By Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries
The world is full of doubt and unbelief. Today, there are doubts over the death of Osama Bin Laden and there are doubts over the birth of Barack Obama. Some doubt if man really landed on the moon, while others doubt if there is any gold in Fort Knox.
Doubt. Unbelief. These two words are forces that can conquer your soul and hamper your faith. At first, you may think that this teaching doesn’t apply to you but we all must battle doubt on a daily basis. Doubting you have doubt is like the story of the preacher and his message on lying. A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark chapter 19.”
The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 19. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”
Doubt is all around. We live in a society that causes us to doubt everything as whatever seems “too good to be true” usually is too good to be true. We question the preacher. We doubt the doctor’s prognosis. We wonder if our spouses are faithful. We doubt about just about everything…. Have you ever wondered if the Jiffy lube just changed your oil change sticker and not your oil change? Have you ever thought about the storey of Jonah – was it a whale or a big fish or something else?
One story of doubt is told by Billy Graham when early in his ministry as he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was. When the boy had told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and said, “If you’ll come to the Baptist Church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.”
The boy replied, “I don’t think I’ll be there… You don’t even know your way to the post office.”
The boy doubted for good reason. The Israelites in the book of Joshua surely doubted as well. Joshua 5:11-14 discusses that shortly after the holy day of Passover the miracle meal of manna stopped falling. This was a huge change for the Hebrew people as they had been fed from heaven for four decades.
Can you imagine walking outside of your house each day for 40 years and getting a fresh cup of coffee and a made to order meal that would taste like anything you imagined? That’s what manna was like. Now imagine that the meal just stops showing up. Would you be angry, afraid, or upset? The book of Joshua shows that as the Hebrews arrived on the outskirts of the Promised Land the manna stopped coming. It was wall of a sudden and without warning.
This “cease and desist” of manna surely caused some of the Israelites to doubt…
- Why did the manna stop coming? Does YHWH care about us?
- How are we going to live without Manna? YHWH must not love us?
- I have always had manna, every day of my life and now I have to get my own food? This isn’t fair?
- Why would YHWH punish us by not giving us a meal of manna?
- Why should they have to cook if YHWH could just feed them?
- It’s Joshua’s fault, if only Moses was here!
- I can’t believe there is no manna… I will keep looking tomorrow.
It is no surprise that right after the manna stopped coming is when Joshua had an encounter with YHWH. Verses 14-18 of chapter 5 shows the conversation with Joshua and the commander of YHWH’s army. Here Joshua receives instructions some odd instructions that would probably be doubted in the hearts and minds of the people. YHWH would call them to not catapult over the walls of Jericho or to stampede through the walls of the city but to march around the city and use their voices and their shofars as their weapons. Victory seemed doubtful for sure. Notice though that after a time of doubt came a manifestation of YHWH and His power.
Doubt is unbelief, worry, stress, and thinking twice about what is know to be right. Doubt is expressed in anxiety over an outcome or having a double-minded thought process. Doubt is being afraid or fearful over what might happen when the Scriptures speak clearly about a situation. Doubt is deadly. And it is possible to have unbelief and faith at the same time.
Doubt affected the Israelites and it affects us today as well. It sneaks in everyday, in everyway. Adam doubted and ate the forbidden fruit. Moshe doubted and argued with the burning bush. David doubted and went after another woman. Elijah doubted and thought he was all alone. Nickodemous doubted and questioned if he could be born again. Paul doubted and persecuted the first believers. We doubt when we worry about our needs, or are concerned about our health, or have fear of the future.
The people during Y’shua’s time were full of doubt as well. Like those wanting to see pictures of the dead body of Bin Laden, these people had to see to believe. They asked for signs and wonders and were even looking for a political change to be confirmation that Y’shua was the Messiah.
Now, before we condemn people for wanting a sign we should consider that such an idea is pretty nice. Wouldn’t a sign be great sometimes? Wouldn’t a sign from heaven help when you don’t know what to do? How easy would your faith be if you heard an audible voice or got a text message or email with an answer each time you had a need? Always having a sign though isn’t faith and Y’shua said “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.”
We exert faith, or trust, to be born again. We hear the truth of our sin and the good news of salvation. We show some faith to receive the yolk of the kingdom. We then follow Romans 10 and believe in our heart and then confess with our mouth in order to be born again. In the same way that we are delivered from the kingdom of darkness we should continue to live as we establish the kingdom of light. We are to walk by faith, by believing and then speaking or confessing what the word says. Colossians 2:6 states “as you have received Y’shua so also walk in Him.” We received the Messiah by faith – not by sight or feelings – and we are to walk in that same faith. We receive Y’shua by confessing his power in our lives and we are to walk in that same style of confession faith. The problem is that sometimes we don’t feel saved, or loved, or card for, or healed, or delivered, or blessed. Most of the time our feelings don’t line up with what YHWH’s word says and therefore we open the door to doubt and unbelief. Too often, we say exactly how we “feel” and simply continue the cycle of bad feelings, bad day, and bad results. It’s not good when people ask you how you are doing and then they feel sorry they bothered to inquire.
Instead of talking about how bad things or dwelling on our situation we need to be magnifying YHWH and confessing his word.
The Bible states that “faith comes by hearing the word of YHWH.” The opposite is also true. Doubt comes by NOT hearing the words of YHWH. To get the “doubt out” you must “get the word in.”
Think of one area in your life where you have a need – finances, family, or your future? Have you considered that doubt could be stopping you from receiving YHWH’s best in that area? The truth today is that doubt will kill your faith. Doubt will stop your prayers from being answered and doubt will hinder you from walking in the abundant life.
In Mark 11:22-24 Y’shua said that if we can get the “doubt out” then we can have our “impossible” prayers answered. What do you think is a hopeless or impossible situation? Well, the Messiah said, “‘Have faith in YHWH. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever…does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says’.” Notice that the phrase “have faith in YHWH” precedes receiving from YHWH. Or in essence, “have faith in the promise of an answer to prayer.” Our level of revelation and blessing from YHWH is equal to the faith (or lack of doubt) we have in YHWH. Matthew 7:7 says to “ask you shall receive.” It doesn’t say you “might” receive. Y’shua said “ask and you shall receive and seek and you shall find.” This promise is for us if we will “get the doubt out.”
Remember that Y’shua cast out the doubters. Before He raised Jarius’ child from the dead in Mark 5 he kicked the doubters into exile and surrounded himself with those who had faith. This is a Torah concept. Those who do not put their trust in YHWH will not receive from YHWH. Doubt must be cast out. Dealing with doubt is like playing the children’s game of tug of war. We pull on one side and we tug on the other. Doubt or unbelief tries to win out over faith and trust.
We doubt when we do not agree with the Word and what YHWH says to our lives. To win this battle we must get in the Word, believe the Word, and confess the Word.
Believe it or not, we doubt when we pray “if it’s your will please heal me.” It is YHWH’s will that we are healed and healthy. If you doubt this then you should read:
Psalm 103:3-4, “Praise YHWH, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
Jeremiah 30:17, “”But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares YHWH.
We doubt when we hold back tithes and offerings because we think we need the money. We are to sow into the spirit so that we can reap in the spirit. We are to sow bountifully so we can reap bountifully.
“Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place,” Psalm 66:12.
“For YHWH is a sun and shield: YHWH will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” Psalm 84:11.
“Yea, YHWH shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase,” Psalm 85:12.
We doubt when we ask for the power of YHWH each day or if we ask YHWH to use us each day. We should pray once for the power of YHWH to fill us and then thank Him for doing so. We should then begin to look for opportunities for His power to flow through us and minister to other people. 1 John 2:20 states, “you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” Because we know the emet / the truth, we have an anointing. This anointing is an ability to serve and love others to manifest the kingdom of YHWH. Don’t pray for an anointing or ask for YHWH to use you! Instead, believe in faith that you have an anointing or ability to be used by Heaven and then do what the scripture teaches… “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out the enemy,” Matthew 10:8.
It is even possible that you doubt when you pray for something over and over. YHWH’s word says that “if you believe you shall receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” That’s simple. We are to know YHWH’s will by knowing His word. We are to pray His will by praying His Word. We are then to believe His word and receive from Him. James 1:6-8 states, “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from YHWH; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” Here the Word clearly states that doubt stops prayer from being answered.
So, how do you get the doubt out and have your prayers answered?
To get the “doubt out” you must get the “word in.” Let’s examine this idea through the doubting disciple… not Thomas who said that he wouldn’t believe unless he put his hands in the nail scars. Let’s talk about the doubting disciple of John the Baptist, or Yochanan Ha Matbeel.
John was no ordinary Southern Baptist. No, he was an amazing man whom the Bible calls “great.” Indeed this man is called the “greatest” person who has ever lived. Yochanan was a bony fingered prophet that came before Y’shua began his ministry. He was mightily used of YHWH and even filled with the Holy Spirit at birth. Did you know that? John is the only person that the Bible says was filled with the Spirit at birth! He had amazing faith that led him to lead a renowned ministry. He put his entire life on the line that Y’shua was the Messiah. He called people to repentance and even rebuked national political leaders. John was a man of faith. He was absolutely certain that Y’shua was the Messiah and was a full time minister. He once said, “Y’shua must increase and Yochanan must decrease.” He knew this so much that He dedicated his life to calling people to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. He was a true fanatic, who lived off of locusts and honey and even wore camel skin in the dessert. Matthew 11 says he was greater than Moses and even more important than Paul.
Yochanan / John was an amazing person BUT he suffered for His faith. He was thrown in prison and probably harshly treated and beaten. The negative circumstances over a long period of time beat the faith out of John and even He began to doubt. The book of Proverbs states that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” This surely was the case of Yochanan.
The prison that kept Yochanan back allowed unbelief to grow in his life. What John once knew to be the gospel truth was now in question. Was Y’shua really the Messiah?
Do you have hope for something that hasn’t happened yet? Do you feel sick over the issue? Are you sick about waiting for the manifestation of healing, or a house, or a child, or salvation of a loved one, or a job, or a blessing, or whatever? John knows how you feel. You know how John felt. This man was at one time absolutely certain that Y’shua was the Messiah but in Luke 7:20 we see that he had some doubts.
John sends his disciples to just make sure Y’shua was the Messiah. His time in jail had caused him to doubt and weaken in faith. Matthew 11:2-6, “When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Y’shua replied, “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.”
Now, remember that this is the same John that had baptized the Messiah and saw the Holy Spirit descend like a dove upon Y’shua. The Bible states that John even heard an audible voice from Heaven that Y’shua was set apart. Even after all of this John still doubted? Why did he doubt? How could he doubt? John had the signs but he also had unbelief. Signs, wonders, and experiences will not get the doubt out of your life.
The negativity of jail had most likely caused Him to wonder. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. What is your heart sick of right now? What do you hope for and pray for and want? The way to deal with doubt is to get into the Word.
Please note that doubt does not leave through encouragement or even compassion. These things are good but they will not get the doubt out. Y’shua knew this and so Y’shua gave the only solution for John’s problem of doubt. The Messiah didn’t encourage John or even offer to pray for him. Instead, Y’shua gave John the Scriptures.
In that very same hour that John’s disciples came to the Savior, Y’shua performed some awesome miracles. And then he said, “you have seen this scripture fulfilled before your very eyes.”
Luke 7:21- “At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosyare 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.” After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’”
These words of Y’shua to John were an exact quote from the book of Isaiah. The Messiah knew that John/Yochanan would recognize the quote from the Scriptures and would be encouraged. You see, Yochanan had quoted from Isaiah 40 when he said he was the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Now, Y’shua was quoting from chapter 35 of Isaiah.
Isaiah 35:3-6, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
Now, it is important that you see what happened after the disciples of John left. They were out of earshot and Y’shua then said some amazing things about the disciple. “After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John and said…this is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you who is more than a prophet, who will prepare your way before you.’”
Notice that these encouraging words were spoken AFTER the disciples of John had left. They didn’t heart these amazing and kind words from Y’shua. And they didn’t need to hear the words. John didn’t need affirmation. John needed the word.
Yochanan’s feelings were telling him that Y’shua was not the Messiah. His emotions were convincing him that his situation would not change and that he had wasted his life on a false Messiah. Yochanan would later die in prison but he would not die in vain. Friend, you can’t go by feelings. Faith is seldom a feeling.
Remember that Y’shua said, to “Let not your heart be troubled.” The only way your heart will not be troubled in this wicked world is to know the word of YHWH.
Hearing the word is the best way to get doubt out. Faith comes by hearing the word and unbelief comes by not hearing the word. To get the doubt out you must get the word IN. We need to be in love with the word.
If you have doubts about the resurrection then you should read where Y’shua rose from the dead and when he said “I am the resurrection and the life.” If you have doubt about YHWH’s provision then you should read in the Psalms where it says that YHWH delights in the prosperity of His servants. If you have doubts of YHWH’s love then you should read Romans 5 where it says that he has shed his love abroad in our hearts and that out of His great love He sent Y’shua to die for us.
How much time do you need in the word? Doubt leaves with quantity Scripture time. How much time are you in the Scriptures – not on websites or learning of conspiracies but in the Torah of YHWH?
Getting into the Word is more than just random reading or even skimming through the Torah portion. To have spiritual power to defeat the demon of doubt we must think on the word, meditate on the word, and get the word in us!
Joshua 1:8 is the verse that explains how to win over unbelief and get the doubt out. “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Here we see that success comes from chewing on the Word. We should take a verse or idea, grab on to it and make it your OWN through considering it all day. One easy way I do this is through index cards with a verse or passage. Keep the card with you all day and think on the Torah. Grab onto the word, meditate on it and then confess it. Joshua 1:8 says it should be on your “mouth” and in your “mind” and observed by your “actions.”
Romans 10:10, states “and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” One important part of getting the doubt out is getting the word in through confession. Y’shua confessed the word to John. We must confess the word to our doubts and our doubters as well. When doubt or worry whispers we should speak out against the feelings of fear. Speak the word and speak it with authority.
When you start to think that people don’t appreciate you or that YHWH doesn’t love you or that things will never change you must take up the sword of the Word and confess the Scriptures. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed simply take a few minutes and confess that “I have supernatural faith as “my help comes from YHWH the maker of heaven and earth,” Psalm 121.
Getting the doubt out will cause us to change the way we pray. We can’t pray in doubt and expect to get results. It’s time to change the way you pray and begin praying in faith. First, you should “speak to your mountains.” We aren’t to tell YHWH how big our problems are. Instead we should tell our mountains how big YHWH really is! When a problem comes to mind we need to know the word so well that we respond with the Scriptures. Ask, believe, and receive says Matthew 7:7.
Praying in faith is praying in gratitude. Instead of asking YHWH for things over and over we will begin to pray “thank you father that your word says….” Prayers of gratitude produce results because they are prayers of faith.
Remember that Mark 11:24 states that “you shall have whatsoever you say.” So, if your prayer life is all about what you “don’t have” then you will continue to lack. Be specific in your prayer and thank and praise YHWH for His blessings on your life.
Prayer is a set apart time for US to CONFESS the WORD of YHWH to YHWH and to our problems. We are to speak the truth to our mountain. John 6 is where Y’shua said, “the words I speak are spirit and life.” Now match that verse with Proverbs 19 which states the “power of life and death is in the tongue.” If we want LIFE then we are SPEAK LIFE which John 6 states is the WORDS of the Scriptures – the Words of YHWH.
To get the doubt out we must watch our words and speak life. It’s not enough just to have the “spirit.” Think about Genesis 1 with the creation of the universe. The Spirit of YHWH hovered over the face of the earth and nothing happened. Nothing was created until YHWH spoke things into existence. YHWH released His faith by speaking words of creation. Y’shua spoke the words of the prophet Isaiah to the discouraged John. The doubt of Yochanan left when the word of YHWH came in!
Proverbs 19 states that the “power of life and death is in the tongue.” This means that what we speak either supports and brings life or it brings death. Are your words supporting life or bringing death? Are you confessing the word to your problems?
Let’s finish with Joshua 1:8 and remember the remedy for doubt. “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Doubt can be defeated as you focus on the Torah of YHWH and put His word in your mouth.
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