The War Within Series: Double-Mindedness
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
In the last post we looked at fear & intimidation. Another factor that can play into us lacking courage and confidence is being irresolute in our decision to follow God in all things.
James 1:8 tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. The Amplified Bible puts it this way;
[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].
To be double-minded, is to be wrestling with two opposing thought processes and desires. It means every decision is second-guessed and over- thought. It is a one step forward two steps back, swing to the left, then to the right kind of movement. Internally it is a wearisome dance that keeps us from truly pleasing God because we are not walking in faith and renewing our minds.
The struggle with double mindedness may look something like this;
Wavering between belief and disbelief in God’s will (doubting)
Constantly changing your mind or not knowing what to do
Knowing what you ought to do but not doing it
Giving into temptation (compromise)
Doubt and double mindedness are so damaging to our walk with Christ, they cause our hearts to be unable to receive from God and unable to be faithful to or for Him. If we cannot be faithful to Him in secret then how could He trust us with anything in His kingdom? Yet, as we choose to commit to being single - minded, we can be secure in the truth that even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. Even when we are inconsistent, He remains consistent. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Through the book of James we will look at our keys to overcoming, by the power of His Spirit;
Resolution 1: I will not retreat from the testing of my faith, I will let patience have her perfect work.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Bet let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing - James 1:2-4
The book of James begins in letting us know that our faith will be tested and that we should count it all joy. This includes character tests from God as well as temptations from the enemy. The temptation may not always be to leading to "obvious sins", but to things like submitting to fear, doubt and the will of the flesh to resist God. (The surest thing we can count on when stepping into new things is facing an increase in attacks/tests/temptations!)
Our resolve here should be that, since we expect our faith to be tested, we will choose to endure and by His Grace pass the tests. We will not submit to the will of the flesh but instead let patience have her perfect work, in order that our faith can be trustworthy. God is looking not for our ability or perfection, but a yes that He can trust!
How can we faithfully steward any part of our lives if one day we say yes to God, and the next day no? How can God grant us the wisdom to stand if we've already decided to fall sometimes?
We must choose to be resolute in our faith; we will follow Abba all the way no matter the cost. This is the call of every Christ follower.
Resolution 2: My works will reflect my faith and not my feelings
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1:22
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? -James 2;20
To have our works reflect our faith means that we will do what we know we ought. Again, not submitting to the will of the flesh but the will of God.
If we are struggling with feelings of uncertainty, we can ask God for confirmation in the things He is speaking to us. The more He speaks and confirms, the more we are filled with faith, eventually to the point where His Word to us becomes undeniable. There is no longer space for doubt and any reasoning against His word falls by the wayside.
In times of doubt we can simply pray; Lord let Your voice in my life be undeniable!
As God confirms His word over a period of time, we can still choose to walk in faith even while residues of doubt may remain. This means choosing to look away from ourselves, stop leaning on our understanding, and take a step of faith. We can find security in His ability instead of worrying over what we're lacking.
God is loving enough to make sure we've heard His voice, persistent enough to make sure we understand Him when He speaks, and yet merciful enough to correct and redirect us when we make mistakes. He is more than able to reach us!
Resolution 3: I will crucify my flesh, submit to God and be sanctified, by the renewal of my mind.
But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed - James 1:14
...Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish....And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with it's passions and desires - Galatians 5:16,17, 24
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded - James 4;7-8