As Long as Your Quest Is for Certainty, You'll Never Arrive There
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(This is an email reply to one of my writers who was on a persistent pursuit trying to feel certain about his salvation)

Even when you tell yourself or others your faith statements you're really trying to fool your heart into feeling them. The heart however can't be reasoned with, experience and scripture both testify to that. What I see in our correspondence is different ways of you asking how to get your heart to "feel" faith with this latest reply disguising it under the word which is a feeling, which is really just another word for certainty of the heart as you feel that will give you rest. Your entire struggle it seems is what your heart feels. Which brother is the struggle we/I struggle with too and I think pretty much every person who's came to me in regards to the battle with OCD.

OCD suffers have about a thousand ways to cleverly disguise faith as a feeling and then tell me they have faith problems. And when I expose one way, they reword it and send it back to me disguised as something else (I did this too). I expose that and they do it again. We're like a guy who digs a hole in search for answers. He has a problem and every time in the past he's dug in to find solutions. So he begins to dig knowing the solution can be found by digging. So he digs a hole, and when answers aren't found, he digs more, and this repeats until the hole is so deep he realizes he can't get out of it. Now his problems have increased. Not only did he not get the answers he's looking for but he has an additional problem that he's stuck in a hole. At this point he's not sure what to do but he knows the solution to both must be digging as his whole life that's what he's learned leads to answers. So what does he do? He digs more. He digs down, he digs to the side, he digs to the other side, he reexamines the dirt already dug up, but nothing, so he begins to yell for help. A passerby hears him and comes to the edge of the hole and shouts down to him that they are here and asks what the problem is. The OCD suffer shouts back "I am riddled with problems, I haven't been able to solve the original problem I set out to solve and now I have a new problem that I'm also stuck in this hole, furthermore I've been at this for days and I'm starving and it seems like my problems are only increasing so I beg you, do you know which way I should be digging?" The man at the top replies "I don't think your shovel is going to help", You ponder for a moment and reply, "I've always been able to count on my trusty shovel, but perhaps you're right, can you lower down some additional digging tools like a hoe and a pick axe?" "I don't think you're hearing me friend, digging down is what got you into this mess." Irritated you mumble to yourself "well obviously I can't dig upward" as you inwardly begin to discredit the man, and out of frustration you bark back "then tell me, how were you able to dig that was successful for you?!"

An OCD sufferer is stuck in that their quest is still digging that they may find certainty but refuses to consider that certainty may not be found by digging. So they ask me, plead with me to tell them the trick to digging whereas they can obtain that which is unobtainable by digging. They recognize I'm a former digger, they appreciate that I understand their peril, but they are hung up in that they think the solution is still digging no matter what I say. They filter and twist every solution I offer into how it may help them dig for certainty. Some of them flat out ask me, "how did you get out of this hole" and when I tell them I decided to stop digging they think that's absurd. Such a notion gives them the highest anxiety and for them is unacceptable. My question for them is, how has digging helped you thus far? How many years will you dig, and how many methods will you try before you'll finally give that up? For me it was well over a decade.

"Cease striving and know that I am God" - Psalms 46:10a


If this resonated with you then you might find these articles that tie into this of interest:


Stop Looking Inwardly to Determine if You're Saved

God Isn't Looking to Disqualify You Based on a Technicality

Can We Lose Our Salvation

How Can I Be Sure of My Acceptance Into Heaven?


Book Studies

Theological Studies

Study Series

The Gospel of Salvation



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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!