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::Devotional:: ‘Taking Action in Your Moment of Truth’

August 11, 2009

I guess somehow growing up I latched on to the idea that it was not appropriate to ask God why.  I remember a few times being told that we are not to question God and I took that to mean that no matter what I was thinking or feeling I couldn’t really talk to God about why something was happening.  It just happened and that was it.  Looking back now I realize that God wants to dialogue with us as long as our doubt doesn’t become disbelief.

Doubt is defined as the state of being unsure about something.  It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to find that there is doubt in many areas of my life, including my relationship with the Lord.  Have you ever been unsure of the Lord’s will?  Have you ever been unsure that the Lord was going to deliver you from a tough situation?  Have you ever been unsure about anything in your relationship with the Lord?  I think if we were all honest, we would all have to answer yes to one degree or another.  Doubt, in my life, draws me towards the scriptures and towards the Lord and I think that is the appropriate response when we are in a state of being unsure.  Consider some of the doubt in the Psalms of David.

O Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!  Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” Selah  Psalm 3:1-2

I have confidence that as David was being hunted down by Saul he had some doubt in his mind if he was going to make it.  Yet his doubt drove him to the Lord and he reminded himself of what he knew to be true about the Lord.

But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.  Selah  Psalm 3:3-4

We are able to defuse doubt when it comes around by seeking the truth in the scriptures, in prayer, and reminding ourselves of what we know to be true about the Lord.  The danger comes when we allow our doubt to become disbelief by refusing the truth.

Disbelief is defined as a rejection of belief.   The Lord has placed evidence upon evidence in the Bible and has acted in accordance with it in our lives more than enough to believe and trust him hasn’t he?  Regardless, we still have the choice to take action in faith by believing and trusting in him or rejecting all of it and acting out of our own disbelief.

In a moment of truth, will you let your doubt become disbelief?

Yesterday we examined a moment of truth in the life of a disciple named Ananias; whom the Lord used in a miraculous way to to heal the recently converted Paul in Acts 9.  Like us, Ananias faced the decision between doubt and disbelief in his moment of truth.

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.  And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”  Acts 9:13-14

 I’m thankful for Acts 9:13-14.  That has helped me to understand that it is okay to dialogue with God about what I am feeling in regards to what He is doing in my life.  If I am scared I can’t tell him.  If my emotions are getting the better of me I can ask him for help.  Whatever it is, I can talk it through with him.  Even my doubt.  But, there will come a point where all the talk is done and it is time to act.  Ananias had the opportunity to express his feelings and concerns in one sentence, and immediately God directed him to “Go!”.  The question on Ananias’ mind was “Are you sure you want me to go to this guy?”  The Lord answered “Yes, now Go!”.

The Lord provided Confirmation:

I believe the Lord will confirm his commands to us in order to help us clarify what he is truly trying to say to us.  He will help pull us out of the pit of doubt where we are unsure.  However, he of all people knows when our questions go from doubt to disbelief.  The Lord confirmed his command to Ananias by telling him the Paul was going to be his chosen instrument to carry his name before both Jews and Gentiles (everyone).

Your actions proclaim your beliefs in a moment of truth; what will yours say?

The rubber meets the road when you take action in a moment of truth.  All of the concern, questions, doubt and emotions Ananias was feeling led to one question – “Can I trust God?”  If we believe God is trustworthy we will act upon that belief and that is how we display faith.  Faith = belief + action.  If we don’t really believe we simply won’t act.  Ananias took immediate action and proclaimed with boldness, “I can and do trust God, I am going to be obedient and go to Paul.”  I’m sure as he went though he had knots in his stomach and a lump in his throat.  Probably reciting something like “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it.  Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 9:17

Acting despite your emotions

If we only acted upon our faith when we felt okay to do so, I don’t think we’d every really experience the fullness of Christ.  Which do you think was harder for Ananias, entering the house or putting his hands on Paul?   Emotionally speaking I’m sure they both stirred up anxiety in Ananias.  He acted despite his emotions however.  They were present, boy were they present.  But they didn’t not dictate what he did.  In writing this I’ve thought about the irony here as well.  That Ananias would anxiously lay his hands on a man who years later would write “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” I’m sure when Ananias laid his hands on Paul he was praying, petitioning, and requesting with everything he had in him.

If you are experiencing a state of uncertainty about something, doubt, rest assured that the Lord wants to deliver you from it.  Take out your Bible and remind yourself of what you know to be true about God.  Ask him for clarity and understanding about your situation.  If you have let your doubt grown into disbelief and your heart is under conviction at this point, ask God to forgive you and then take out your Bible and remind yourself of what you know to be true about God; ask him for clarity and understanding.  Thank him for showing you your own disbelief and helping you to overcome.  Remember, in your moment of truth your actions always speak the truth about what you believe, even when your words don’t.

-Stay Rooted Col.2:7-

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2009 11:36 am

    Tony, I really needed this word of reminder and encouragement today—thank you

  2. August 11, 2009 12:57 pm

    Amen. I’m thankful the Lord used this little post to encourage you! This is absolutely one of my biggest struggles as a Christian.

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