SIN AND DOUBT-
It’s time to fold the laundry… one piece at a time. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary or life will just stay a wrinkly mess! EVERYONE has doubts from time to time, whether they admit it or not. It’s what we do with our doubts that makes a difference. Eve doubted, then believed the lies of the enemy which ultimately led her to sin. Doubt, left unattended, will almost always lead to sin. That is why, identifying the lies and sin surrounding your doubt is so critical when attempting to dismantle it. Only when the sin and lies have been identified, can we seek forgiveness and find freedom.
In step 2 we identified the lies, so what about the sin? Insecurity in who we are in Christ and doubt about who God is, often results in or is rooted in the sin of pride. Pride can lead us to seek our own opinion or glory over that of God. Pride seeks to find assurance that we matter… that we are valuable APART from God. The problem with pride is that we rarely notice when we have it. The other day, I heard someone say, “Pride is like bad breathe, everyone can smell it but you often don’t realize you have it.” It takes full surrender to God and a humble heart to be able to identify and deal with pride.
In my pride, I felt like God should solve the injustices I was experiencing the way I wanted them solved. I felt like he wasn’t loving me the way I wanted to be loved. I wasn’t getting assurance that I mattered in the way I wanted to hear it. Once I identified that the sin of pride was the product of the lies I was believing, I could start tearing down the mountain of doubt. I could start folding my laundry… one lie at a time. I asked God to forgive my pride and my desire to put my plans and my will above His. I asked God to forgive me for doubting his great love for me. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).”
Step 4: REPLACE THE LIES WITH THE TRUTH-
After you’ve washed, dried and folded your doubt laundry, it’s time to put it away. If you don’t put it away, it will just lie there until it gets stepped on and needs to get re-folded again. No one likes to have to re-fold laundry. You’ve got to find the Truths in scripture that tear down your mountain of doubt, one lie and one sin at a time. Only then with you be able to actually put your doubts away.
I believed the lie that God wasn’t taking care of me and didn’t love me. The truth is, my definition of ‘being cared for’ or ‘loved’ by God isn’t always God’s definition. In my pride, I was EXPECTING God to do what I wanted him to do in the time frame and manner that I envisioned him to do it in. I was not trusting that God really and truly had my back. I had to replace this sin and lie with truth. The easiest way to uncover the truth is in God’s Word.
Did you know that even John the Baptist started doubting Jesus? John the Baptist is the same guy that was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb and devoted his entire life to preparing the way for Jesus. This was the same man who said, when he saw Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)!” This was also the same guy that saw Heaven open up and the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove. The same John the Baptist that actually heard God say about Jesus, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).”
If anyone should have believed that Jesus was the Messiah, it should have been John! But he doubted. He was imprisoned and faced possible execution and his popularity had waned. He started wondering if Jesus really was, in fact, the Son of God. He sent a message to Jesus and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” John should have known the answer but, as he sat there in that cell with his execution looming in front of him, he started to wonder. Jesus responded to John’s doubt with scripture. He destroyed the lies that had fed John’s doubts with the Truth of God’s Word. Jesus quoted a scripture verse from Isaiah 35:5 that prophesied what the Messiah would do… and what Jesus was, in fact, doing. Jesus said, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me (Matthew 11: 5-6).”
The best wait to destroy doubt, lies and sin is with God’s own words.
As a side note, I think the best part of the story of John the Baptist's doubt was that Jesus wasn't mad that John doubted or questioned who he was. In fact, immediately after responding to John's doubt, Jesus proceeded to tell the crowd how highly he thought of John, "Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11)." I want to encourage you to never be afraid to go to God with your doubts. He won't think less of you!
Next time you feel doubt, sin or lies creeping in, do a simple Google search of verses that contradict your lies and expel your doubts.
This week, when I started believing that God didn’t care about or love me, I sought Truth. Here’s what I found:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you (Isaiah 43:2).”
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).”
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble(Psalm 46:1).”
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand (Psalm 94:18-19).”
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).”
I could go on and on and on with these verses. The fact is, the only way to tear down a mountain of doubt is with a mountain of Truth. Truth builds faith. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).” Let’s do our laundry girls, and put it away for good!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).”
Stephanie Parker has 3 main loves: God, her husband, Brett and her kids! When Stephanie created the Zipadee-Zip in an effort to solve her daughter, Charlotte's, sleep issues, she never imagined that it would become a business. She is incredibly grateful to God for how Sleepingbaby.com has grown and how it has enabled other families to get the restful sleep they need. Stephanie's husband, Brett Parker assumed the role of CEO which has allowed Stephanie to focus on what she loves which is the creative side of the company, like product and print development. After the Zipadee-Zip was featured on Shark Tank, Stephanie went on to create the book Shepherd's Treasure, a Christian alternative to Elf on the Shelf.
In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include acting, singing, painting, learned and speaking foreign languages and going on adventures with her family! You will find her all summer waterskiing, fishing and laughing with her family on the weekends.