Guarding Against Doubt

Guarding Against Doubt

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him.
–1 John 3:18-19

How does obedience, or practiced righteousness, protect us from Satan’s attacks in our lives? First, obedience protects us from the consequences of sin. It saves us from the death and destruction that sin ultimately leads to. Second, obedience protects us from doubt about our salvation. One of my seminary professors used to say, “Nothing will create more doubt in your life than trafficking in unlived truth.” If you sing about, talk about, and teach spiritual realities that are not really a part of your life, eventually you will begin to doubt your faith. When you sing about the power of Jesus to free you from sin or God’s supernatural peace that passes all understanding, but you are not experiencing that power or that peace in your life, after a while you will doubt your own relationship with God. You will doubt whether any of it is true.

Doubt can be profitable sometimes, if it leads you to carefully examine the authenticity of your faith. But in the Bible, doubt is never presented in a positive light because it leads to a half-hearted commitment to God. The Bible calls this being “double-minded.” Here is what Scripture says about those who are double-minded:

  • “I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law” (Psalm 119:113).
  • “Being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
  • “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).

Do you know what the best antidote to doubt is? Obedience to God. There is something about obeying God, doing what you already know you should be doing, that gives you assurance that you are truly a child of God. Look at 1 John 3:18-19: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him.” The way we know we are truly children of God is not because we have memorized a set of doctrinal truths. Now, I am all for doctrinal truths, and they are important. But the real way to assure our hearts that we are really children of God, John was saying, is by our obedience to God–not just talking about our faith but living it out. That is how we are assured that we are children of God. Only professions of faith that lead to expressions of obedience guarantee the possession of eternal life. The way you can know for sure that you are saved is by your obedience to God’s Word.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Stopping The Barbarian At The Gate” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org;