To Doubt or not to Doubt…That is the question
I like doubting Thomas. He has been given a bad rap. So has Gideon.
Neither were afraid of making sure that they were hearing, or knowing the truth. These guys hearts were pure in following the Lord, of that there is no doubt.
God led Gideon to scale down his army. Nothing God said seemed to make sense to him. The poor guy was probably confused as all get out. No wonder he wanted to make sure it was God's voice. It went against every bit of logic. A lesson that the Lord really will lead down a path that makes zero sense until hindsight makes the vision 20/20.
Let’s take Thomas
Joh 11:7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
Joh 11:8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
Joh 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
He was the only disciple that wanted to follow Jesus straight into Jerusalem where the Jews were seeking to kill Him. He was the only one who voiced his willingness to die with the Lord. Even though that did not turn out to be the case, God had other plans, it shows the heart of this disciple.
Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Thomas was the great skeptic who needed to make sure that he was following the True Savior. He never doubted that Jesus was the Savior, but he had to make sure that the person standing in front of him WAS the Savior. True to the character of the Lord, it took 8 days before He showed Himself again to the disciples when Thomas was there. If the Lord was angry with him, He would have chosen another day when Thomas was absent.
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Joh 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Thomas did not trust his own eyes. Sometimes what we see can appear to be true when in fact it is false. His name, after all was Didymus which is a prolonged from the word again, or twice. He liked to make sure that what appeared to be true was actually the truth. I bet, later, he also tested every direction that he thought the Lord was showing his own ministry to go as well. Once he was convinced in his own heart that it was indeed Jesus standing in front of him, then there was no stopping him. He made sure who he was bowing down to. There is probably a message in there somewhere for the Body today.
It was because of Thomas’ requirement to know for sure it was Jesus standing before him that we now have the record of the holes in the hands and the gash in the side being on this person who claimed to be Jesus. That right there dispels any doubt that it indeed was the risen Lord that had come back from the Father for the last leg of His physical ministry on this earth until His second coming. That evidence came about only because of an insistence from a faithful disciple for the truth.
Sometimes I wonder if doubt is actually a good thing. Not doubting that God is God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus came into the world to redeem us back to God, but doubting enough to make sure each step is ordered by Him. Wanting the truth enough to risk asking, is this really You, Lord, or am I looking at an imposter who would cause me to stray from You.
Where doubt becomes a snare, and can steal the reward is when it is proven the way is of the Lord, and ordered by His Word, and there is still doubt that remains. That is when the kingdom of Satan can come in with a temptation of giving up. Tossing in the towel, falling into fear, unbelief, double mindedness that cannot please Him. When the testing of the spirit, or a fleece is placed out, and there can be no doubt that God has directed the path, or shown a situation to be true, then it is our duty to believe. To bow down before the Lord as Thomas did in surrender giving all allegiance to Him, and do what He says even in the face of a stronger enemy as Gideon faced.
Sometimes the walk is alone. Thomas stood his ground when all others believed without testing as he did. At least there is no documentation of such. Gideon tested the way the Lord was leading. But then their actions speak volumes. They went with the Lord no matter what. They believed Him. The Lord knows what to answer for each of us. He proves Himself to each individual in the way that will be undeniable for each heart. What would convince one is not all the time the same as what would convince another.
Doubting in the way of making sure of the truth is honored by the Lord. Doubting after He has convinced of the truth is another matter all together. That tendency could bring the demon Bast upon you. Something that should be avoided and fought at all costs.
Here is the line of snare or beguile of reward which is the one Bast is over..
The legion of pagis-snare
Hybris (Pusioo-puff up)
Vor (Embateuo -intrude into)
Dolos (demon of katabrabeuo-beguile of reward)
Lahash (fallen angel of tala-doubt/neged against)
Apate (demon of deceit)
Balan (demon of pithanologia-enticing words)
The demons will come with enticing words, deceit, and doubt. They make situations, and conversations out to look the opposite of what the Lord has shown as truth. The false evidence that looks true, but is wrapped up in falsehood. But they keep enough truth in the mix to keep you wrapped in doubt to where the reaction is giving up on what the Lord has said to do, or what He has proved to be true. Which in effect will beguile a person of their rewards in heaven, and the blessings of the Lord on this earth.
When the truth of the Lord is thrown into doubt, then the temptation is to go searching for the truth, intruding into things He has warned not to spend time on, or to leave alone. That search for the truth, which is actually a rejection of the truth He has told you, or rejection of His instructions, will lead straight into a snare for the soul.
So, to doubt or not to doubt. The answer is both, at the right times. Once the questions and tests have all been confirmed by the Lord, then cast the doubt aside and walk on doing and saying what He has said. Believing that He has everything under control and is more than able to bring the saint through every trial and tribulation all for the glory of God.
Here are the counters for beguile of reward.
To loose over legion:
Chashak(be darkened)Ps 69
To loose over subject:
Prosecho (take heed),
Halal(praise the Lord)Ps 69
Those counters over the subject should be looked at more as an action, with prayer to the Lord for His enabling. The prayers over the legions should be looked at as more of handing the demon over to the Lord for His intervention, and binding the spirits behind the actions of others. Then we react toward the people/person who is acting as the demonic agent as the Lord leads. Always giving praise to God, resting in the righteousness of Christ to work godliness in us by faith and love with patience and humility. Watching and praying, taking heed of a snare, and fleeing to the Lord for recovery.