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A Double Minded Man

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A Double Minded Man

JAMES 1:5-8 IF ANY OF YOU LACKS WISDOM, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, WHO GIVES TO ALL LIBERALLY AND WITHOUT REPROACH, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO HIM. BUT LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, WITH NO DOUBTING, FOR HE WHO DOUBTS IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN AND TOSSED BY THE WIND. FOR LET NOT THAT MAN SUPPOSE THAT HE WILL RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM THE LORD; HE IS A DOUBLE-MINDED MAN, UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.

James 1:5-8 cautions the person of faith to beware of double-mindedness which means to be guilty of divided priorities. To say it another way – a double-mindedness person has a divided heart and is unable to put God first. A double-minded person may be a religious person but cannot progress in their faith because they really do not believe what God says.

Look at the synonyms of double-mindedness: vacillating, halting, hesitant, indecisive, tentative, uncertain, wavering, and insincere. There are more definitions, but these are enough to expose the unbelieving nature of a double-minded person.

A double-minded person avoids the risk of commitment. Believing God requires, at heart level, a willingness to change. For the double-minded a commitment to change is just too painful. The double-minded person is simply unwilling to believe God and become the person God has called him/her to be.

Double-mindedness is superficial by nature. It cannot think, live, or believe deeply. It is characterized by a superficial faith, a superficial worldview, and an extremely shallow love for God. Nothing touches their heart; life blows them one way and then another. If no real heart change is required then the double-minded feel safe and are willing to participate. Believing God to perform His Word is not always safe, and for the superficial person, safety is the priority. 

A double-minded person is unsuccessful at prayer. They may pray but their prayers will be unanswered. James unequivocally states “let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord”. Sobering words.

A double-minded man is like a wave of the sea tossed about by the wind. The double minded look for a smooth ride but the life of faith is anything but smooth. Faith in the promises of God often produce an intense spiritual struggle which the double-minded find totally unacceptable.

The double-minded go wherever the wind takes them. When asked to believe for victorious living the winds of doubt begins to blow. God gives a promise, but for the double-minded, doubt blows him far from victory. He has no real direction, no center, no strength of conviction, no real purpose, and, at heart level, cannot relate to what God says. Neither his life, his values, his ambitions, nor his faith, is built upon the Rock, and for him the Word of God is optional. He follows the path of least resistance and consequently receives nothing from the Lord.

The person of faith overcomes the World, not by avoiding risk, but by valuing the will of God regardless of risk. Jesus tells those who follow Him that in this World they will have trouble, but to be of good cheer for He has overcome the World. The Scripture tells us to fight the good fight of faith, and the Word says it is our faith that overcomes this World. A double-minded man values a trouble-free life and therefore cannot overcome this World.

The will of God is not cheap, not easy, and not without intense personal conflict. Paul, and every Apostle, save John, were martyred for their faith. Hebrews 12 says Jesus “endured” the Cross, despising the shame, but kept His eyes on the joy that was set before Him. The believing person sees the eternal purposes of God as priceless, and worth the risk, even if it means death.

A double minded person cannot kill spiritual giants. Goliath challenged the Armies of Israel but only David answered his challenge. Every man in Israel’s Army knew the God of Israel was more powerful than any man, and every man knew God promised Israel victory over her enemies. However, only David was willing to fight. He fought in the Name of the Lord and his faith enabled him to kill Goliath. The men of Israel were religious men, but they were not led of the Word of God or Spirit of God. Safety was their highest priority and their fear of Goliath kept them from God's promised victory.

God expects His people to believe Him and to kill the spiritual giants that oppose their faith. If God makes a promise then He expects His people to believe that He will keep His promise. There may be gray areas of our faith, things we do not fully understand, but there are many areas of faith that are abundantly clear, no confusion at all - such as, if we ask for wisdom God will give us wisdom. He will give generously and will not reprimand or criticize for asking. Receiving what God has promised is God's will for His people and the only spiritually healthy way to live.

Our part is to believe and then receive. Faith drives away all the doubts i.e. those demonic birds that attempt to steal the seed of the Word from our heart. Faith overcomes the fears, the concerns, the mental arguments, and all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Real faith chooses to believe, real faith chooses to receive, and real faith chooses to act. This is the faith that wins! 

We can use James 1:5-8 as a template for the exercise of our faith. If God makes a promise we can be fully assured  that God will keep His promise. It may seem simplistic, but the way to overcome double-mindedness begins with making a decision to believe God; every spiritual victory begins with a decision to believe God. After we make the decision to believe God we then begin the process of building our life of faith by reading/saying/singing/praying the Word of God. As we grow in our faith we learn to not doubt, argue, negotiate, dismiss, avoid, fear, or ignore what God says - but to believe and act on what He says. We learn to win!

Ownership is the goal of faith. Walking with God is the result of owning what God has given you. We can know, in our head, about a promise without actually possessing the promise. Possessing a promise takes ownership of the promise. Jesus Christ through His redemptive work gives Title Deed to every promises of God to all who will believe. So, as we believe in Jesus we take possession of His Word; we occupy what God has promised. We take ownership of that which has been purchased by blood, and then we build walls of protection to keep out thieves and robbers. We put on the full armor of God so that we might stand against every dark enemy who would steal the Word from our life. God wants to do more than just make us aware of His promises. He sent His Word so that He could be our strength, and through the power of His Word, defeat every dark enemy. The Lord wants more than an awareness of His Word - He wants His Word to be the Victorious Ground upon which we build an overcoming life 

God bless you,

Jim

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Thank you,

Jim