Doubt

I’m struggling. I’m struggling badly with the Christian faith, with what to do with my life, with sin, and with reconnecting with God. Like I said in my previous post, I seriously doubt if I’m a Christian. In the book The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, there is a part which talks about a man in an iron cage. Now, this man was once walking in the light but backslid badly, making him believe that he can’t repent or believe in God’s promises again. He’s an apostate. His heart is hard. Despair and sin plague him.

I feel like this man. I don’t know if I am this man, but I’m finding it extremely difficult to reconnect with God. My heart is hard, and I don’t have a passion for Christ like I once did (albeit for a short time). Christianity isn’t about a list of dos and don’ts. An obedience gospel is frustrating and ultimately plunges a man into despair. It’s no gospel at all. The gospel is about God’s grace poured out on His Elect, changing hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, resulting in faith in Christ which produces an affection and longing for Him, which in turn creates obedience. How can I obey God when my heart is so hard? Do I push against my will and infuriate myself? I need a heart set on Christ. One that loves Him and longs for Him.

We’re inclined to hating God from the time of birth. And after God seeks us out and points us to Christ, we love Him because He loved us first. Now people equate love with obedience, but that’s a wrong notion. I don’t want to get into the details, but I’ll say this: A cold, ‘Obey the Ten Commandments, do this, do that gospel,’ kills more than it saves.

Moving forward, I wish I could connect with Christians who do believe in religious affection and aren’t cessationist and aren’t bohemian or rule-making but Reformed and preferably Baptist in their views in my city. Talking with them, and having them pray for me will certainly help me now. I feel that way at least. The pastors I’ve talked to in the past haven’t helped me at all.

Finally, I’ll end by saying that I hope that there’s hope for me. If God has left me, I hope He returns for me and grants me repentance. I hope He sets my mind on Christ and not on the things of this world. I hope He helps me make a full recovery towards being a God-loving Christian. I hope He helps me do away with sin and addiction, and makes me thirst for Christ. I can’t do it alone. I can’t will my heart to obey Him when it’s cold. I need God. I need Christ. I need His Holy Spirit.

25 responses

  1. Hello friend,

    Doubt would equate as kryptonite to Superman which weakens his strength and eventually kills him. Doubt weakens one’s faith in Jesus Christ and if not dealt with, death [the person’s faith] will take place.

    Mark 9:23-25

    23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

    24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

    25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”

    Here, the father’s faith was mixed with unbelief. He believed but at the same time doubted. You can see that his faith or believing in what Jesus could do for him was being interrupted by doubt. Satan will always plant the seed of doubt in your mind to destroy your faith in Jesus Christ. What did the father in the passage do with his dilemma? He took it to the Lord and asked Him for help.

    Remember, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic spirits in the air who are always looking for someone to devour.

    Get on your knees and cry out to the Lord Jesus for help, to strengthen your faith and He will. For we do not serve a dead Jesus, but one who is eternal and all powerful.

    Prayer is a great weapon against the enemy’s arrows of doubt. Prayer and time spent in God’s Word feed one’s faith.

    Don’t lose heart, your helper neither sleeps nor slumbers. He is waiting to hear from you to reach out His hand and pick you back up.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  2. Should loving God be this hard? I mean, I’m so not religious and don’t believe, but would HE want you to be this conflicted? Trust in yourself and in your own heart. Don’t doubt or question yourself or your abilities.
    Forgive and love yourself first. ❤

    • I don’t think a person can ever understand the nature of God. If you examine the Bible closely, you’ll realise that it says that everything is predetermined, and so, there is no free will, which makes us ask why there’s hell, heaven or even life. Does God want me to be conflicted? Maybe he does. I’ll never understand God, but perhaps he does. I haven’t been at peace with myself ever since my religious struggles started years ago. And as much as I try escaping them, I’m drawn back. There are things I’ve experienced that I have no answer for. I guess that’s life.

  3. As an habitual prodigal, I can tell you,
    nothing can separate you from the love
    of God. It always your choice to say,
    “Bugger this feeding the pigs business!”
    … and turn back in a homewards direction
    (and bugger all that religious business too!).

    • Lol! You leave the wittiest comments David. As a habitual self-righteous prodigal I’ll probably say, bugger this feeding the pigs business because of a capitalistic mindset, but I’ll never say bugger this religious business because of appearances sake. Such is my miserable life. And I don’t know what’s worse, the life or the insight.

      • With great insight comes great poetry.
        Unfortunate that it becomes a burden
        in a world fallen, to see too much
        … whilst rocking, rolling, and riding.
        There is a yoke that is light,
        and comes with much might.
        Hope, faith, and love
        . . . so hold on tight.

  4. Nitin, this is very interesting…you said you don’t believe you are a Christian, but look at your last paragraph. (It is a better sermon than I have heard in a lot of churches!) But what are you saying in the last paragraph, exactly? No one can call God, Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. Are you calling Him, Lord?

    • Hey Vanessa, I’m expressing my doubts regarding my election. The Bible does ask us to examine ourselves and when I do I realise that I haven’t lived a Christian life. My heart is sadly not in it. Yes I believe that Christ died in my place. A lot of people do, but how many people actually make it to heaven. Few. Very few.

  5. I do not believe one needs to follow the commandments to earn God’s love. Instead; I believe that, if we follow the commandments, our spiritual person is more attuned to feeling and hearing His spirit.
    When I am disassociating from my feelings (well, and everything), trying to numb against any negative feelings and thereby numbing all, I am also not able to feel Him. I withdraw from His love, not the other way around.

    • I think one needs to love God first and then the obedience automatically ensues. An affection for God is a necessity because without that we’ll be straining and pushing ourselves to do what we don’t want to. It’s like seeing a beautiful girl on the street and saying, ‘I mustn’t look! I mustn’t look! I must obey!’ We can’t live our lives that way. But when we love God He changes our thinking. He’ll correct us in such a way that we see the beautiful and just move on without a second glance or lustful thoughts creeping in. So my advice is not to fight against yourself to reach God’s standards. Only Christ did it. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God is an eternal, everlasting, infinitely righteous Spirit. How can flesh and bone who’s here today and gone tomorrow reach his standard. It’s impossible.

      • I can see the logic in that; though I think we’re a special case because we’ve loved God, seen His contradictions, then fallen away.
        …And, a main tenet of the faith I attend is that we can all become gods one days like Him because we are His children. The logic in that thinking then follows that, yes, we can eventually reach that standard.
        Whether you think that’s blasphemous or not, it does convey a message of divinity for each person.

  6. Hello there. Surrender. This word sounds so defeating doesn’t it? But it is the key to unleashing the supernatural. Looks like you already know about Jesus and what He offers. Once you truly feel tired of feeling tired, you know where to find Him.

  7. I’ve been there. I highly recommend two books that may very well save your faith and help you realize you are loved beyond your wildest imagination no matter what “state” you find yourself in. They are a refreshing or rather original theology of Jesus and what He means to all of us. Much of what is bothering you didn’t show up until many many years after the church was originally formed. “Healing the Gospel” by Derek Flood and “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God” by Brian Zahnd. Don’t give up until you check those out. I follow Jesus but in a very radically different way than mainstream Christian thought…

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