Don’t Have It All Sorted Out EGP Blog post from December 29, 2013

Matthew 21:18–22 (NASB)

[18] Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. [19] Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said* to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. [20] Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” [21] And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. [22] “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

The word translated “doubt” in verse 21 literally means “to sort out” (διακρίνω G1252, diakrino, dee-ak-ree’-no), so Jesus wasn’t saying “you can’t have any doubts” as much as He was saying “believe, even though you don’t have it all figured out.” Subtly different, but beautiful…

We see this word again in Acts 10, after Peter saw the vision of the clean and unclean animals coming from the sky on a sheet and was told to kill and eat them all because God declared them clean.

Acts 10:17–20 (NASB)

[17] Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind° as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon’s house, appeared at the gate; [18] and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there. [19] While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three° men are looking for you. [20] “But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without° misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.”

Acts 10:17 Lit himself
Acts 10:19 One early ms reads two
Acts 10:20 Lit doubting nothing

This time it was translated “misgivings”, which means “a feeling of doubt or apprehension about the outcome or consequences of something.” The idea is the same though, the Spirit was telling Peter to obey Him, even though Peter didn’t have it all figured out. Interestingly, we find out in the following verses that he did obey the Spirit even though he didn’t have the vision or command all sorted out, and it all came together and made sense to him (Acts 11:2–18).

So, yes, we are to test every spirit to know if it’s from God (1 John 4:1–3), but once you do and God tells you to do something, don’t sit around trying to figure out every detail, go in faith!