Despite growing up as a Christian and living a good, upright life, Naomi came to a point where she felt like something wasn’t right; something was lacking. She came to realize that it was doubt that she could become like Jesus that was holding her back.
I sat in church with tears in my eyes. From the podium I heard a powerful message about victory over sin, about a life of transformation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) While messages like that usually encouraged me, lately they had begun to feel like a burden; it was just more I was going to be accountable for. Maybe what was hardest was that I felt like I had lived a good life and always believed. I thought I was giving everything, but still I could clearly sense that something was lacking. I felt like I could never come to the same life that Jesus lived, that I couldn’t be transformed from my human nature to divine nature, even though the Bible clearly says it’s possible.
But still I knew I wanted it and I believed that this was God’s plan for me! There was nothing else in life I wanted than to live the life of a disciple, following Jesus’ footsteps and overcoming every temptation to sin. It was a sorrow to me that I didn’t have faith for myself, and I knew that life was passing me by and I wasn’t using it as I should. This became stressful for me.
Giving my enemy a name
So I didn’t give up. I prayed to God that He would show me what I was missing. He gave me light that the reason things seemed heavy was because I doubted that God was able to do a work in my life, where I was, with the daily life and human nature that I had. And it was made clear to me that to doubt Him is actually a sin! The day that I named my doubt as sin was the day that I realized I could overcome it, just like I could overcome any other sin. It was so liberating! It was as though the lights were turned on again.
To begin with I didn’t know how to tackle the temptation to doubt – where to even start? But I came to realize that becoming free from doubt was not a one-time thing, but a battle that I could take up every time I was tempted to doubt. It was a choice I was going to make every day, to believe that I could be transformed.
The answer was much simpler than I first thought. God doesn’t need anything of me, but I have to decide and believe that God can do His work in me. He’s asking me to trust in Him completely and believe that He will give me all the power that I need. If I don’t believe that, He can’t work with me. “But without faith it is impossible to please (God).” Hebrews 11:6.
My feelings have no say
So I stopped waiting to “feel” like I believed. I made a decision that I do believe. My motto is “Pray, believe, and give thanks.” Now I wake up in the morning, pray, believe that God has heard my prayer, and I thank Him. Then I begin the day believing that it will be a day of victory over sin. The prayer of my heart is, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24. And God has really helped me! And He helps me the most with fighting unbelief by giving me the power for victory when I pray for help.
And from the moment I chose to believe, I saw how much my daily life changed! While before the days just rolled by, as soon as I believed that I could become like Jesus then my eyes were opened to all the opportunities that there actually were in my daily life.
The time is now
The burden and heaviness, the uncertainty and the complexity that were there before do not have power over my life now. And the result is that I am becoming happier and happier. That’s how I know it’s true. Something is happening in me. It’s actually a really simple life. You don’t need to feel like it, you just need action. Just take it moment by moment. Be faithful in the small things that God gives you in the situations of daily life. Just be super willing to do whatever God puts in front of you to do. How I take it when the big trials come has to do with how I take it now. Our whole life is an accumulation of “now.” Start believing now. Start saying no to sin now. You don’t have to wait for anything.
Every time I say no to doubt, it is destroying a part of my natural human tendency to doubt. And that part is dead forever. I think of it as a mountain, and I’m just chipping away at it bit by bit, and I don’t see every little dent I make, but that’s where faith comes in. I believe that if I just keep chipping, one day the mountain will be gone. It’s just a matter of time.
“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubabbel you shall become a plain!” Zechariah 4:7.
An everyday decision
So now on a daily basis I make the decision that I’m not going to doubt. And even if I feel doubt, that doesn’t mean that I am doubting. It means that I’m tempted to doubt, but I don’t agree with it. I say, “No, I don’t want to doubt, I believe, and I’m going to fight anyway, regardless of how I feel.” Then I go through my day and I am simply obedient to what God works in me to do. I bring my life into accordance with His word.
So I say bring on the future. Everything that comes is just another opportunity for me.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6.