When you begin moving in obedience to something God has said or shown you, doubt often comes to hinder your obedience. This is something I have struggled with a lot, and even recently. As I sought godly counsel and remained prayerful I’ve come to understand how to move past this and stay focused on the task at hand.
The first essential thing to understand is this; If God tells you to do something, He will never then come back to you and say, “Did I really tell you to do that?” That is not the voice or nature of our Father, however it sounds almost identical to what took place in the Garden of Eden. God gave Adam and Eve an instruction, and satan planted seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind saying…“Did God really say?” (See Gen 3)
A common thing we hear today is; “Is this what God really wants me to do?” “Did God really say that?”
Now something is key here; knowing the voice of your Father. If you don’t know His voice, or recognise His leading, you may very well be doing something that doesn’t quite line up with His will. However, if you know.. that you know.. that you know God is leading you to do something, and you make a start and then begin to question it- the voice of doubt (the voice of the enemy) is speaking. And that is where, as a believer and joint heir with Christ, you must stand in your authority and tell the devil to hush! He is a liar! Speak the Word of God back to Him and keep it moving peeps!
There will indeed be times where we get it slightly wrong, maybe we hear God and run ahead before it’s time, or maybe we are so attached to a thing we think it’s His will, but you will know when it’s God. He will make it clear and always confirm His word! But be sure to spend time in the secret place and in the word so that you can learn to discern when it is and isn’t God. Look at Jesus and the way He spoke, study out the differences when He speaks compared to when the enemy speaks.
Whenever you find yourself struggling with doubt, go back to what you first heard God say and be obedient to it. Recognise doubt for what it is- a spiritual attack on the mind, and use your weapons of warfare (prayer, praise, the Word) accordingly.
Obedience over Appearance
Something I’ve always heard my one of my sisters say, and I don’t think I’ve truly grasped it until actually experiencing it; obedience over appearance. Not everyone-even those close to you will understand, recognise, support or even encourage what God is doing in you/asking you to do. Thank God for those that do, but understand that not all will. And that is perfectly fine. Even Jesus' disciples didn't always understand Him! (Matt 6:23) What you need to do is remain obedient no matter how is looks to other people. If you get caught up in trying to make others understand or even get stuck on feeling discouraged about it, you’ll begin to seek their approval which is yet another hindrance and distraction from your obedience. And this doesn’t have to be something ‘big’ in our eyes. This could be with even the simplest of things. I remember watching a guest serve at a wedding, and though people ushered her to return to being a guest she continued to serve. She served when it didn’t ‘look like’ she should be doing so, and that quite simply is being obedient regardless of how it looks to others. Be obedient when it is unpopular to do so!
Pass the tests
This past week I completed a ‘7 days 7 principles’ of posts to my Instagram, with the intention of helping myself and hopefully others to stay focused over this month. By the third day I wanted to quit- I felt silly and uncomfortable, since I wasn’t used to consistently posting biblical things not only to Instagram but to my FaceBook and Twitter. It almost felt like I was coming out of my own ‘Christian closet’. I realised that I didn’t completely understand why I felt led to do it, though I had my own intentions. I realised along the way that God will sometimes give us tasks, to develop and grow our character. It could be something simple just to develop us in being faithful with little things, consistent in character and diligent with all our work. It can also show us where we stand in our ability to remain steadfast and do all things as unto the Lord, and as we see where we are we learn to totally lean on God more and more. It also pushes us to greater levels of freedom in Him. So it’s important to remain obedient when God speaks, be faithful with the little things so you can be trusted with more (Luke 16:10).
Something else that comes to mind with this, is not despising small beginnings (Zech 4:10). It’s important to just stay diligent over what you have, as you walk in obedience God will take you to wherever He needs. God will never rush you, and ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ ;)
It actually is not said enough-be your own encourager in the Lord. When you going through hard times or a spiritual attack, its 3am and you don’t want to call anyone, what are you going to do? Sit and wait until a sociable hour? Or encourage and uplift yourself? I remember the days I would sit heavy and then ask my sisters to pray for me. One time I thought to myself, I don’t even want to say anything *rolling my eyes* because I know what they’ll say -the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). But it’s true! How can you ‘pray away’ heaviness when the Bible clearly states the exchange being the garment of praise (something YOU PUT ON), for the spirit of heaviness! Come on guys, we really have to grow up in the Lord and take charge of our thoughts and feelings. We can’t always be reliant on others. I’m forcing myself to get used to standing in front of the mirror, speaking the word to myself and encouraging myself the same way I would anyone else. The bible says in 1 Samuel 30:6 (AMP) “…But David encouraged and strengthened himself in The Lord his God.” We need to learn to do the same. Be intentional about encouraging yourself, because everyone needs to be encouraged!
“Comparison is the thief of joy”-Theodore Roosevelt
I’d go on to say that it will also stunt your spiritual growth. Everyone is created unique. I’m sure we’d all agree on that. Yet we are constantly looking to the left and the right, comparing our journey to another, hoping we could have or do what they have or do… Living by the standards of another rather than seeking God’s standard for our walk, expecting things to happen for us in the same way it has happened for them. Ridiculous! We’ve really got to get a hold of 'tunnel vision' where our journey & assignment is concerned. It’s great what’s happening in the lives of others, but your journey is different. God is going to work in way that is best for you. God is going to speak to you in a way that you will understand, and God is going to take you a route that is in line with His perfect plan.
Know this; you don’t have to see or understand the whole picture to be obedient. If God says ‘A’ then do ‘A’ until He reveals ‘B’ -stop trying to ‘C’ the whole alphabet! (Gosh it’s cheesy but I just had to lol).
Remember we are called to be believers, not understanders- trust and believe in the Lord!
So, a few things to remember:
Discern the voices- and know the voice of your Heavenly Father’s
Always go back/remember what you first heard
Remember the confirmations given for encouragement
Be obedient regardless of how it looks
Remain faithful and diligent always
Learn to encourage yourself
Embrace your unique journey, don’t compare!
Hope you’ve been blessed! Keep pushing forward! Xx