If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
It wasn’t intentional.
It was an accommodation.
I didn’t want to be that Christian. The one who makes sure everyone knows they don’t drink or let their kids watch certain movies.
The one people roll eyes over as they walk away.
I wanted my non-Christian friends to feel comfortable and develop a relationship – so I had opportunity to share Jesus – that’s what I told myself.
The truth – I wanted to be liked and fit in.
I didn’t offer to pray very often and I rarely brought up Jesus.
I didn’t want to turn them off.
People more or less know where I stand and if they’re interested, they’ll ask.
Anyway, I didn’t feel the Holy Spirit prompting so I didn’t need to share the gospel – at least that’s what others in the church said.
Never mind Jesus commands me to share it everywhere.
It created a problem.
I became one person with Christian friends and at church, then someone else with non-believing friends and neighbors.
Around Christians, I was bold in speech and prayer.
I remained silent with those who didn’t believe or ask.
Worse, I laughed at their jokes, occasionally participated in gossip and let my language slip.
God has a name for this – He calls it double minded.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:6-8
Actions reveal what I truly believe.
A word study on “believe” reveal the Hebrew means to stand firm – it means more than just knowing something is true. Other translations say “to live by” or “trust”
When I attempt to manage people, places and things apart from God, it reveals weak or non-existent trust and faith.
A lack of belief.
It’s sort of simple – if I believe Jesus and His Word, I live it.
I share the gospel.
I don’t do what’s right in my own eyes or manage and decide apart from God.
One who is double-minded has no defined direction and as a result, doesn’t get anywhere.
I like to call it being a “free spirit.”
It means I don’t follow rules and tend to be rebellious – I used to take pride in it.
This defining quality has become a liability, a struggle, an obstacle as I endeavor to allow the Lord to transform my heart into one that’s obedient.
Having two minds – one for me and one for the Lord causes constant internal conflict.
It creates confusion in thoughts, actions and behavior.
Certain and doubting.
Walking in two directions at once.
Striving to serve both Savior and self.
Jesus tells me I can’t serve two masters.
I must choose whoM I serve or be blown and tossed by the wind.
Ineffective and unstable.
The Word says when I follow Christ I will be persecuted and hated.
Ridiculed and rejected.
Suffer as He suffered.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38
I’m double minded because I want it both ways.
I want to accept Christ but not His suffering.
I want eternity in Heaven without becoming inconvenienced.
I want to be liked and fit in, not rejected and ridiculed.
Trusting Jesus means giving up what I want for what He has.
Trusting He is enough.
Obeying His Word even when it’s hard and causes hardship.
Spending time listening and praying – developing relationship and allowing Him to change my heart.
What I love.
What I live for.
It’s a giving up and laying down.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
I can’t live my way by my rules and enter Heaven.
Jesus isn’t a hall pass.
He tells me what it means to believe:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their bare hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18
Preach the gospel – to everyone.
Publicly proclaim Him through baptism.
Drive out demons in Jesus’ Name.
Heal the sick.
I notice He doesn’t add “If it’s your spiritual gift.”
Or “When the Spirit moves you.”
Or “Pray about it first” the way western church culture does.
Jesus says to believe means I step out in faith, trusting He will show up.
It means laying hands on someone who’s ill, praying healing in Jesus’ Name then trusting the Lord and continuing to trust if it isn’t immediate or obvious.
It means being weird and an outcast.
If I’m following Jesus, I Don’t Conform to the world so I don’t fit in.
It’s a hard word.
Jesus Himself tells us to count the cost.
He says most cannot accept the teaching.
His mercy and grace cover imperfect attempts.
The cure for two minds is found in His Word.
The more I seek Him, the more I know Him.
The more I know Him, the more I trust Him.
The more I trust Him, the more I’m willing to do.
As I obey and follow, He encourages and guides me.
The Lord, my God, is for me.
a loving Father never blesses a path leading to destruction.
He equips and enables.
Protects and provides.
Corrects and forgives.
He is the way, the truth and the life.
His free gift is one of atonement and exchange.
In love and mercy, He exchanges His life for mine.
Replaces ruined rags with robes of righteousness.
Forgives my sin.
Calls me His Own.
Jesus gave everything….and so must I.
Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” – Jesus, Luke 9:23-25
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to see the truth and believe. You saved me not just for my own sake but so I can tell others that they might also see and be saved. I pray for courage and strength to be faithful to You and the call for every believer. Help me shine Your light of truth wherever You send me and not shrink back. Help me make the most of every opportunity. Thank you for grace and forgiveness when I lose my way, remain silent or get distracted by the things of this world. You are compassionate, patient and slow to anger. You are good, just, true and Your love is without end. Help me to know you and love you better. Give me awareness in the moments you provide to share who You are in gentleness and love. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.