Psalm 119:113-114 ESV
“I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.”
A person who is double-minded is a person who wavers or who vacillates in his mind between two opinions or two beliefs. He is often marked by hypocrisy, pretending one thing on the outside while he does another.
He leads a double life. He is a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde, going back and forth between the two characters. He is a person who tries to serve two masters, like someone trying to walk in opposite directions at the same time. So, he tends to drift, lacking true direction, flittering here and there.
He will make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but his mind will keep altering between believing the true gospel of grace or believing the cheap grace gospel. But by his lifestyle it is evident what he believes. He says he wants to follow Jesus with his life, but he can’t maintain the character for long before he switches back to the other person.
We read more about this double-minded person in the book of James, chapter one. A double-minded person there is one who asks God for wisdom but then he doubts the wisdom which God imparts to him, or else he doubts that God will give him wisdom. So, he is unstable in all his ways. Therefore, he will not receive anything from the Lord.
To me this is a lot like a person who asks God to give him insight into his own heart and for God to show him what needs to be cast out of his life, only to ignore God’s counsel once he gives it to him. Or, it is like the person who asks God to help him not to sin while he goes ahead and plays with sin, or else he doesn’t put up the guards he needs to keep from falling into sin, and then he wonders why he keeps failing.
The Scriptures do teach that God hates lies and false witnesses, and they also teach that liars and deceivers have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. So, those who keep trying to serve God, in their own flesh, while they still hold on to their idols (their false gods) and their evil practices, cannot expect to receive anything from God, except for judgment.
So, we need to be those who love God, who walk in obedience to him, who are committed to our Lord, and who love his word. We need to be those who have chosen to walk in his ways and who are following in his footsteps.
Psalm 119:115-117 ESV
“Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!”
Those evildoers who are double-minded may be troublesome for those who are walking in the light of truth. For, they may be those who are trying to trick and trap believers in Jesus with their words to accuse them, much like the Pharisees did with Jesus.
For, they masquerade as servants of righteousness part of the time, but then they can “turn on a dime” and change characters in an instant. Nothing they say can be trusted.
They love to twist people’s words. They love playing mind games with people, too, saying one thing one minute and then reversing course the next. They are authors of confusion. They will pretend they are your friend one minute and the next treat you like you are the enemy. They will be supportive one minute and then another they are ready to pull out the rug from underneath you.
I once had a teacher in school who would frustrate me because he talked out of both sides of his mouth. It was difficult to get a straight answer from him. He would encourage you to go one direction, and then when you did, he would punish you by downgrading you for doing what he encouraged you to do. And, there are people like this even in the church, and even in leadership within the church.
So, we must be aware of this so that we don’t fall into their traps, and so we can guard our hearts against their tricks. And, we must pray for discernment in knowing how to respond to those who, like the Pharisees, make a game out of trying to trip people up or who try to confuse them, hoping to keep them from obeying the commandments of God.
And, we must remain strong in our faith, committed to our Lord, learning the truth through the careful study of God’s word, so that we aren’t easily led astray or brought to a place of confusion to where we might doubt God and what we believe. We must know what we believe and then we must stand on the truth of God’s word. It doesn’t mean we stop being teachable, but that we are not easy to sway in opinion so that we become double-minded.
So, we need the Lord to help us to remain steadfast and to not give way to evildoers and the double-minded who want us to falter and to doubt God and to question his word. We need the Lord to uphold us and to give us strength when we are under attack, especially. And, then we need to hold our positions, based on God’s word, and not falter.
Psalm 119:118-120 ESV
“You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.”
We don’t love God just out of fear of hell. Yes, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord, and that includes taking him and his word seriously, and not playing games with God, and not taking his grace for granted, too.
But to fear the Lord isn’t just about fear of hell. It is to love him, and to show that we love him by obeying his commandments, and by respecting and honoring him as the holy God that he is. But we fear him because we love him, and we love him because we believe in him and in who he is. And, we love him because he has put the love of God within us.
But many people continue in their wicked ways because they don’t love God, because they are lovers of self and of self-pleasure, and they are those who are self-indulgent and who live for self-gratification. They don’t respect God because they don’t want to give up their sins. They don’t want to yield control of their lives over to God, because they want to still be in control.
So, yes, God does spurn all who go astray from him and from his word, and he will bring those into judgment who choose to go their own way rather than to surrender to God and to his way. It doesn’t matter what they confess with their lips. What matters to God is what is in their hearts, which is evident by what they do (what they practice).
But for those who think they can profess faith in Jesus Christ and still live for the flesh, and thus make it their practice to be double-minded, the Scriptures are clear that they will not inherit eternal life with God. So, please know the truth which will set you free (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).
And, for those who are committed to the Lord but who are being troubled and/or persecuted by the double-minded, please know that the Lord is your strength, and he is there to help you through every storm and every difficulty and every trial that you may face, so you can rest in him secure.
Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer
Lyrics by Margaret Becker
Music by Keith Getty
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more…
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