January 28-29, 2012
What’s the one major problem that gives believers in Christ the most trouble, today, in the twenty-first century? Probably the same problem that dates back thousands of years: being double-minded. James 1:8 tells us that a “double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” But what does it really mean to be double-minded? At times I know what I should do, but later that day, I may find myself doing the exact opposite, making a poor decision. Does that ever happen to you? Do you suffer from Spiritual Schizophrenia?
The Bible is filled with many examples of Biblical studs being double-minded. Adam and Eve when they ate the apple. Abraham when he lied that Sarah was his sister and when he slept with Hagar. David, when he took Bathsheba, then killed off Uriah. Jonah when he went the opposite direction of Nineveh. Peter when he denied Christ even after being forewarned!
As believers, we are instructed by Paul, in Philippians, to have the mind of Christ. Our love, affection, and devotion are to be for our Lord first and foremost. Whenever we are Christ-centered in our beliefs, thoughts, and actions, living for Him is our single purpose. James 1:14 tells us that we are tempted when we are drawn away, or carried away by our own lust. The word lust is the strongest word we have for desire, and James warns this desire blinds us to be enticed to pursue the object of our lust to relieve or fill an emotional, psychological, and ultimately, a spiritual, need. Our minds and hearts become divided in directions other than Christ, creating a schism or split within us. Thinking we are serving God, but really serving ourselves.
Often, we find ourselves immersed in behaviors we really know are wrong. Some refer to this as cognitive dissonance, or a disharmony within that feels like a splitting or tearing inside. We develop physical or emotional symptoms of agitation, anxiety, panic, and depression. We can become derailed in our thinking and motivation. Ultimately, as James reminds us, when sin is finished, it brings forth death and separation … from God, others, and ourselves. So much for the advantages of being double-minded.
You see, double-mindedness comes from the brainwashing and deception of Satan. He wants to distort your lenses, as perception is the most important of the 6 components in every decision you make, everyday. We have to be diligent in all our decisions, slowing our mind down, taking every thought captive, and maintaining focus on reality and the truth. Then single-mindedness becomes rather simple, I am serious.
Today, submit to a checkup. Examine whether you are trying to serve 2 masters, God and yourself. Thankfully, God has provided the remedy through his Son, Jesus. As Oswald Chambers frequently taught, God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He saves, justifies, sanctifies, and empowers us with His Spirit to live for Him. But God will never do for us what we can do for ourselves, namely, build our character by making our choices for us. In choosing to live Godly, we must have Christ’s mind and purpose. Life is your decision, so choose well. WITHIN REACH is a workshop to help you apply the power of the Holy Spirit as you exercise your free will in making these daily decisions.
Father God, thank You that you voluntarily assumed human nature and took on the limitations as a man; yet, You remained one hundred percent Divine. You lived a sinless life knowing that we could not, but counted us as righteous if we would trust and believe You died and rose again for us. Help us to live today for You, so we prevent the condition of being double-minded. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus. And all God’s children say – AMEN!
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” I Peter 1:3