Conquering Doubts and Other Stumbling Blocks

by Dave Palcsak

I have had issues with doubts throughout my walk with Christ. Perhaps the fact that I was agnostic most of my life contributes to my struggle. My “double” brother (both biological and spiritual) shares a similar conversion story with me, but he has virtually no doubts. We have spoken often of my albatross, and his words to dissuade my doubts are logical and ring absolutely true. I believe everything he says but the doubts persist. Although they have diminished greatly and are now a minor annoyance at most.

I’m more certain that the God of the Bible is the one true God than I am of anything. All my eggs are in the “obey and serve Him” basket and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have often said, and will doubtless (pun intended) say again, “The worst day with God is better than the best day without Him.” This short article isn’t about questioning my faith to the point of abandoning it. I know Him. I have personal experience of Him. I strive every single day to follow Him to the best of my ability and I aim to endure to the end walking with my Lord one hundred percent. So, what’s my point?

I want to share with fellow believers, and hopefully potential believers, how to get past struggles such as doubt without having your faith diminished, but in fact, actually increasing it. I’m not just talking about my own specific stumbling blocks. Maybe yours are something different. Work, power, drugs, alcohol, and on and on can set your mind on things other than the Lord. Correcting the focus on your stumbling block or idol requires a very simple formula; but the solution is, you have to follow it: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The things that will be added to you are your basic necessities. That’s it. Put Him first every day and in every way. The devil (pun intended again) is in the details.

Do you read your Bible daily? I have heard many reasons from many folks who don’t. Mainly, “I’m too busy.” People must work and provide. I get that. But without God at the forefront, who then are you primarily dependent on? The answer of course, is you – God fits into your schedule when it’s convenient for YOU! Paying lip service to depending on Him is much different than actually doing it. Again, easy to understand, hard to do. More accurately, it’s tough to get in the habit. Starting every day with the Word of God becomes easier and eventually grows into a passion you won’t live without. As in pretty much everything in life, dedication and focus produce results. Here’s a very brief exercise on focus: List everything in your life that is more important to you than your relationship with Christ. Hopefully, you have nothing listed. If you do, think about your priorities.

I know from experience that putting your walk with our Creator paramount in life minimizes or eliminates stumbling blocks. My mornings start with Scripture. Every day. Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This manifests in considering the Lord during every action of every day. No one is perfect and you will occasionally fall short. Stay with the program and continue to grow and improve because as a Christian, you have no legitimate excuse to neglect your Bible.

Doubts have become less of a problem for me as I continually strive to improve my relationship with our Creator. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). My treasure isn’t material or even of my own making. I’m not dependable, He is. My treasure is trusting and depending on Him. Truly. Naturally speaking, it’s very difficult to surrender control of your own life. But if you believe in the same God I believe in, the question to ask is: Am I better at this task (or any other for that matter) than my Lord is?

In this day and age, the slippery slope of discounting or eliminating the significance of God is painfully evident. I have been going to different churches every week with a brother in the Lord recently. We are trying to affect change, because sadly, the norm is the churches are being influenced by society instead of the other way around. Our battles are spiritual (see Ephesians 6). The only way we can properly arm ourselves is by following His leadership. God has to be placed above everything in our lives including, and perhaps – especially, our stumbling blocks and idols, whatever they may be. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:10 that through difficulties he is strengthened, not of himself, but by God. Satan is the ruler of this world and has blinded people (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). He wants to turn things upside down by influencing folks into imagining that THEY determine morality instead of God (Isaiah 5:20). Who says men can’t be women? Murdering babies is a sacred right even though God’s Word says otherwise. Morals and integrity can shift like sand because there is no absolute standard. God is not the author of confusion, but Satan most certainly is. If you don’t aggressively put Christ first in your life, you’re headed or already sliding down that slippery slope. View your stumbling block as a blessing because overcoming these stumbling blocks is a huge part of this program (James 1:2-4). It isn’t easy. The world hated Jesus and we must expect the same (John 15:18).

Is God worth it? Do I have what it takes to persevere? To the first question, absolutely one hundred percent; to the second, no, not of yourself. But that’s the beauty of it. Count on Him, give it to Him, and trust Him. “Lean not on your own understanding,” is a famous verse from Proverbs 3:5; but far too often, it’s not taken literally. It needs to be. If we put on the full armor of God spoken of in Ephesians 6, then no weapon can prosper against us as we see in Isaiah 54:17. But you have to believe, and you have to act. If something’s been holding you back, in Christ conquer whatever it may be. You will be stronger through Him by doing this. If you’ve been waffling on the fence, soberly consider the words in Revelation 3:16: “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” This is serious business but it’s also exhilarating. Put Christ first and trust Him. You will learn that material things of the world pale in comparison to the spiritual.


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