Definition of stability – Merriam-Webster
- The quality, state, or degree of being stable: such as “the strengtho to stand or endure, firmness”
- Unstable: not stable; not firm or fixed; not constant; wavering in purpose or intent; vacillating.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Double-minded man = two-spirited, i.e. vacillating (in opinion or purpose)
Unstable = uncertain
His ways = a road; by implication, a progress (the route, act or distance); a mode or means:–journey, (high-)way
In other words a divided mind cause us to be uncertain – lacking – unable to maintain a victorious life – one of the main causes of a divided mind is worry.
You don’t want to be unstable…so we can agree that we all need Stability. Today we will learn how to stand firm in the purpose we were created for.
Notice that this Scripture says that a divided heart causes one to be “unstable in all he does”.
Many times we ask things to God but we don’t receive them. Many times the reason for unanswered prayers has to do with our attitudes. Do you think God wants to keep you in the dark? Do you think he wants to make you a loser? God wants you to win! He is on your side. He hasn’t made any losers. So why is it so hard? Because living by faith requires commitment. It means stepping out where we cannot see.
Some people are always unstable and that is a consequence of a divided mind. Some of us are not always unstable but we can have areas of our life where we cannot make up our mind. Make up your mind! At some point you have to make up your mind. If you keep going back and forth you are doomed to the erratic existence of the double minded!
1. CONSEQUENCES OF A DIVIDED MIND
A. You will not receive anything from God
The Bible tells us that a double minded person will not receive anything from the Lord. We need to overcome a divided mind.
If you don’t make up your mind God will never trust you! Did you catch that? We’re worried about trusting God but God doesn’t know if he can trust you with the most precious of truths!
Why would God put his treasures into your hands if you won’t commit? Why would he ever trust you with anything of value in this life… or the next?
B. You will not reach your full potential
Doubts appear in the heart of people with a divided mind. Have you ever doubted anything? Has anyone ever asked you a question to which your answer was, “I doubt it”? I’m pretty sure all of us at one time or another have had certain doubts and fears. And the question is: Do those doubts defeat us, or do we defeat them? Do those doubts stop us from doing what we could do if we didn’t have them, or do we stare doubt in the face, tell it to move, and go on with our lives? Think about that. What have you done when doubts come to mind?
If you’ve let doubts creep up on you, then you’re not reaching your full potential. And remember that God will not give anything to the double minded person.
C. You will be easily manipulated
If you are double minded you will become unstable, you can be manipulated very easily. You’ll believe everything that everybody says. You’ll be gullible.
The study guide in some Bible references to this verse says: “A double-minded man is a person drawn in two opposite directions. Because of his lack of sincerity, he sways between belief and disbelief, sometimes thinking that God will help him and at other times giving up all hope in Him.”
2. PRACTICAL STEPS TO OVERCOME A DOUBLE MIND
A. Whenever you can avoid double-minded people
Psalm 119:113 I hate double-minded men, but I love your law.
If you walk with double minded people you can easily become like them. Jezebel is a manipulating spirit that can easily take control over the double minded. In the book of Psalms we see that the remedy to overcome trouble is to keep away from the double-minded and to meditate in the Word of God.
Have you ever heard the sentence “misery loves company”? Double minded people will jeopardize our Christian walk
If the double minded people are close relatives just pray for them and influence them in the right direction. Many times there is a need for deliverance and trust that God will use you for that purpose.
B. Letting God Help Us Tell the Truth
“It really doesn’t matter. I hardly noticed. I didn’t mind. It wasn’t anything.”
Double-minded people like to be “nice”. “Nice” in this context refers to persons who minimize the extent of the hurt they experience, or deny the problem all together. It is, however, important to learn how dysfunctional “nice” can be. Being “nice” means that problems go unaddressed and unresolved. The emotional damage associated with hurts is buried. Relationships are slowly eroded away by unspoken anger. Problems continue because they are never faced directly.
The double-minded person doesn’t face reality and lives in a lie. That lie may extend to the level of relationships and the person will try to hide the weaknesses by being “nice”.
Being nice may feel safe and may even feel “Christian” to many people. The reality is that “nice” is often a lie. It is often a cover for deep hurt and anger. As we let go of denial, we can begin to let God help us tell the truth. Letting God help us tell the truth may mean that we will have to give up the security of being nice. We will have to face the problems that exist in our relationships.
Telling the truth does not mean that we have to compulsively confront every problem. It means that we need to respect the people close to us enough to tell them when we have been significantly hurt by their behavior. We need to stop pretending it doesn’t matter when it does matter. We need to offer them the opportunity to know how their behavior impacts us.
C. Don’t Blame others for your own problems
Double-minded people blame others for their own problems and flaws: “I am miserable. It is all your fault. If you would change, I would be happy again.”
9 But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?
10 He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me–she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate.
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate.
People that are double-minded are rooted in the belief that their happiness depends on other people’s behavior. We believe that in order to be happy, we need to control their behavior.
Sometimes it is not possible to control other people. And when control fails and unhappiness results, they often resort to blame. People who struggle with this problem sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between telling the truth and blaming.
We have difficulty believing, that is, that we might be part of the problem. It is other people who need to change—after all, they are the ones who are addicted! And, because it is a way of attempting to control someone’s behavior, blaming contributes to the cycle of addiction. Telling the truth requires that we let go of this illusion of control and accept our role in the dynamics of addiction.
Blame is an effective way to keep the focus on other people. By diverting attention from what we need to do to nourish and sustain our own change of mind.
Thomas Edison said “There is only one good idea in 100 so I want to discover the 99 failures as quick as possible.”
If your physical appearance was based upon your spiritual condition, what would your body look like?
“When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in ’two minds.’”
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
The way we think and feel about ourselves affects our destiny, we need to see ourselves as God sees us.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.