Have you ever known exactly what you should do, and then later the same day found yourself doing just the opposite? This isn’t clinical schizophrenia, but in a spiritual sense, it is double mindedness.
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Spiritual double mindedness isn’t a new phenomenon, it goes back to Bible times. The Bible is filled with examples of Biblical studs being double-minded: Adam and Eve eating the apple; Abraham lying about Sarah being his sister and later sleeping with Hagar; David, taking Bathsheba, then killing off Uriah; Jonah traveling in the opposite direction of Nineveh; Peter denying Christ even after being warned by Christ himself!
How Does it Happen?
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. Living for Him means we are Christ-centered in our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. James 1:14 warns us that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own lust. The word lust is the strongest word we have for desire. James warns that this desire blinds us, enticing us to pursue the object of our lust. Our desire is 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. We think we are serving God, but we’re really serving ourselves.
Often, we find ourselves immersed in behaviors we know are wrong, addictions, eating disorders, bad habits, and a myriad of other dysfunctions. Some refer to this as cognitive dissonance, 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. As James reminds us, when sin is finished, it ultimately brings forth death and separation … from God, others, and ourselves.
Double mindedness is one of the devil’s favorite tools. Evil wants to distort your lenses. He knows perception is a most important component in decision making. You have to be diligent in all your decisions, slowing down your mind, taking every thought captive, and maintaining your focus on reality and the truth. If you do that, single-mindedness becomes rather simple.
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Try This Exercise
Today, ask yourself whether you are trying to serve two masters, God, and yourself. Thankfully, God has provided the remedy through his Son, Jesus. God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He saves, justifies, sanctifies, and empowers us to live for Him through His Spirit. But God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves, namely, making our own free will choices. Choosing to live Godly lives, and have Christ’s mind and purpose is your decision, so choose well.
Father God, I know I am double minded more than I admit, if not on the outside, then often on the inside. Help develop eyes that really see the truth, so I can test, realize, and reject the counterfeits to Your love and blessings in my life. Give me peace to endure the trials and resist my double minded impulses to take shortcuts and detours from the path You have designed for my ultimate fulfillment. Help me to live today for You. I ask this in the strong name of Jesus, in whose name I pray – 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
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