Sunday, August 11, 2013

Double Minded

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 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. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.  James 1:2-11  NKJV
Have you ever heard the expression “being of two minds” concerning one thing or another?  I think most of us have, and have also probably used it on occasion.  Yet when I look a little closer at that expression, I certainly begin to wonder if it isn’t a rather illogical statement.  As I thought more about it, I began to wonder if what it really means is that we can’t make up our minds and decide to compromise by trying to hold two different opinions.

We spoke last week about the subject of what true riches are to the believer, and the importance of pursuing those things which will result in a heavenly reward rather than an earthly one.  Obviously, the temptation which would follow a decision to try and do that would be some sort of compromise; why can’t I do both?  In this passage from James, the message to us seems rather clear and that is if we attempt to do such a thing, God will consider us to be “double minded”.
The word in the Greek for double minded is dipsychos which translates as wavering or doubting.  Looking closely at the passage from James also shows us what it is that we are doubting, and that is the power of God to provide.  When you think about it, the obvious question is what could possibly cause us to doubt the promise of God to take care of His own and to provide our every need?  I think the simple answer is that it is not that we have been denied what we need, but rather what we want.  Of course, we don’t necessarily see it that way but I can recall in my own life having a discussion or two with the Lord about what I thought was a need and finding out that He did not. 

So when that situation occurs, the individual who chooses to pursue what he wants becomes a double minded man and the result of that decision is very clear. In verse seven we are told; “For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;”.  This statement alone should give many pause for thought.  Have you wondered why it seems you are lacking something you need?  Ask yourself if you are resting in the Lord and waiting on Him, or trying to “help” Him out by attempting to provide by your own efforts.
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Matthew 6:24-25  NKJV

'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This [is] the first commandment. Mark 12:30  NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2  NKJV

What I believe it really comes down to is what our response is when we don’t feel our needs are being met.  Trust in God or trust in self?  It took me a while to notice the answer we are given when faced with this situation which is found in the beginning of the passage in verse five. “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.”  Have you asked God for wisdom to understand the situation or simply make the decision to try and provide what you feel you need because you doubt His ability to do so?
The world demands we pursue the things which would exalt us in the eyes of others, but God makes it clear what He regards as a life which deserves reward.  Look closely at verse nine where James tells us; “Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation”.  Would you rather look like a success in the eyes of the world, or accept what God provides and wish for nothing more?  God makes it clear who He will reward.

He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety.          Job 5:11 NKJV
Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy [endures] forever;                Psalm 136:23  NKJV

Though the LORD [is] on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.  Psalm 138:6  NKJV
Better [to be] of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Proverbs 16:19  NKJV

He has put down the mighty from [their] thrones, And exalted [the] lowly.                  Luke 1:52  NKJV
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  Romans 12:3  NKJV

[Let] nothing [be done] through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  Phillipians 2:3-5  NKJV
Believers cannot be of “two minds” about God’s provision.  Accept what He has given and when you think you need something more ask Him for wisdom to understand the situation you find yourself in.  Never doubt that God promises to provide.

Keep watching.