Monday, November 14, 2011

Double Minded

It doesn't take much for me to scan back over the pages of my life and get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach over the sin in my life that has occurred from just being straight up double-minded. If there is ANYTHING I do not want Morgan to be, it is a weak willed woman. Honestly, sometimes the only reason I have sought freedom in my own life is because I want my children to see a life of authenticity before the Lord. Yet I fall so short. We all do don't we? I am so thankful that with the LORD is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. Not just partial redemption but full. Rebellion is so bound up in our hearts and we are so conditioned by this world system to just live for ourselves. I can't even tell you the times I just flat out sinned because maybe deep down I bought into the lie that I deserve something more and that I had been obedient for long enough yet there was no change in my situation. I would in essence begin to doubt God's goodness. Beth Moore put it this way in her new study on James, "Mercy Triumphs":

"all rebellion is essentially the attempt to take now what God won't give. The object of our deformed desire looks so alluring and promising that we can't imagine it birthing death, yet it eventually always does.". -Beth Moore

We essentially become double minded when we have a heart that is divided. What is it though that can cause a true believer to become double-minded? You could add your own list but for the sake of studying James I would say that we bend under the weight of trial and time and we choose now instead of persevering. The battle takes too long and feels too hard and we cave. We allow our fleshly desires to dominate and control us instead of the Spirit. At least that has been the case for me. We begin to flop around and allow "lesser things" to seep in maybe even slowly until things that were black and white, do and don't, become gray. I would be willing to bank so much of our double mindedness on a heart that has been hurt in some way. Maybe a rejection of sorts, a moral failure, a past track record that we can't get over...that we feel marked by...but we begin to allow time + trial to = wavering. We maybe spend less time in the word, less time around believers, and more time finding ways to fill our needs because we bought the lie that God just wasn't doing it for us. Let's face it living a life of duplicity is going to result in instability with you being the star at the masquerade ball.
The lexical form of the greek word for being double minded "Dipsychos" just fell on me like a ton of bricks.

Im no scholar here but lets break down that word di- meaning twice in the greek and psychos which has its origin in the word psyche and what do you get? Almost two totally polar opposite people. Division. Mark 3:25 says25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

If we are in Christ we are housing the holy spirit and if we are living a life of duplicity that life will ultimately crumble.

Here is the lexical definition I was telling you about:

" ...double-minded, inclined toward antithetical ideologies, having conflicting dispositions. Twice in James, referring to one who has not resolved to embrace the way of faith in God. It is not merely weak in faith, but being disposed to embrace the way of righteousness in faith (believing God's commands and ethical dictates to be good and following them and believing His promises to be true and relying upon them) while being equally disposed to embrace the way of unrighteousness (disbelieving God's commands and ethical dictates to be good and disbelieving His promises and relying upon one's own means). Such a person is spiritually unstable (1:8) and prone to duplicity (4:8).

Whoa! If you have lived a life of just one good decision after another thank and praise God for His grace that has kept you from sin. However, if you are like me and have learned the hard way you get the above definition. You know what it is like to be divided. You know the anxiety that it brings. I taught in the singles ministry for years at my church and if there is one challenging area I have taken note of it is the area where a guy/girl has really tried to live for God and years have gone by with no promise of a life partner on the horizon. Then, doubt crept in and before you know it he or she was back to their old way of trying to get that need met. The need to get married overrode the obedience that came from waiting on God no matter what. It is hard. I am not saying it is easy. I'm just saying that I have learned the hard way that God's ways are best. His word is true and His promises are true. We can lean on Him and trust and place our confidence in Him even when our feelings override everything we know to be true. Or we can place confidence in ourselves and watch everything burn down around us, only we lit the match with our own unbelief.

It makes me sick to think about the bad decisions I have made based on my own self-reliance. Seriously, as I type this I can feel the sickness in my gut. Also, I sit here writing in amazement that we have a God that is so incomparably good and merciful and that His mercy does indeed triumph over judgment. He does not treat us as our sins deserve.

When we feel we are lacking because clearly trials present the opportunity for us to see our need because we so desperately want to grasp at the heels of control and we find through trials that we have no semblance of control...when we feel that gaping hole inside of us we would be wise to come before our God who opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing and beg for His help and His filling. Look at the following verses:

James 1:2 -8 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Man do we have us some trials of "many kinds" here on planet earth! Yet these are meant to test our faith and help us to persevere. I will never forget studying this verse oneday and learning that perseverance was the ability to bear up under a load. It isn't that we aren't going to have any loads to bear up under but that we will indeed have them and that we can learn from them and learn to bear up under them and not quit. Quitting is easy...but to me quitting on this thing called faith and my relationship with Christ would be misery. What is the dealio here with some perseverance? Why such the big deal? Well, from experience I would venture to say that persevering...going on with God...has taught me that He is the God who sees me and He is moved with compassion over my plight. Little ol' me. He is about relationship and in this relationship He fills us and completes us so that we can learn what it means to be mature and complete not lacking anything. Can I just say that reliance upon God is what snatches us from the flame. I have tried so hard to seek refuge in man to get my needs met only to be let down time and time and time again. Yet even if my situation has not changed, I have never been "let down" by God so to speak because I have gained intimacy with Him and sacred knowledge of Him.

This to me is a personal example but just one of many that I thank God for:

In 2004 my sweet baby girl Shelby Hope, was born and lived for 30 minutes. For times sake let me say that I really never imagined that I would lose a child so it was not something I prepared emotionally for. My natural assumption kicked in that Rod and I would go through that together and we would grieve. So, a week goes by and it is almost as if Rod packed that chapter up and put it in a box because there was nothing he could do about it. I have heard men are "fixers" I don't know because I am not one of them but through observation over the years that is the way Rod is. He is more about things that are logical and if something is out of his control he must move on. Not me. It was a nightmare of sorts but I will say that I stayed in the Word (by God's grace) and walked the thing out by faith and not how I felt. There were times that I would be sitting in the floor crying so hard I almost threw up and wondered why the heck he wasn't checking on me. Why was he not still crying? Where was the comfort I should receive? None of it matters now but to tell you that it marked me for the good. I realized in that time that not even your man who is the father of the child you just lost is going to be God to you. His grief is not going to look the same as yours and unless you embrace that God even allowed him not to be a comfort to you so that you would learn what it means to lean on Christ Alone...then your trials will turn to bitterness and resentment and ultimately be the bitter root that Hebrews speaks of that springs up and defiles many!

God is not looking at us wondering why we don't get the picture regarding His infinite wisdom and ways yet He tells us that if we need wisdom over these trials we can ask. This lofty God of ours who dwells in inapproachble light says we can approach His throne with boldness! Who else but our God! Yet we are not to doubt because He will indeed answer us. We need not rely on ourself as geared toward our flesh as we are we must hold His word in high esteem and run to it and seek refuge from the tempest that rages against us. He is our answer and in Him we find life and revival in our souls. Choosing to trust is choosing to thrust ourself in belief upon our God if no one else ever shows up with us or not. It will not lead us to an unstable life ever! Our feet will be planted on the Rock and we will be as surefooted as a deer! Let it be Lord! We need You. Help our unbelief! Be our strength when we feel weak and feel like we can't go on. Make us sure footed and able to stand.

Habakkuk 3:19

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

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