Unbelief is far worse than doubt. Doubt brings in the question, but unbelief is the result. I’ve watched Satan launch his attacks on Christians by first posing a question and then causing that question to bring doubt. The triumph of sin in the Garden of Eden began just that way. Satan said to Eve, Can it really be that God has said, you shall not eat from every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1 AMPC). That’s subtle. Satan doesn’t fight with God or argue with the Bible. He just raises a question and allows our minds to do the rest.
When the question comes in such a simple way, the obvious answer must be, “Well, He didn’t really mean…” With that reaction, Satan has established a stronghold in your mind, and it takes little for him to move you from there to a total lack of belief.
I’ve spoken with people who were led astray in just such a way They started out as faithful, committed followers of Jesus Christ. But as Satan planted doubt and unbelief in their hearts, they turned their backs on spiritual things. One man said, “I was simple and naive in those days. I believed anything I heard. I know better now.” Satan robbed him of his faith and, in the process, stole his joy and hope.
I am familiar with this battle. Because of my ministry, some people think I have everything all worked out and never have to battle for my faith. I can tell you that no Christian reaches that place this side of heaven. As soon as we let our guard down, even in the slightest, Satan sneaks up behind us and starts whispering his lies to us.
That may be the reason the story of Abraham is such an encouragement to me. When I have my battles with faith and taking God totally at His Word, I often go back and read Romans 4. The example of that godly man is absolutely amazing to me. In the natural, everything appeared to be against God’s promises to Abraham. I’m sure Abraham’s friends laughed when he said, God will give me a son. Satan’s scoffers must have been in place every day, but Abraham stood the test. The Bible says, He did not weaken in faith … but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God (Romans 4:19-20 AMPC). I love that statement.
After the Holy Spirit called me into ministry, I was elated and humbled. I thought, Who am I that God should call me? I could think of hundreds of reasons why anyone but Joyce Meyer should be used by God. But I believed in His call, and I had no doubt-not then.
In the months after the call, however, things moved more slowly than I wanted. More times than I can count, I found myself meditating on Abraham and God’s promises to him. If a human being like Abraham could believe and not stagger with unbelief, why couldn’t Joyce Meyer? I fought the battles, and with God’s grace, I won. That’s how it is each time-a fresh battle and a new and joyous victory.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I thank You for Abraham’s example. Help me to push aside the devil’s advances by totally trusting You and standing on Your promises for my life-even if no one else stands with me. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.