It can happen if you are not careful. There is a good example of this in Scripture.
When Israel was delivered from their Egyptian bondage, they saw first-hand the power of God and the watch care of God. They saw God divide the waters of the Red Sea to provide them safe passage from the Egyptian army. They saw Him provide military victory over the Amalekites.
They saw how He fed them in the waste land when they were hungry. They saw how He gave them needed water when they were in the desert and in dire need of water. God was certainly real to them during those times. They believed in Him whole-heartedly because they had seen those things for themselves. Because of God, their progress toward the promised land had been unstoppable and unhindered.
But, they were not consistent in their belief in God. They showed just how spiritually weak they really were when they got on the cusp of entering Canaan Land.
God told them to go seize the land. So, they sent twelve men to analyze the lay of the land, the inhabitants of the land, and the productivity of the land. It must have cheered them when the twelve came back with a glowing report that the land was a place brimming with “milk and honey.”
But, their hearts sank when it was told that giants lived there, and that these giants were well defended. These giants were too strong for the Israelites to take on. “We are not able to go against those people. The land will just eat you up!” was the concluding report.
And, the people believed it. In that moment, they were influenced to doubt God. The Scripture says about them, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” The perception of Israel was that they were merely the size of grasshoppers when stacked up against the giants. It was an easy argument. Believers were turned to doubters.
The same is true for today concerning people of the church. After all, there is much to influence people to have doubt about God. The strong opinions of Godless people influence the Godly to doubt God. Government promotes doubt about God. Persistent evil, illnesses, and catastrophes stimulate doubt about God. This is proven with what church people say they have come to believe. It is also proven by the numbers of people who fall out of church, and by those who weaken in their commitment to God. The stronger the influence to doubt, the more that are led to doubt.
We should remember that when we come to doubt God for any reason we lose a lot of blessed opportunity. Take Israel for example. Because of the influence of the “evil” report about the of the giants and their “great stature,” Israel decided against an attempted takeover of the promised land. Because of it, they were relegated to spending a lengthy time in the desert. They missed out on the good providence that God had in store for them.
After all, why let doubt develop in you about God. He daily loads us down with many benefits. It is He who gives us life. It is He who heals our diseases. It is He who gives victory over our problems. It is He who has provided a sure salvation.
The Scripture assures us that having doubt about is a waste of time. First of all, the Scripture affirms that God is the living God. Second, the Scripture affirms that “all things are possible with God,” and proceeds to cite many examples where God worked out the seemingly impossible.
And, then, there are the experiences we have with God….the blessings we get in life from Him, the sense of His presence when we go through a rough patch, living in His beautifully created world, the steadying hope He gives.
Shame on any church person who allows themselves to be influenced to doubt God.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.