2014-02blogheader

Doubt…that dark place in the middle of the tunnel. You’ve come so far that you can’t turn back, but you still can’t see the light at the other end.

In that dark place the enemy plants doubt in your mind. “What if God doesn’t…answer my prayer, provide the funds, do anything amazing”—the list could go on and on.

Charles Spurgeon wrote regarding doubt, “Doubt discovers difficulties which it never solves; it creates hesitancy, despondency, and despair. Its progress is the decay of comfort, the death of peace. Believe! is the word which speaks life into a man, but doubt nails down his coffin.”

Have you ever doubted God?

Doubt is of the devil, it causes us to take our minds and hearts off of the Almighty God. A.W. Pink writes, “Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God’s goodness—especially in connection with His commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience. A discontent with our position and portion, a craving from something which God has wisely held from us. Reject any suggestion that God is unduly severe with you. Resist with the utmost abhorrence anything that causes you to doubt God’s love and His lovingkindness toward you. Allow nothing to make you question the Father’s love for His child.”

Henry Drummond wrote, “Christ never failed to distinguish between doubt and unbelief. Doubt is can’t believe. Unbelief is won’t believe. Doubt is honesty. Unbelief is obstinacy. Doubt is looking for light. Unbelief is content with darkness.”

I love how Drummond describes doubt as looking for light. One morning I was running a local trail when I came to an over pass that has an extended tunnel. The tunnel is covered in graffiti and every time I come close to the tunnel I get nervous as I anticipate what is in there. It’s not well lit and I have seen people living underneath. The mind races as you draw near and then enter, but as you reach the middle of the tunnel you begin to see the radiant light of the sun shining in from the other side.

In January 2013 I took over the responsibility of being the National Director of Precept Ministries Canada. No problem, right? Stepping into this position was a lot like starting into the tunnel. I had much anticipation, nervousness and excitement for what God could do through the ministry. In mid-July the tunnel was very dark. The ministry was in a deficit of $51,000—although God was growing the ministry and thousands were being established in God’s Word. Yet that little seed of doubt began to creep in…maybe God won’t do far more abundantly beyond what we can believe or imagine. Why does bad financial news plant seeds of doubt?

I was heartbroken, not wanting to doubt, yet in the dark of mid-July I nearly let that seed in. In response to our deficit I sent out a call to pray asking that God would provide.

Now in the light of mid-January I am again reminded that no matter the circumstances we face, the unchanging truth remains—nothing is too difficult for God! (Genesis 18)

I’m overjoyed and full of praise knowing that I can share with you that our deficit has been erased and God has met our budget needs for 2013. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

These are exciting times for Precept Ministries in Canada. I’m so thankful for all of our Bible Study Leaders, Students, Donors and partners who faithfully serve the Lord. Many are starting new classes, and encouraging students to branch out and start classes. Your commitment to God and His Word and Inductive Bible study is bearing eternal fruit. God has done far more abundantly beyond all we could ever ask or think.

As the ministry moved into December I was on bended knee praying the Lord would not only provide but that He would also forgive my doubting flesh. Over this past year God has shown me so much that I wish to pass on to you for 2014. These are the 4 truths I’ve learned to keep my eyes focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, to keep focused on the good seed that is planted and waiting for harvest. My prayer is that whatever tunnel or trial you are in where the enemy has planted doubt that you would remember these truths, persevere and plant seeds of belief in place of doubt.

Truth # 1 – Believe

– James 1:5-8 ” But if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For the man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Faith is the key here, belief in God and His character revealed through Scripture. Studying the promises of God leads to a stronger faith. Knowing this truth won’t allow us to waver between His will and our will.

Truth #2 – Absolutely Nothing is Accomplished without Prayer

. Included in the reminder my church sends about their prayer meetings is the exhortation that nothing of lasting or eternal good will happen apart from prayer. Spurgeon writes, “Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” Think about this, prayer is tapping in to the greatest source we have. We’re going to the Almighty God begging Him to move in a mighty way. When was the last time your prayers brought you to your knees, tears rolling down your face as you beg God to intervene in a mighty way. Doubt will DESTROY your prayer life.

Truth # 3 – Repent.

This for some may be the hardest thing to do but one of the most important. Admit that doubt has crept in, repent asking God to forgive your (my) wandering mind. When doubt has crept in I have to remind myself I am not greater than the Almighty God my Creator. Keep an attitude of humility. As doubt rears its ugly head the devil wants us to propel ourselves above God. This is wrong and we need not go there—and when we do, get on our knees and ask for forgiveness.

Truth #4 – Fuel your Faith

– In January 2013 Kay spoke at an event in Edmonton AB and reminded the conference attendees of this truth, “God wrote a book, 66 books to be exact and He wants you to know them all.” Fuel your faith by immersing yourself in His book. Do you notice your mind begins to wander the less time you spend in His Word? Mine does…my wife has told me I am a totally different person when I am immersed in the Bible. I want to challenge you to take it a step further though by asking. “Are you studying to lead?” If you are a Bible study leader, you know that you study differently when you are studying for your own personal growth as opposed to studying with the knowledge that you will have to teach your class. Whether you are a Bible study leader or not, study to lead. Don’t miss opportunities to pass on (disciple) using what God is revealing to you from His Word.

Regardless of our doubts that were or are, it is never too late to repent and accept God’s forgiveness. Let’s move forward in 2014 in belief and prayer fueled by our saturation in God’s Word.

Read more from the February 2014 Plumbline. . .

It is through your prayers and God's faithfullness that we are on the verge of expanding the work of Precept like never before in the history of the Ministry. God gave us a vision to reach 30,000 new Canadians with Inductive Bible study. And we can see that it is truly His vision.

Have we met our goal? Not yet. But we are well on our way, and I know God will continue to be faithful as we follow His leading. Thank you for hearing God's call and partnering with us in this incredible opportunity.

Blessed by your partnership,

Mark Sheldrake, National Director

2 Comments, RSS

  • Lynne Jorgensen

    says on:
    January 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Your email has been very interesting for me. If I had known Kay Arthur was in Edmonton last January I would most definitely gone. I have heard her speak a number of times and there is no one like her.
    I have taught Precept upon Precept for 15 years when I was much younger. I love Bible Study.
    My husband is in “Long Term Care” with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. I spend a lot of time with him now. We have been married 53 years, I miss him terribly. I am quite alone.
    Living in an over 45 community I have wondered about starting a Bible Study. There are a number of Christians here that would make a small group and we could probably get non-Christians to come. Precept unpon Precept require a lot of homework, something most people won’t do anymore.
    I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

    • Mark Sheldrake

      says on:
      February 4, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Hi Lynne

      Thanks for posting on my blog…Praying for you and your husband as he deals with these medical issues. God has been moving in a mighty way through many of our Bible Study Leaders who are using the 40 minute study.
      These 40 minute studies are topical. They would be great for the people in the Long Term Care facility. These studies are no homework so people can meet and study without the concerns that might come with Precept Upon Precept.
      Also the 40 min can be broken down into smaller segments by using the Observe headings at the top of each page to determine how far in the study you want to take the group each week.
      You can visit this link http://www.preceptministries.ca/shoponline/index.php?route=product/category&path=206
      If you would be interested in leading a group here are my top 3 40 minute books
      1. The Power of Knowing God
      2. Living Like You Belong to God
      3. Breaking Free From Fear

      For a more evangelistic book
      1. How do you know God’s your Father
      2. Having a Real Relationship with God.

      Hope this encourages you…invite a few people to join you in study and watch what God will do as people respond to His Word.

      Mark

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*