In a prophetic dream I was shown a tiny cloud on the horizon. The Lord Jesus stated in an urgent tone, "Warn My people to avoid this dangerous, raging cloud!"
I was totally shocked at the alarm in His voice. I questioned, "Lord, how can this be such a dangerous cloud when it is so small and appears harmless?" He answered, "This cloud has the potential to devastate and steal every spiritual blessing from My people."
I inquired, "Lord, what is this cloud?" He quickly replied, "The cloud of doubt!" What had appeared so insignificant now became of utmost importance. When I asked the Lord how we can avoid and defeat this cloud of doubt, He offered the insights which follow.
This cloud of doubt is most effective when allowed to penetrate our mind. If allowed, it will erode and erase all the promises of God in our lives (see Is. 26:3-4). A vivid example of this is Israel's response to what they saw with their natural eyes in the Promised Land. The people allowed their natural vision to overrule what God had spoken.
So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, "The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.
"And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come from the giants, and in our eyes we were like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes" (Num. 13:33).
What the Israelite spies saw with their natural eyes quickly erased what God had promised—what they were asked to see through the eyes of faith. God had told them, "Take the land! It is yours!" Doubt entered in, however, and they returned, defeated by their own choices and actions of unbelief. As the Israelites perceived themselves, so did the inhabitants of the land perceive them.
Remember, as a person thinks within his heart, so is he. The Israelites perceived themselves weak—and thus their foe saw them as weak also. Doubt arose. Whenever doubt and unbelief cloud our vision, we can lose our inheritance. Doubt kept the people of God from obtaining their inheritance and promise for more than 40 years!
God Himself had declared and decreed that the land was theirs. Not only was the land their possession, but it was a land flowing with milk and honey. The land had great provision in store for them. When they saw the giants, however, every word of God's precious promises fell to the wayside. They chose to base their reality on what they saw rather than basing their reality on the promises of God. Once they saw the giants—and once they submitted themselves to fear—every word of God was forgotten.
How can we avoid this same disaster of doubt? One method is to quickly and forcefully, without hesitation, rebuke and renounce any and all thoughts that arise to oppose the Word of God.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is complete" (2 Cor. 10:3-6).
In this very familiar passage of Scripture we discover some secrets to overcoming the cloud of doubt:
"And in the fourth watch [between 3:00 – 6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, 'It is a ghost!' And they screamed out with fright.
"But instantly He spoke to them, saying, 'Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!' And Peter answered Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." He said, "Come!" So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.
But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me [from death]!' Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?' And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God!'" (Matt. 14:25-33, AMP).
What an awesome exploit! Peter was a mere man, walking on the water! One point to ponder is this: If we fully follow the commands of Christ, we can overcome all limitations, even the laws of gravity. Peter was standing and walking on the word of the Son of God, who asked him to "Come!" What instigated Peter's sinking under the waves? He turned his eyes away from Jesus toward the natural situation and circumstances.
Peter began to focus on the winds and the waves, and opened the door to doubt—doubt that erased from Peter's heart the very fact that he was walking on water, making his way to Christ, standing on the Word of God. But Peter's advancement was suddenly halted. He was no longer walking at and upon the command of Christ—and was in need of rescue.
What lessons do we learn from this powerful experience between Peter and Jesus? Do not let your surroundings and the challenging events you are facing keep you from holding on to the command of Christ! Keep your focus on Christ, not the adversity occurring about you. As we keep our heart and mind focused upon Christ Jesus, our heart and mind are filled with abiding peace (see Is. 26:3-4).
Doubt is a dark, evil womb that gives birth to unbelief and fear—and both will rob you of the blessing of God. The fearful and unbelieving are cast into Hell (see Rev. 21:8).
Doubt and fear have devastating effects on our prayer life:
"Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [for being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]" (James 1:6-8, AMP).
Christ reveals that doubt will hinder answered prayer. As the disciples stand shocked at the dried, dead fig tree, Christ states:
"And Jesus, replying, said to them, 'Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, "Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!" and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]'" (Mark 11:22-24, AMP).
Jesus reminds us that if our prayers are to be powerful and effective, they must be spoken in steadfast faith. Notice the phrase "and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him."
Only believe! All things are possible—only believe!
What exactly is an antidote? I appreciate this definition: A substance that counteracts poison. What is the antidote for doubt? The best antidote for the dark cloud of doubt is the radiant light of God's Word. Faith is the force with which we fight against doubt—and faith comes by hearing the Word.
The supernatural power of God will drive away doubt. Note that John the Baptist in prison was immersed in the dark cloud of doubt. Doubt silenced this great voice for God! But also notice what Jesus communicates to him: "Go and tell John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (see Matt. 11:4-5, MEV).
Paul and Silas in prison drove back the dark cloud of doubt with shouts of praise and prayers of adoration.
Praise and thanksgiving, with an attitude of gratitude, can transform any situation!
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can people do to me?" (Ps. 118:6).
"In the day when I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Ps. 56:3).
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, turn from doubt as quickly as possible—don't let the enemy gain one foothold in your mind or heart. Meditate daily on Psalm 27, planting God's precious promises deep within your heart. In prayer and meditation, declare these words as true over your life and the lives of your loved ones. These precious promises of God will prepare you for adverse circumstances!
Psalm 27 (AMP)
[A Psalm] of David
1 The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
6 And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, "Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]." My heart says to You, "Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word]."
9 Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help! Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!
10 Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain and even path because of my enemies [those who lie in wait for me].
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me; they breathe out cruelty and violence.
13 [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
14 Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Bobby Conner has ministered around the world for nearly five decades. After serving as a Southern Baptist pastor for 27 years, he founded Eagles View Ministries with his wife, Carolyn. The author of numerous books, he has ministered in more than 50 countries, averaging five speaking engagements per week for more than four decades.