Oh I simply can’t count on my fingers just how many times I would have disobeyed God due to doubt! I look at the circumstances and see the opposite of what I believe God has been saying. “Did God really say that?” I start doubting! Well meaning Christians watch the trials of obedience that I go through and cannot handle it. So they ask (undoubtedly with the best of intentions), “Did God really say that?” MOREEEEEE doubt! Guess what, I then gradually tend to start to lose trust in God and rather focus on what I see. Ultimately, before I even realise it, I have gone my own merry path… down the road of what I want, based on my OWN analysis!
Yes, I’m sure the phrase “Did God really say that?” reminds you of Eve and the serpent! Did you ever wonder why the serpent hissed right into Eve’s ear and not Adam’s? Well, perhaps it had something to do with the chronology of events. God created Adam, put him in the Garden of Eden and then commanded him regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17). He then said that it was not good for man to be alone (v. 18) and went on to create Eve (v.21-22). Yes, Adam did definitely pass on the commandment to Eve. This is clear from Eve’s response (Genesis 3:3) to the crafty serpent’s question with the infamous phrase, “Did God really say that?”
It’s easier to doubt when you have heard something second hand right? When someone has told you something directly it’s harder to doubt. (Of course because we don’t ‘see’ God and we do have the tug of war between the flesh and the spirit, sadly it’s still easy to doubt God.) So, Eve started to think… Her 3 motives for finally giving in and eating it were rather interesting – it was
- “good for food”
- “pleasing to the eye” and also
- “desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6).
Were any of these reasons wrong reasons? No! She simply wanted to ‘better’ her life. However when God says “No” to you, it simply isn’t good for you!
Adam was right there with her and without a word accepted the fruit from Eve (3:6). Adam had heard from God directly. Why did he remain on the scene of crime without uttering a word of protest? Why did he take part in it without endeavouring to stop Eve? Now that’s food for thought!!!
Modern trends put so much of emphasis on the quantitative – what is the gain, how much of gain, what is in it for us etc etc. This mindset is transposed on to our walk with God, rather than allowing God’s wisdom to overturn our way of thinking. We tend to start analysing the ‘benefits’, or rather the LACK of benefits from a situation and allow ourselves to be fooled by “Did God REALLY say that?” God’s ways don’t make sense to us as we can’t evaluate them; we simply don’t know what He is doing behind the scenes. We thus allow the enemy to dissuade us from obeying God.
Jesus began to teach the disciples what was to happen to Him. Peter rebuked Jesus, “This shall never happen to you!” However Jesus rebuked Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! … You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:21-23). Satan uses loved ones to add fuel to the fire of doubt. “No, this can’t happen to you…. Give in or walk away from this situation”. It doesn’t take much to be swayed, as our minds love to analyse using our earthly wisdom.
Remember Saul telling Samuel (1 Samuel 15:18),
“I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions.
I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”
It was too late – Saul had to face the consequences of his wrong choices! Ultimately, despite who influences us, we are responsible for our own choices.
We do need to hear from God and ensure it is confirmed in ways. Confirmation does not necessarily have to come through those we look up to. Satan is cunning and knows who we will listen to, over what God is telling us!
Seek God and once you hear clearly, be alert of the words, “Did God really say that?” whether the words are from your own doubt or from others!