Monday, April 25, 2011

The Awesome Power of Doubt

By Allen White

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. John 20:3-8

In the race to the tomb, Peter came in second. Peter, who was the first to walk on water (Matthew 14:28), who was the first to draw his sword (John 18:10), was outrun by John. But, Peter still entered the tomb first. Some things never change.

In the tomb, Peter and John discovered the burial clothes. If someone had taken the body, they wouldn’t have bothered to unwrap it. Peter took it all in. John saw and believed.

The open tomb meant that the body was gone. Whether by grave robbers or conspirators, the assumptions were wide open. But, what they discovered inside led to only one conclusion: Jesus came back from the dead. He had power over sin and death. John had the evidence he needed to believe.

Where do your doubts lie these days? Some people wonder whether they are truly saved. They keep doing the things that they don’t want to do. The old tapes that run through their minds and the old patterns that produce the same old results make them wonder where the power of God is in their lives.

The enemy’s only tool is to convince us that we are powerless over sin. Even though we have a Savior who conquered death, Hell and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-56), our enemy wants us to believe we are trapped in doubt and destructive behaviors.

When trainers work with elephants, they take the young elephants and tie them to a stake that is driven deeply into the ground. The young elephant tugs and tugs, but cannot release itself from the stake. Once the elephant is convinced it is powerless, the trainer doesn’t have to drive the stake so far into the ground.

Adult elephants are tied to stakes that they could easily pull from the ground – except they don’t think they can. The elephant possesses the power, but lacks the belief, so they willingly submit to the stake.

Many of us are like that elephant. There are things in our lives that have been dogging us for years. Jesus died to save us from sin. Jesus died to redeem us and to forgive. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in every believer (Romans 8:11). There is nothing that can keep us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Yet, many of us are convinced that we can never break the tie to our sinful behavior.

What sin has dogged you for years? How has it harmed you? How has it harmed others? The goal of your life is not merely to forsake sin, but to live a full life in Christ. God has so much more for you. Ask God to help you. Ask a believing friend to support you. Find a small group to rally around you. It’s time for you to be free.

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