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When Reason Challenges Faith... What Am I to Do?

Mark Virkler's picture

Question: I find I am always doubting what I receive in my journal. God speaks something, and reality does not appear to be lining up with it. What do I do?

Answer: When God speaks to us, through two-way journaling or any other way, He is offering us His potential blessing for our lives which we can receive if we embrace it, believe, speak and wait patiently for it, while following His instructions. It seems that the biggest battle we all fight is that these rhema words get attacked through the reasoning of our minds. The accuser comes through with the thought, "Did God really say...?" So when reason attacks faith, what am I to do? Which is to be allowed to rule in my heart? What does the Bible declare we receive through faith? What does the Bible declare we receive through reason? Let's see...

Faith is acting like it is so

When it doesn’t appear to be so

So that it will be so

Because it is so

(Mk. 11:22,23)


  Shall We Live By Faith or By Reason? 
# Promises Concerning Faith Promises Concerning Reason
1 Pleases God (Heb. 11:6) Not reason
2 Is born in God (Rom. 10:17)  Not reason
3 Is a grace of the Spirit (I Cor. 12:9)  Not reason
4 Is required to cast out demons (Mk. 16:17)  Not reason
5 Provides miracles (Gal. 3:5) Not reason
6 Provides healing of the sick (Jas. 5:14-16)    Not reason
7 Makes all things possible (Mk. 9:23-25)   Not reason
8 Makes one a child of Abraham (Gal. 3:7-9)  Not reason
9 Is a requirement for salvation (Rom. 10:8-10)  Not reason
10 Provides the Spirit (Jn. 7:39)   Not reason
11 Provides all (Matt. 21:19-22)   Not reason
12 The work of God is to believe (Jn. 6:29)  Not reason
13 Must live by faith (II Cor. 5:7; Gal. 3:11)    Not reason
14 Anything outside of faith = sin (Rom. 14:23) Not reason
15 Is one of the six foundation doctrines (Heb. 6:1)  Not reason
16 Is a weightier matter (Matt. 23:23) Not reason
17 Is an “abiding reality” (I Cor. 13:13)    Not reason
18 Is required to enter God’s presence (Heb. 10:22)  Not reason
19 Gives one access to grace (Rom. 5:2)    Not reason
20 Can purify the heart (Acts 15:9) Not reason
21 Gives one peace (Rom. 5:1)     Not reason
22 Is required to speak in new tongues (Mk. 16:17)   Not reason
23 Provides wisdom from God (Jas. 1:2-8)   Not reason
24 Furthers God’s administration (I Tim. 1:4) Not reason
25 Is a shield from satan’s doubts (Eph. 6:16) Not reason
26 Can keep us from shipwreck (I Tim. 1:19) Not reason
27 Is the victory that overcomes the world (I Jn. 5:4)   Not reason
Do you think it would be wise to let your faith overrule 
when your reason challenges your faith? 

Wrong Reasoning: Outside the Sanctuary (or) Without the Guidance of the Spirit

Jesus rebuked the disciples in Matt. 16:7-11 because they were reasoning without faith or divine perspective. This is what makes reasoning outside of the presence of God, wrong.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they ... (Mat 16:7-12 KJV)

Note, they needed to move from their reasoning, which was done on their own, to interaction with the voice of Jesus, and this precipitated something deeper than their reasoning could muster -- "understanding." 

Right Reasoning: In the Sanctuary (or) With the Guidance of the Spirit

In Psalm 73, King David begins by reasoning on his own, and he reasons himself into a pit of depression and despair (vs. 1 - 16). Then he corrects his problem by going into the sanctuary to reason with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he goes beyond mental reasoning to "perception." The King James Version of Ps. 73:17 says, "Then I perceived," and the meanings of this Hebrew word include "discern, perceive." I desire to do what King David did and receive what he received. I want to abide in the Lord's presence (Jn. 15) and I want revelation and perception and discernment, more than I want Mark Virkler's mental reasoning. 


Based on the teaching of Psalm 73 and Isaiah 1:18 ("Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord), I have made a rule which I have commanded my mind to always obey:

"I will not reason outside the presence of the Holy Spirit."


For example, I will do what King David did. I will behold the Lord at my right hand and ask Him for His perspective. Then tuning to Him (i.e. tuning to flowing thoughts, flowing pictures, flowing anointing and power), I let Him guide my reasoning process.

  • I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Ps. 16:8 NASB)
  • "For David says of Him, 'I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.(Acts 2:25 NASB)
In his sermon in Acts 2:25, Peter refers to King David’s statement: “I saw the Lord always in my presence; for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.” The original psalm makes it clear that this was a decision of David’s, not a constant supernatural visitation: “I have set (literally, I have placed) the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Ps.16:8). Because David knew that the Lord was always with him, he determined in his spirit to see that truth with the eyes of his heart as he went through life, knowing that this would keep his faith strong.

The Leaders' Paradigm

I will close by mentioning the fact, that for directive guidance, I choose to have God confirm the direction He wants me to go through half a dozen ways He speaks. It is in the multitude of counselors that we find safety. So the counselors I use when making a directive decision in my life are discussed here, in what I have come to call The Leaders' Paradigm.


Go Deeper - Get Healthy!

Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health! - Miracles PLUS Gifts of Healings. Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves - spirit, soul and body - the healthier we become! Won't you join me in living to at least 100 in vibrant health?