Recap Encounter @ the Chapel
John 20:24-19 (NIV)
*Doubt has gotten a bad reputation. People will tell you that you should not doubt, and there’s something wrong with you if you’re doubting, particularly if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ. The say saved folks don’t doubt, they don’t question what God has said. Saved folks don’t wonder in their mind if God is really going to do it. We doubt, because at times when you look at where you are and where God is taking you it does not add up. Sometimes one plus one does not equal two, and God has a way of dividing, multiplying, adding, and subtracting that does not make sense to us, because His ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. Even though it doesn’t make sense to us, it makes sense to God. In reality what we sometimes call nonsense really is sense, and what we call sense is really nonsense in the eyes of God. If you live any amount of time, you will have moments of doubt. Doubting whether or not people can receive your truth. Wondering if you really exposed yourself to them and told them some of the things you’ve been wrestling and dealing with, you doubt whether or not they can still respect you, still love you, or still look at you the same way. That’s why some of us decide to keep something secret, because we’re worried about what people are going to say and how they’re going to view you. You have to come to a certain point in your life where you don’t get caught up in what people think and how they feel about you, because people will judge you whether you’re doing good or bad.
*God will bless you when you take care of your responsibility. There may have been times when you thought you were running out, and God gave you increase, because you took care of your responsibilities. If you take care of your responsibility God will take care of you, but sometimes it comes with sacrifice. Some of us can’t enjoy life because we keep doubting whether or not the children and people, we poured into will be able to stand without us. There has been a sense of dependency that has been created, and the danger with dependency is that God is a jealous God, and if you’re not careful enough when you become too dependent on someone to the extent that you have erected a god of them in your life. And either two things will happen, God’s going to cause them to shift away from you, or God’s going to take somebody out. You can love people, but don’t love people to the point where you made them a god in your life. You can have nice things, but don’t love it to the point it becomes a god in your life. We cannot afford to live our lives constantly replacing people in the place where God belongs, and still expect God to bless us. Be careful when you miss out on where you’re supposed to be, because what God is trying to reveal to you, you won’t get it because you weren’t in the right place. Sometimes you want to go here and there, but sometimes you need to just stay home and be still. There’s a message God’s trying to give you, that he’s trying to download into your spirit, but God can’t download it because you’re in the wrong place. Some of us continually try to put ourselves in a place where we can’t hear from God, because we are afraid of what God is going to say to us. One way or another God is going to get your ear. It’s better if God gets your ear during isolation, then God get your ear around a group of people and embarrass you and make you do something you didn’t want to do. God has a way of using you even when you don’t want to be used. We try to create and control our narrative so that we can dictate when God wants to use us. You can’t dictate and tell God how or when he wants to use you.
*What do you need God to do for you to move from the place of doubt? When you ask God to show himself to you the way you need him to show it, He will do it. You can’t ask God to show you a sign and then stay where you are. That’s dangerous, because now you’re at the point of accountability. Doubt cannot be considered a bad thing, going after what we don’t know can help us journey forward, it’s how we grow. When we keep seeking to move beyond the doubt God uses it to help us grow, that’s why sometimes God puts us in predicaments. God is not testing you because he’s bored, he’s testing you because he trying to develop you. You’ve got to move to a mature place in God and stop crying about being tested. You know when you’re in a place of maturity with God, when he tests you and you just say ok. It seems like as soon as you get through one thing here comes something else, and as soon as you deal with one problem here comes something else. You got to understand that some things come as a distraction, and they are used to see whether or not you will stay focused in spite of what’s coming to distract you. You have to learn how to push beyond the distractions. You have to push past the distractions, because sometimes the distractions can be so heavy that you don’t want to push. But you have to push past the distractions, because God is only using them to strengthen you. God will allow distractions to come in your life to work the faith muscle. It’s not a distraction but it’s God using this thing to work that faith muscle, so you can prepare to handle what God is getting ready to bring you to. The reason why God hasn’t given it to you yet is because you’re not at the point where you’re ready to receive it. God has to keep strengthening you, pulling and pushing on you, and encouraging you so that you can get to the place that when he releases what he has in store for you, you won’t mishandle it. How many of us have mishandled what God has spoken into our lives, and then we’re sitting here praying saying God if you give it to me again, I promise you I’ll do it right. God is saying I’ll give it back to you, but you got to make sure this time you’re strong enough to handle it, you got to make sure this time you don’t fumble it, you got to make sure this time you don’t allow people to touch what they never should have touched. God is using doubt to strengthen your faith. We keep looking for God to show up in ways that he showed up before, no God is showing up in new ways, because he’s trying to do something new in us.
*We have reconvened church, but we haven’t reset. Before God does something new, he will put you in a place where you start to reevaluate. Some of the systems we have in place are so antiquated and they yield nothing, but because we’re so afraid of change we keep reverting back to them. Every time you go through a problem you deal with it the same way, and God is saying how many more times do I have to keep putting you in this place until you’re going to learn how to deal with it in another way. It’s insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. People come to church every Sunday and have the devil in them. Nothing has changed about you. God has the power to change us, but he allows us to participate in the process so we can have some value in it. You’re not less of a believer because you doubt. It’s a barometer to show you where your faith is at the moment. When’s the last time you evaluated your faith. We get mad at our children when they get to a certain age and are still acting like children, yet we are of age and keep acting like children with God. When you walk with God, he will have you relooking at things, and he will teach to have grace because you are a recipient of grace. Those who need grace should extend grace.
*When you have moments of doubt God is not mad at you, rather God will use those moments to encourage you. Some of us are just one word away from a changed mindset. You keep allowing yourself to be arrested by thoughts that God did not put in your head. Sometimes in the process of receiving we become so vulnerable and open we forget to guard. There are some people who will try to give to you in their giving, because they’re trying to get into… You can receive but you have to learn to receive and guard at the same time. You may have something for me, but I still got to protect and guard my heart because there have been times when I’ve let people into this space that I never should have let in, and now I’m still trying to heal and recover from what they did. God keeps showing up in your moments of doubt to remind you that you don’t have to allow doubt to linger. It came and it went, don’t get caught up in this temporary place trying to make it a lifetime state.