What John the Baptist taught me about experiencing doubt in my Christian walk.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
In the last few months, there has been an overarching message ringing loudly from my devotion time with the Lord: go to God with it.
For a long time, I was of the understanding that doubt was a sin. I believed that having doubt was an indication of how little time one spent reading, believing and meditating on the Scriptures. Then I reread Matthew 11 and it was revealed to me how God looks at doubt.
If I’m honest with you, I have called into question the truth of things I now know to be truth. I have ashamedly questioned God about things I didn’t understand concerning Him and His ways; and for a long time, I thought I was wrong for doing so. But the story of John the Baptizer’s demise-being imprisoned and his questioning of Jesus as the Messiah has given me a different perspective concerning doubt.
When you read the scriptures , you come to the realization of just how incredible of a man John was. The Bible says he was great in the sight of the Lord and filled with the Spirit of God from the womb (Luke 1:15) ; he lived off locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4); he lived a life of holiness and spoke against anyone who lived an unholy one ;was responsible for not only announcing the ministry of Jesus but also baptizing Him; and successfully fulfilled his God ordained ministry on earth. Yet this incredible, spirit- filled man doubted in Jesus.
When John was in prison , he sent two of his disciples, to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah or if he should look for another. This question was a peculiar and disturbing one to me, considering John had already confessed publicly Who he knew Jesus to be.
But then it occurred to me just how relatable John’s doubt was to me.
As a woman who, too, has publicly confessed Jesus to be her Lord, her God, her Messiah and her Master- I’m no longer embarrassed to admit I’ve entertained doubt in my heart concerning Him.
Now 1I’ve never doubted Jesus to be God- but I’ve doubted His care towards me. I’ve doubted my legitimacy as a child of God. I’ve doubted the effectiveness of my faith. I’ve even doubted how God saw me because of such doubt.
But the testimony Jesus gave about John AFTER John’s doubt is what brought me peace; and compelled me to encourage you with this blog post.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Matthew 11: 11-14 NIV
Immediately after John doubted in Jesus, Jesus called him the greatest man to ever live. Think about that for a minute…
If someone questions, in a similar capacity, whether or not I am a woman of God – I doubt that I’d preach a sermon about how wonderful the person is. I’d actually be offended in their questioning of the validity of my call of God. I wouldn’t even want to prove to them that I’m a woman of God. Because to me, proving to you that I actually am a woman of God would be a waste of time. But the scriptures show that Jesus answered John by performing miracles in the same hour as proof for John and his disciples (Luke 7: 21-22). And after providing proof, Jesus goes on to give a speech on the character and greatness of John.
Now maybe you’re thinking that you John got a pass to doubt in Jesus because He was the greatest man to ever live. I’ll admit I thought that as well. But immediately after Jesus called John the greatest man to ever be born of woman, He then calls John the least in the kingdom of God.
Essentially, Jesus is calling every child of God greater than John the Baptist.
What does that mean to you?
…It means if you’re a child of God who finds him or herself on the highway of doubt , know that JESUS still thinks highly of you. Doubting Jesus can never change His thoughts concerning you. Doubting in the power of Jesus can never change His opinion about you! You’re still great and worthy of His love.
Doubt is not the same as not having faith.
Doubt usually happens when less than favorable circumstances give rise to questions in your heart concerning God.
But not having faith is a sin and a decision you make to totally reject Jesus.
Doubt causes you to come to God for answers.
Not having faith causes you to depend on another god.
Doubt can unlock greater revelation of Who God is in your life and in your circumstances.
Not having faith separates you completely from God.
In no way do I support or encourage doubting Jesus. But I want you to know if for whatever reason you start to doubt Him, know that He still cares so much about you despite your doubt. I want you to be able to experience what Jesus can do when you come to Him with your doubts.
In John’s case, his doubts caused others to receive their healing and miracles. And these miracles became a testimony to John and his disciples that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. In your case, maybe YOU will get the miracle or the healing.
Jesus will never be shocked by doubt in Him. He still loves you and thinks so highly of you. Whenever you’re in doubt, Go to Him! He will remove the doubt from you and give you peace.