James 1:5-8 ESV
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
What does it mean to be “double-minded”? Def: “Wavering in mind, undecided, vacillating, marked by hypocrisy, insincere” (M-W Dict.).
It means “a person with two minds or souls;” “one who tries to serve two masters.” “He is ‘unstable,’ which comes from a Greek word meaning ‘unsteady, wavering, in both his character and feelings.’” “He is constantly trying to walk in two different directions at once.” “He has no defined direction and as a result doesn’t get anywhere.” (1)
This is a definition of an addict, of one who is enslaved to sin, but who also is claiming faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, he is praying, and he is asking God for counsel and for direction. But he is conflicted. A part of him might feel as though he wants deliverance and help from God, but a stronger, more powerful part of him is grieving just at the thought of having to let go of his “love,” i.e. his addiction.
He wants God “in his pocket” to assure him of his salvation, and of his eternal life with God in heaven, but in the depths of his heart and soul he doesn’t really want to let go of his sin, for his sin gives him some kind of emotional high, or some tingling feeling, some warmth, or comfort.
Although he says he wants to die to the flesh and live for God, that flesh still has a strong emotional pull on his heart and mind. If he must let go of his addiction, which has truly been the love of his life, he will be sad, and he will miss “her.” For, “she” gives him whatever it is his heart and mind desire. “She” is the perfect “lover” who never fails to meet all his expectations.
And, this is because it is a fantasy world, not a world based in reality and in real life relationships. The sex addict, for example, can watch porn, whatever kind he likes, and have his fantasies fulfilled. But it always leaves him empty, hungering for more. And, it usually gets even more perverted and abnormal, for the “normal” no longer satisfies his thirst.
The Wrong Foundation
This in no way is an excuse for anyone to continue living in sin, especially after one acknowledges Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. But many people are claiming faith in Jesus Christ while they continue in their sinful practices because they have the wrong foundation for their “faith.”
The church, at large, is implying to people, or she is telling them outright, “You don’t have to repent, obey, or submit to Christ as Lord.” “Belief” to them is benign, for it changes nothing. It is like defecating on the floor instead of in the toilet. Nothing gets flushed away. The sin remains.
They may confess their sins, but do you know that it is completely possible to openly confess your sins, to even admit them publicly, and yet to never change? For, it is not enough to just admit your sins. It is not enough to put them out there for all to see. You must forsake your sins, turn, and follow Jesus in obedience to his word. No longer a liar. Now a truth teller, etc.
Yet, belief that says you don’t have to turn from your sins or obey God’s commandments = lawlessness. “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).
So, don’t honor addicts by applauding them for telling the truth, if all they do is just keep repeating the same “sin, confess, sin, confess” over again. For, nothing ever changes. Thus, if I murder someone, confess it, murder again, confess it, don’t honor me for my honesty. Challenge me to stop!!
Also, don’t coddle people in their sins. Don’t give them excuses to continue. Don’t comfort them with “God’s grace covers it all,” especially for repeat offenders. Tell them Jesus died to deliver them from bondage to sin, and that God provides no excuse for disobedience (Rom. 1; Rom. 6; Rom. 8).
Ask in Faith
If we want God to hear our prayers, and if we truly desire his counsel and his direction for our lives, then we have to be sincerely prepared to do whatever it is he directs us to do, according to his Word. We can’t wait until we hear what he has to say before we decide if we will do it or not.
And, if he does indeed give us his counsel, we are not to vacillate back and forth in opinion, in belief, or in actions regarding that counsel, as the mood strikes us, or depending on how our day is going, or depending on who we are around and who we might not want to offend with our faith. Instead…
Trust and Obey
Words by John H. Sammis, 1887
Music by Daniel B. Towner, 1887
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise,
not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
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