There is a reason Paul said in 1 Timothy Ch. 6 v. 12 to, “Fight the good fight of faith…” It is because when doubt takes hold of you, faith or believing becomes a battle in your mind. Doubt, another enemy of faith helps to set the stage for Satan to defeat you. James Ch. 1 v. 8 speaks of a person who doubts God as a “double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Chapter 7 says, “…let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Let us pause here for a moment and reflect on the many requests made to God, which ended in doubt and disbelief because they were not made manifest at the time you desired. Saints, I am guilty of such action as you are. In the end, making feeble attempts to comfort myself with phrases such as, “maybe it was not His will to give me such and such in the first place.” Supposing I will receive anything from the Lord cements the doubt in my heart. Hence, Paul said to “fight the good fight of faith…” Fight—because believing can be a battle; good—because the battle has already been won. Hallelujah! How was the battle won? It was won, when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary and rose again on the third day.
One might ask, how someone can fight an abstract phenomenon. First of all you need to remember that like worry, doubt is a weapon used by Satan to short-circuit your flow of faith. He used the same tactics to deceive Eve into doubting what God said. Recall the conversation in Genesis Ch. 3 vs. 1-5, where Satan embodied a serpent and engaged Eve in dialogue about the commandment of God to ‘not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ Eve responded to the serpent in the affirmative. She even informed him of the consequence of eating the fruit—Death. The serpent then proceeded to alter God’s words by adding to them and Eve fell for it— hook, line and sinker. In other words, she took the bait and allowed herself to be deceived. In my opinion, Eve’s biggest sin was not merely eating the forbidden fruit but letting the devil in, listening to him and doubting God’s words. Her action was the precursor to being disobedient to the LORD God.
Understand, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes, Ch. 1 v. 9). Satan’s tactics are the same today and I do not think they will change anytime soon; especially if you allow them to work through your lives. Let me remind you that trials in your life do not take God by surprise. He is still the Omniscient God, even during times of trials, which may cause you to doubt His Word. Always remember provisions were made for such times even before you were conceived.
So, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James Ch. 1 v. 2-3). James is saying trials are well orchestrated obstacles (fashioned by Satan) to cause you to doubt God’s Word. So be joyful because you know that God is faithful and obstacles will only prove to strengthen your faith and level of endurance; “…for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians, Ch. 2 v. 11). Each individual believer ought to know that Satan uses the mind to deceive him into believing his lies which are opposed to the Word of God. Therefore, “put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians, Ch. 6 v. 11). The wiles of the devil are simply his tricks. The Bible refers our adverse experiences as tricks of the devil.
Doubt is conceived in the minds of believers. Satan places it there as your mind is his favorite battlefield. When you entertain the pregnancy of doubt in your mind, it makes its way into your heart where it is nurtured and matures into spiritual defeat. That defeat is birthed when you speak it into your life. It is important that you recognize the pattern of defeat in your life and know that the problem is not God or Satan directly, but you.
If Abraham had doubted God, he would not have made it to the biblical ‘Hall of Faith.’ Abraham had to be patient for many, many years for his son of promise. He was quite old when Isaac was born and so was his wife, Sarah. In fact, she was well past the age of childbearing (Genesis Ch. 18). Yet, he never doubted for a second, the power and faithfulness of Almighty God. Whereas, his wife Sarah did. She laughed at the idea of having a child in her old age and the LORD was inclined to ask her in verse 14, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Sarah doubted the LORD God. Thank heavens Abraham kept faith and never dared to entertain doubt in his mind about his LORD’s promise.
Saints, we the children of God—born again believers— are of a different sort, unlike any other. When we dare to believe God and His Word, we stay above the water and do not sink below as Peter did “when he saw that the wind was boisterous…” (Matthew, Ch. 14 v. 30). Even though Jesus was right there with him. Jesus’ response “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew Ch. 14 v. 31) still echoes in our spirit when we begin to doubt right in the middle of believing.
We are ‘believers!’ As a believer, one question you should ask yourself is “What do I really believe?” When you can answer that question, any doubt that you are struggling with will be permanently aborted from your mind.
Next time we will look at the third enemy of faith, which is fear.
Almighty God richly bless you all.
By Gail Reid