A few months ago I gave up doubt.
Sounds funny, but that is what I gave up for the 40 days of lent. Our Pastor encouraged us to give up something that would make more room for Jesus. So while thinking of what I spend my time on, I realized I wasted a lot of time worrying about things… on doubting that God would take care of us, of doubting about things that God has promised us.
I knew, right then that I needed to give up doubt. After all, doubt is the opposite of faith, right? And without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) which is my goal.
What happened in trying to do this was pretty amazing. Of course I still worried, but the Holy Spirit would tap me on the shoulder and remind me to trust Him. I was more vigilant about capturing thoughts before they captured my heart, and then changing them to what is true.
So naturally, a bunch of things happened that made me freak out and wonder what is going to happen, what if this, what about that, why, why and why.
Here is a small sampling of things that happened in the beginning of those 40 days:
1) Our in-home supports staff for Stevie quit after 2 weeks!
2) Stevie went bizerk because of the staff being here, and started some old behaviors such as throwing things, trying to break the TV screen, opening windows and pushing out the screens, throwing the electric radiator, throwing objects intentionally at us!
3) When school started after February Break, he started (again) acting up on the bus making it unsafe for everyone—throwing things at the driver, attacking the staff, etc. In order to get him to and from school somewhat safely, they needed to have 2 staff on the bus with him!
3) My rheumatologist’s office sent me a note saying he is closing down! There were no good options to take over my treatment. (This letter ended up being a mistake!)
4) We had some financial set backs that made our situation seem like the beginning of the end.
Because of my promise to give up doubt, I couldn’t indulge in the familiar wallowing of the “what if’s, why’s and lies” that would flood my mind.
Thoughts like, “I can’t handle this!”, and “How are we going to make ends meet?” were stopped as I chose right then to believe what I know is true:
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“God alone is my provider.”
“God has promised to take care of us. He is my help in my time of need.”
Now, I have made a practice of taking thoughts captive before, but last fall I went on a women retreat where the speaker mentioned something that changed the way I thought about it. She said we need to not only take them captive, but to kill those thoughts.
In the past, I would take a thought captive, and then replace it with truth. But there is that very important and often forgotten extra step that we are called to do.
We are called to destroy the bad thought. We aren’t to just take it captive and carry it around like a pet we may want to visit again… We are to destroy it.
Those doubtful thoughts are lies. They are the beginnings of strongholds. And according to 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, we are to demolish them.
Sounds kind of aggressive, right?
But if we don’t demolish them, then they will find their way out of captivity and back in our minds to cause all sorts of trouble and doubt. They try to set us up against God.
Deuteronomy 7:15-25 tells a story about what happens if we don’t completely destroy these thoughts, no matter how hard they may seem to overcome.
If we don’t destroy them, then plain and simply, they will be a snare to us. They will come back.
Sometimes, the thoughts we have are hard to give up and destroy, but God promises to drive them out “little by little” until they are all gone.
God empowers us to be strong in Him, and He says, “No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.” (Deut. 7:24 NIV)
How is that for a pep rally?
Be encouraged, empowered and emboldened. The Lord our God is with us wherever we go. He goes before us, he has our backs. He alone provides for us.
And, He believes in us because of what He has already done.