“That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” –James 1:7-8 (NIV)
The United States has already fought one civil war (or two if you are on the British side of American Independence…), and it is dangerously close to another one. The idea of a “Civil War” is what is conveyed by “double-minded” here in James 1:8. It literally means two souls. There is a divided allegiance in your mind and it feels like that allegiance shifts depending upon who is winning. This type of double-mindedness leads to instability. The Ancient Israelites were known for this type of instability. Throughout the Old Testament you see them going here and there to solve problems, but rarely do they go to God. James had just told us to go to God for wisdom in the midst of trials. We need to echo Joshua’s words, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Other aspects of being double-minded is not even knowing what you want, not being able to look both ways at once, and knowing that you need to leave it up to God but wanting to solve it all by yourself. Is that you?
What is the solution to being double-minded? It isn’t easy. That is, it isn’t easy to do on our own. No surprise here, but the solution is to decide who you will serve: The world or God? God is looking for 100%. Don’t misunderstand me, this is not an issue of salvation, but sanctification. All that is required for salvation is belief in Christ’s atoning work on the cross. However, sanctification is a radical call to obedience. If you feel like your life has been like a raft on the open ocean, up and down with no sense of direction, perhaps the reason is disobedience. As a friend once told me, “The way of salvation is easy, too easy for most to accept, but the way of discipleship is difficult, too difficult to do without help.” James would agree, we need God’s help.
Be single-minded in your devotion to the Lord.
Even if our nation is on the brink of another civil war, your life doesn’t have to be. You can choose who to follow, yield to His will for your life, and live a joyous life of obedience.
What areas of your life feel double-minded?
Do you have instability in your life? In what area? Could the reason be you are trying to solve it on your own without God’s wisdom?
What would it take for you to completely submit your life to God?
What is holding you back from committing to Him right now?