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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » Half-Hearted and Double Minded

Half-Hearted and Double Minded

 

No man ever successfully accomplished anything if he was not fully dedicated to doing it. Now, there are those who are incredibly gifted at things that seem to breeze through life without even trying. But, if they had really tried they would have accomplished so much more. I am basing this truth from the Bible but my own life also bears witness to it. Not really trying to do something will end up in failure.

We really all know that to succeed at something we must be totally dedicated. The problem is that we somewhat succeed and become content with a less than perfect outcome. Some people teach that we should try a little and then be happy with whatever results we get. Does this really sound like the path that the people of God should walk in? We serve the God of the Universe. We all expect to one day hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant”. Do we really believe that He will tell us we did a good job if we didn’t?

I want to point out one more thing; we all have some things in life that we know without a doubt will take full commitment. In these things we do often give it our all. The types of things we think are worthy of total commitment seem strange to me. Sports are among the things we understand needing full commitment. When men sit in front of televisions screaming at their team they expect them to give it their all. They demand that they practice long hard days and when the game finally arrives they accept nothing less than the best the men can give. If a half-hearted effort appears on the field the fans show anger and scream at the set. It’s only a game. Let me repeat-it’s only a game and yet we understand the commitment level to win. The problem is that we put more emphasis on a game than we do eternity. It’s ludicrous when you put it in sporting terms but our Christian walk is often overlooked as something to take serious.

I want to go to the Book of James to see what God says about the double minded man. In James 1:8 he states that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James uses this phrase twice in this letter. The second time is in James 4:8. The Greek word translated into “double-minded” means wavering, uncertain, and doubting or divided in interest. James informs us that someone who is divided in interest between this world and God’s will be unstable in all his ways. I also looked up the original Greek for “unstable”. It means inconstant or unstable. I broke down and went to Webster’s Dictionary for inconstant and it said “likely to change for no apparent reason”.

Let’s put all of that together now. A man who is wavering between following God and living towards the pleasures of this world will be likely to change anything and everything in his life for no apparent reason to himself or those around him. Wow! I don’t know about you but that sheds real revelation on a lot of people I know. Through the years I’ve known people who were on fire for God one week and the next time I saw them they had decided that maybe they should enjoy the pleasures of sin now and save religion for later. They jumped out at the starting gate when the chute opened and somewhere half-way around the track they began to trot instead of run. The rest of the racers continued to go but this jockey knew he had plenty of time.

If I asked you about the seriousness of your walk with God you would probably tell me that you were sold out to Him. Every man or woman who goes through divorce believes they were the best husband or wife possible and that the problem was with their partner. They believe they are doing all or at least more than their part to keep the marriage going. Years later those same men and women realize that they really didn’t do enough and they are sorry for the rest of their lives about it. Sometimes it takes multiple spouses for them to realize the problem wasn’t with someone else but the man in the mirror. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I did not give God my all.

Saul was the first King of Israel. He was a reluctant King chosen by the prophet but once he was established on the throne he let it go to his head. First Samuel chapter fifteen begins with Samuel reminding Saul that he had been chosen by God. We sometimes need a reminder ourselves. We have been saved from sin through the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Without Him we would still be lost and going to Hell. We must be reminded that we are all just sinners saved by Grace. The only difference between us and those outside the Body of Christ is Jesus. We were all just as lost. Saul became overconfident in his ability to rule Israel without following God. He was told to destroy the enemy completely and to not even leave the livestock alive. Instead, he saved the best livestock and spared the Amalekite King. Verse thirteen shows that he believed he was doing things God’s way. Study that for a minute.

Saul had God’s hand in his life in the beginning of his call. He had prophesied when the Holy Spirit came upon him along with the other prophets. He started out well with humility. He had been in battle and had seen the Lord work and gave Him total glory. He slowly became double-minded. His flesh made him believe he could do it his way and mix in God’s way. When Samuel confronted him (v14) Saul still believed he had done it right. He stated that the people brought back the animals to sacrifice to God. Samuel said something that we need to remember-To obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams. God is more pleased with total obedience than He is with our sacrifices.

If we let our present situation puff us up and go to our heads we will fail to follow whole heartedly. Those who treat their marriage as if their spouse would never leave weren’t completely devoted to them in the first place. They soon find out that they have pushed the relationship into a divorce. A man who treats his relationship with God lackadaisically wasn’t entirely devoted either. He may feel that since he went to church and said a prayer he will miss Hell.  Nothing could be further from the truth. God requires total commitment. Saul found this out that day as God rejected him as king.

In Luke 9:23 Jesus told us that we had to take up our cross daily and follow Him. Notice that He said we must do it daily.  If we do not daily make a commitment to walk with God Saul’s pride of self will be sure to lead us astray. We will slowly believe we no longer need Him and that we are good enough-we will become double minded. When we stop fearing God and fear man or give into the flesh we will be half-hearted towards both. In Galatians 2:20 Paul wrote about his own total commitment. He said that he was crucified with Christ. What does that mean to you? If someone is nailed to a cross for Christ how could they keep coming down to do things their own ways? Surely those nails would hold him there. Paul daily made a total commitment for God. He daily was crucified with Christ.

Why is it that we understand a football team’s need for total commitment and yet not understand our own? If the game is won or lost it is of no eternal consequence. But if we fail God by allowing the desires of the world to influence us we do have a lot at stake. It goes beyond the eternal, though. James told us that the double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways. Everything about his life is subject to instability. This would mean his standards, relationships, desires, peace, contentment- everything. I mentioned that the verse in James opened up my eyes to a lot of people and their instability. You’ve probably seen them, too. There are some people who follow every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). They begin to follow one way and something distracts them. They end up going in the opposite direction. Like the squirrel that crosses the road in front of you, his indecision and lack of commitment will cost him his life.

I want to close by asking you to consider your own life. Are you a double minded Christian and half-hearted for God? Is your commitment totally toward Him and His will for you? Or, perhaps you haven’t followed Him totally. Maybe you began the race well but something slowed you down. I would like to invite you to recommit yourself to God today. Do you remember how you had excitement for the Bible, fellowship with God and worshipped with His people? You can have that again. Just as a broken marriage can be healed your relationship with God can, too. All it takes on either is recommitting yourself. Do it today.

Prayer-Father, I am petitioning You today for those who have been partially committed to the walk they have in You. Bring to their minds the call they have. If the enemy has misled them as to the seriousness of Christianity let them be reminded today. Forgive us of all of our shortcomings and help us to walk in the Word You have given us.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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