I know, we aren’t supposed to doubt the Father’s plan and we aren’t supposed to doubt the Father’s provision… but what happens when we do doubt his plan? What happens when we doubt the Father’s provision? What are we supposed to do with that?
Recognize that you’re most susceptible to the enemy’s attack when you’re most disappointed in the Father’s provision. In the message I gave Sunday, I mentioned three times when I’m most susceptible to the ‘roaring lion.’ There is power in being able to identify these moments in our own life.
#1 – When I’m hungry. Physically, yes… but also spiritually! I think back on the story of Jacob and Esau in the scriptures. Esau sells his birthright for a cup of porridge. Porridge; it wasn’t even an In ‘n Out burger! Now, we may not draw the same equivalent for our own life, but there are moments when I’m lacking sustenance from God and then try to find it outside of Him.
#2 – When I’m lonely or alone. If I feel isolated from the people around me – specifically my wife and family – I’m vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. The Apostle Paul discusses this reality when he gives instructions to husbands and wives to be intimate with each other “so that Satan may not tempt you…” (1 Cor 7:5) It’s no coincidence that The Enemy attacks Jesus when he is in the desert alone and fasting.
#3 – When I’m tired. Yes, both physically and spiritually. When I’m tired, I know that I’m trying to do things on my own that Jesus wants me to rely on his power to walk in. If I’m working with all his energy that so powerfully works in me (Col 1:29), I can struggle and strive without being tired. When I disconnect of His energy, I’m open to (see if any of these hit home) cynicism, bitterness, and blaming those around me. Those are the times when the enemy gets a foothold in my life.
Let’s be honest, when we are in the deserts of life, it’s hard to see the goodness of the Father. It’s hard to see the way he’s holding you when you feel like you’re falling. It’s hard to see the way he’s feeding you when you feel like you’re starving. The exiles Peter writes to in 1 Peter undoubtedly felt like that! The Psalms are chalked full of instances when David doubts and doesn’t see God’s provision for him.
I love that Father isn’t turned away by my doubts. But, he’s faithful in not letting me set my camp up in them!
So, the question is, what’s helpful when we doubt the Father’s provision? Perspective. When I lose sight of who God is (perspective) I only see the world through my problems or pain. I embrace a worldview that limited, flawed, and devastating. When John is sitting in a jail cell about to lose his head (literally), he sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he really is the Messiah. Listen to Jesus’ response, “ And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:4-6). Jesus essentially tells John, “there is more going on in the world than what’s going on in your jail cell. John, remember what I’ve done for you, remember who I am, and John, don’t lose heart.”
I’d say the same thing to you. To me.
Disappointment leads to defeat. Perspective is my protection.
When I doubt the Father’s provision I’m open to The Enemy’s attack. I fight by reminding myself that he is a good, good father… and that I’m loved by him.
This song has helped me remember lately. Hope it helps you too.