“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord,
thoughts and plans for welfare and peace,
and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome”
“SMACK DAB” IN THE MIDDLE OF UNCERTAINTY
The New York Times Website today certainly doesn’t paint a picture of hope and certainty:
–Europe Finds Slope Ahead is growing ever steeper.
–House Approves spending Bill, Averting Government Shutdown.
When I was studying God’s Word regarding steps of “Certainty” in Times of “Uncertainty“, I uncovered in Scripture the uncertainties during Jeremiah’s time; in Jeremiah 29.
Verse 11, can be found on so many hearts, posters, mirrors, and refrigerator doors these days. I found out that this verse is “smack dab” in the middle of God’s judgement of Judah; 70 years of captivity! Jeremiah’s message from God was bleak. The people didn’t like it; they wanted to hear about pleasant things, Good News and no more Bad News. The people even hired a false prophet by the name of Hananiah who preached short-term prosperity, “peace, peace” and yet there wasn’t any peace at all. Jeremiah sends the exiles a letter from Jehovah-Jireh–God will provide. Things might look uncertain in your circumstances right now, but there is a long-distance promise in Jeremiah 29:10-14.
GOING BACK TO WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO
Did you know that in times of uncertainty, is a place where great leaders are born. You can look back at America’s history and find the recorded leaders, the heroes; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, just to mention a few; Wars and rumors of war. You don’t learn anything in times of certainty.
We all want certainty in life; that we will be a success, know the next step to take in our lives. One certainty that we can count on as believers in Christ is the Word of God; His promises if we follow Him.
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with ALL your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In ALL your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6–Amplified Bible).
ITS OK TO BE UNCERTAIN
It is ok to be uncertain about some things, but it is not ok to be unclear about what you are supposed to do as far as the plan is concerned. BUT, you have to be clear in knowing what God has called you to do. The clearer you are on what God has called you to do, the less uncertainty will matter. When you know God’s Word, you will know what God has called you to do and obstacles seem so much smaller and easier.
What is the number one thing you can do proactively in what God has called you to do?
#1. STOP WAITING FOR EVERYTHING TO BE CERTAIN. Get busy for God today! “You will never be more than 80% sure” someone once said. So step out and do something.
SELF-DOUBT: A HINDRANCE TO YOUR PROGRESS
Self-doubt attacks our ability to live productive and successful lives by causing us to become unstable in our faith. Everything in God’s system operates by faith, but when self-doubt raises its ugly head, it shuts down our ability to stand on the Word of God with confidence.
What is meant by self-doubt? I’ll try to give an understanding answer: Simply put, it is the person who doubts himself, his abilities, who he is in Christ, and what his purpose is. He operates in questioning rather than confidence. He is double-minded as James calls it.
Questioning is evidence of doubt, and doubt will stop us from receiving from God. You can see this with people who say, “Well, if God is really God, why did this happen?” They are not really asking why it happened; it is more so they feel as if the tragedy shouldn’t have happened. As a result, they begin to doubt whether God’s love and power are real.
If you wonder if you are doubting, examine the questions that keep coming up concerning the things you are going through, and even the spiritual disciplines in your life. Uncertainty of knowing whether God really is calling you to do a thing: “God, I need to know for certain if I’m going to be a leader in this church?” Self-doubt is a constant state of ambivalence about what you are doing and where you are in your life.
Although we know what the Word says, self-doubt creates doubt and fear in times of uncertainty. It causes us to question whether the Word is really our final authority. It absolutely paralyzes faith and it attacks our confidence. Since faith is a practical expression of our confidence in God and His Word, the enemy is always looking for ways to undermine that confidence. Doubt is one of the primary strategies he uses. Satan’s objective is to get us to start questioning the things we see in the Word, the things God has spoken and shown us already, the call of God on our lives, all the things we once knew for sure came from God. All it takes is one suggestion or thought to get us wondering whether what God said is really true.
Hebrews tells us why confidence is so important in times of uncertainty in our lives:
“Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward” (Hebrews 10:35–Amplified Bible).
So how do we hold on to our confidence when everything around us screams failure and impossibility? How do we remain stable about the things we want to do in life when circumstances, personal shortcomings, and negative thoughts try to distract us from our goals, dreams, and purpose? The answer is simple: by focusing our minds wholeheartedly on God and keeping our thoughts fixed on His Word. He is our confidence!
PLANNING FOR CERTAINTY
Creflo Dollar gives us an outline of Starving Your Doubts in his book Winning in Troubled Times. If you struggle with self-doubt, this outline will have you well on your way to victory.
Believe the Love God Has for You–Belief in the love of God pumps up our confidence.
Stop Second-Guessing Yourself and do What God Tells You to Do–Anytime you receive a spoken Word from God, it is always equipped with the provision necessary to support what He said to do.
Stop Condemning Yourself–Second thoughts causes self-doubt; any thought that does not line up with the Word must be checked at the door (James 1:5-8).
WHAT IS THE VISION GOD PUT IN YOUR HEART?
If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re not alone. I exposed that ‘not knowing’ feeling; uncertainty of what God was calling me to do; self-doubt and second guessing was on my mind continuously. I was losing my confidence. I needed a new attitude; a renewing of my mind, to know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). God’s Word was my starting point.
–Spend time alone with God in prayer. If you don’t know what to pray for then pray in the Spirit.
–Think back to the beginning: your Christian walk before everything became so “complex”. What did you dream about? What did you know He told you to do in the past?
God wants to open up the World to you:
“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
My hope is that in reading this blog today, your planning for certainty has or will begin today.