Do you ever have an idea pop into your head about how you could serve God, but you soon talk yourself out of pursuing it?
I do this frequently. Almost as quickly as the inspiration comes, I let my doubt and so-called intellect deceive me into passivity.
Where the Doubt Arises
If you’ve been following my articles lately, then you know that a key part of my personal focus for 2014 is this verse:
Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? John 6:9 NIV
I’ve written about some ways the first four words speak to me and I talked about the problems with the loaves and fish. Now, I want to take a look at the last section of the verse that starts with the word BUT.
“But” is always where the doubt arises. Let me explain.
Look at the first half of John 6:9, the part before the BUT. In this half of the verse, Andrew, the disciple who is speaking, sees potential. He recognizes there is someone that is willing to get involved and that they have something of value to share.
However, in the second half of the verse, Andrew does what I often do. He immediately says, “but…” and then proceeds to snuff out the idea with doubts and potential problems. He begins walking by sight and NOT by faith. That’s me in a nutshell.
Peter does the same thing when Jesus calls him out of the boat to walk on water.
But when [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:22 NIV
Did you notice the BUT at the beginning of the verse? Peter was walking on water, BUT when he started seeing potential problems, he began to sink. He didn’t sink until he let his doubt arise and his intellect get in the way.
In both cases, with Peter and Andrew, they anticipate problems. They analyze the situation and put confidence in their understanding instead of FAITH in Jesus.
Oh man, do I ever resemble Peter and Andrew in this way!
Taking My Doubts Captive
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
My focus verse serves to remind me of my weakness and inclination toward doubt. When I hear the “buts” arise in my mind, I’m going to take them captive for Christ and destroy the doubts before they have a chance to stop me in my quest to copy Jesus.