When Doubt Attacks Your Purpose

When doubt attacks your purpose, you can stand up to the hurtful comments and frightening thoughts. If you’ve ever pursued purpose, you have probably encountered doubt.  When doubt attacks, it comes in many forms.  Sometimes, it comes as hurtful rumors from people who don’t believe in what you are trying to do.  Other times, it comes as frightening thoughts that shake your confidence and prick your heart.

However it comes, we don’t have to give in to the soul-crushing fear that often follows doubt.  When we are confident in God’s calling and are walking in faithful obedience to our purpose, we can stand up to those internal or external attacks of doubt.  A great Biblical leader shows us how in Nehemiah 6.

In case you don’t know much about this Old Testament prophet, God gave Nehemiah a very special assignment.  He was instructed to rebuild the wall laying in ruins around Jerusalem, leaving the holy city exposed and vulnerable.  Nehemiah rallied the citizens of Jerusalem to dedicate themselves to rebuilding the wall.

But Nehemiah’s plans were not without opposition.  The local officials were threatened by the favor shown to Nehemiah by the king.  They ridiculed Nehemiah and the work of the Israelites, trying to distract them from their purpose.  But Nehemiah was having none of that.  When doubt and fear tried to attack Nehemiah with rumors and frightening thoughts, Nehemiah taught us two principles for standing in our purpose with confidence.

When doubt attacks with hurtful comments from others, speak the truth.

The leaders accused Nehemiah of plotting a revolt and appointing prophets to announce him as king.  (Nehemiah 6:6-7).  They did not understand what he was doing, and tried to tell their own version of Nehemiah’s story.

Nehemiah spoke truth with one of the snappiest comebacks in the Bible.

“Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Nehemiah 6:8 (NIV)

Don’t you love that?  Read it again.  This time, imagine Nehemiah standing on top of that wall, with one hand on his hip, the other snapping his fingers in their faces, and using his sassiest voice:

“Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Nehemiah 6:8 (NIV)

Nehemiah spoke truth into the situation and did not allow others to fill in the gaps and tell their own version of his story.

When doubt attacks with frightening thoughts, pray for strength in the area of attack.

Nehemiah recognized the tactics of his enemies.

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)

Often when the enemy plants frightening thoughts in our heart, our first response is to doubt our calling.  “God, did you REALLY call me to this? …. Did I REALLY hear from you on this assignment?”

But not Nehemiah. How did Nehemiah respond?

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)

Nehemiah prayed for God to strengthen his hands …. to build him up in the exact place where doubt was attacking.

You can’t do this because you aren’t smart enough.

God, strengthen my mind and be my teacher.

You can’t afford to do this.

God, strengthen my finances and be my provider.

You can’t do this because you don’t have any help.

God, strengthen my connections and be my helper. 

When God has given us a clear vision of our purpose, we need to rest confidently in that vision and faithfully ask for strength instead of constantly begging for confirmation.

I love Nehemiah.  He was a strong, confident leader who never wavered in his dedication to his assignment.  By speaking truth and praying for strength, he stood up to doubt and inspired a nation to do what his enemies said was impossible.

 

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RESPOND

When doubt attacks, are you able to stand up to it?  How does Nehemiah’s example inspire you today?

Linking up with Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends, Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth and Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup

16 thoughts on “When Doubt Attacks Your Purpose”

  1. I loved this post!! The power of the mind is so huge and I think we often forget this! We must speak truth when the enemy tries to plant seeds of doubt. Thank you for sharing this!!

  2. You’re so right!!! When doubt tries to get in the way, SPEAK TRUTH. What’s more, Nehemiah actually quotes a passage from a different passage as a way of promising that God will indeed help them! Such a strong lesson in claiming the promises of God in scripture!

  3. I love the book of Nehemiah too, Christa. So much practical wisdom. Thanks for offering us these two steps. Speak the truth and pray specifically to your fear. I love that idea of praying strength into your mind, finances, whatever area you’re doubting in.

  4. I love this especially your references! It really is all in our head and we have to trust in the Lord for He knows what He has planned for us! thanks for sharing!

  5. Very nice post. I love the reminder to stand fast in the face of the devil’s attacks specifically. And, Nehemiah is one of my favorites! A wonderful encouragement. Thank you! (#LiveFree) 🙂

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