March 10, 2014
What’s the one major problem that gives believers in Christ the most trouble here in the twenty-first century? I bet it’s probably the same problem that dates back thousands of years: being double-minded. “Double-minded” can have different meanings. But in the Bible, 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? I think I am double-minded when I know what I should do, but then soon find myself doing the exact opposite. Does that ever happen to you? It isn’t really clinical schizophrenia. But do you suffer from what I call “Spiritual Schizophrenia?”
The Bible is filled with many 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!
As believers we are instructed by Paul (in Philippians) that we have the mind of Christ and must nurture and steward it well. 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 may think we are serving God, but we’re really serving ourselves.
Often, we find ourselves immersed in wrong behaviors like addictions, eating disorders, bad habits, impulsive actions, 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, overwhelmed, fear, 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. So much for the motivations of being double-minded!
You see, double-mindedness comes from the brainwashing and deception of Satan. He wants to distort our lenses. He knows perception is the most important of the 6 components of every decision you make each day. 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. Then single-mindedness becomes rather simple. I am serious when I say that.
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. You see, 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, build our character by making our own free will choices. Whether you choose to live a Godly life and to have Christ’s mind and purpose or you choose to be double-minded and pursue your own agenda is your decision, so choose well.
Father God, I know I am double-minded more than I admit, if not on the outside, then certainly on the inside. Help me to 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. Help me to 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, so I can prevent the condition of being double-minded. I 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