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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire – wanting nothing. – James 1:3-4

– Not that I speak in respect of want – for I have learned in whatsoever state I am in – therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11

– The devil does not come to you with his red face and horns.  He comes to you disguised as everything you’ve ever wanted. – Anonymous

The disembodied hand writing on the plaster wall was spelling out and sealing Belshazzar’s final fate, to be brought upon him by God later that same night (Daniel 5:5).  This, on an evening starting out as a celebration of the king’s power, posterity, and possessions (Daniel 5:1-4).  However, the mood of the party-goers changed – as did Belshazzar’s demeanor when the words “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25) appeared before them.  The king’s knees shook in fear and he soiled himself upon seeing it (Daniel 5:6).  Before he knew what the message meant, his guilty conscience before God got the best of him.

He understood immediately the words were from above – and it was not going to be good news.  When David was brought in to interpret, Belshazzar’s worst fears were realized (Job 3:25).  He’d been weighed in God’s balances and found to be wanting, and his kingdom was to be split among the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:24-28). What was Belshazzar wanting?  Salvation – and it was too late.  No more space would be given to repent (Revelation 2:21).  The king’s neck had stiffened against God so much for being absorbed in idolatry, want, and pride – he was cut off from heaven forever (Proverbs 29:1, Daniel 5:23, Daniel 5:30).

When our Father in heaven says not to do something, He means not to do it.  God does not give out casual recommendations, or friendly suggestions and advice on how we are supposed to live in steadfast (Hebrews 3:14) alignment and agreement with His will and way.  Instead, He gives us commandments to humbly obey and abide by every second until we die (Philippians 2:8).  They are not heavenly options to ponder over and pass on.  Therefore, when God tells us we are not to want – then we are not to (Psalm 23:1).  Living in want keeps us from being presented as peaceful, unblameable souls at the end (2 Peter 3:14).

Why?  Want is worldly.  It is walking in the spirit of err – not in the way of truth (Proverbs 19:27, James 1:16, 1 John 4:6).  Not only does want keep faith and belief incorrectly focused on things below (Colossians 3:2), but it leaves a heart wide open for seeds of sins like lust, covetousness, envy, and greed to take root and grow.  Then, they slowly spread worldly weeds throughout the soul as it all gradually chokes out the Word, and production of spiritual fruits commanded by God to be continually be brought forth in keeping with repentance unto salvation (Mark 4:19, Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 3:8, John 15:16, 2 Corinthians 7:10).

Any true Christian (John 3:5) in a state of want is spiritually unstable in all their ways (James 1:6-8, James 4:8).  Faith, trust, and belief in – and love of God and Christ waver and drift (Ephesians 4:14, Hebrews 13:9), often spiking and dipping drastically based on whether a want is being fulfilled/obtained or not.  A person in this condition cannot be content with anything they have in life now – because they’re concentrating on future wants (Hebrews 13:5, Luke 3:14).  Dissatisfaction in this sense breeds impatience with a God they want to do their will as soon as possible, making it impossible to receive heaven’s promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).

The definition of want is a lack or deficiency of something – or someone.  Sadly, some will spend their whole life pursuing want after want.  Looking for certain people, following dreams, and making purchase after purchase to acquire desired material possessions.  All to find a feeling of fulfillment and purpose – hoping a life of repetitively obtaining wants will be what it takes to create a lasting sense of happiness.  Although they may be aware of a nagging, inner emptiness and loneliness throughout – they keep relying on and turning to external means and methods to make the ache go away – trying to fill and fix the bothersome void.

They don’t work.  As Billy Graham said, “They make for great fire escapes, but terrible fire extinguishers.”  No one but Christ can quench wants.  Godly joy and fulfillment can only be regenerated daily by Jesus residing in the soul by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17, Titus 3:5).  This is why one must be born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) for all wants to begin subsiding through repentance and remission of such sin.  This is when God begins rooting out and burning up weeds of want (Matthew 15:13, John 15:1-6), to produce a spiritually fruitful soul (Galatians 5:22-23), from branches of inner happiness.

Through His truth, God has to transform an always “wishing and wanting” soul conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2) into a perfectly content being – no matter what state they are in at all times (second lead verse) – even if they have no more than food and clothes (1 Timothy 6:8).  Worldly Christians would not want a life with so little, for they would see it as God messing with them.  They desire earthly blessings; not eternal.  Unholy pastors prey upon this “more is better” approach to achieving a happy life with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:19).  Gearing and steering sermons into alignment with the world – not the Word.

Don’t misunderstand – for there can be seemingly noble and honorable wants such as sound health, happy homes, or strong inter-personal relationships.  However, these desires can become a means to an end.  In other words, God may only receive praise when these wants are first achieved – then maintained.  If health starts failing, homes become filled with strife, and relationships falter, then problems with God can begin.  Along with the words “This is NOT what I want (need) right now.”  However, He requires all things past (Ecclesiastes 3:15), and we must get past all want to be in agreement with Him (Amos 3:3).

In conclusion, when anyone gets deceived by the devil, they begin believing they know themselves better than anybody else – including the One who fashioned their heart in the womb to be desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  In turn, they foolishly start trusting their heart and self (Proverbs 28:26, 2 Corinthians 1:9) to know exactly what they need and want at all times.  Being certain that whatever they get will “work out” – and it does not.  Or, maybe it does for varying periods of time, until the devil tempts and entices them once again they have got to buy or try some new thing they see on TV or hear about from others (Acts 17:21).

It’s an endless cycle for some as Satan constantly spins his”want wheel” before their eyes.  It’s how Christians can end up feeling like they are being spiritually yanked about (Matthew 11:30) by a dizzying array of daily product options to consider, and periodic life-change choices to make or forsake.  Their attempts to partake at God’s and the devil’s table simultaneously – beget jealousy in Him (1 Corinthians 10:21).  It says His grace isn’t sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) as they are still in want of something or someone.  Life with Christ isn’t satisfying.  It’s why hell will never be full – and full is how Satan wants it (Proverbs 27:20).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways – James 1:6-8

– Don’t be double minded or you’ll be falling where you used to stand strong.  Don’t be double-minded or you’ll be talking to yourself, and yet you just can’t get along. – Double Minded, written by Nick Laird-Clowes, sung by The Dream Academy, copyright 1987

In general, physical storms all around this planet are formed by conditions of atmospheric instability.  Two opposite types of air masses collide and then begin spinning around each other.  When they evolve into turbulent tornadoes and hurricanes, the resulting whirlwinds can cause widespread destruction, and it can take years for some to rebuild and recover from.

Storms in the human soul start in a similar fashion. They are formed by conditions of spiritual instability. Two opposite types of life collide when the world and Word meet inside a double mind and begin turbulently spinning around each other.  The ensuing whirlwinds can destroy relationships, including one with Christ. Some can rebuild and recover; but some never do.

“Double minded” comes to us from the Greek word “dipsuchos” meaning a person with two minds or two souls.  It appears just twice in Scripture, both in the book of James (James 1:8, James 4:8).  However, all Christians must fully comprehend what it means at all times, as it is disobedience with fiery consequences forever if left uncorrected (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

If you say you are a Christian, but you often find faith and belief wavering, drifting, spiking, or plummeting – based on how life is going, or not – then you are not walking the right way with God.  You are not being steadfast, straight, confident, and patient on heaven’s narrow path that few find (Matthew 7:14, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 10:36).  Double minds prevent this.  .

Spiritual instability is a hallmark of doubting hearts, divided souls, and double minds.  It is a lack of faith, and it is impossible to please God without it (Hebrews 11:6).  Even drawing back from faith a little bit upsets our Father’s soul, as it signals an evil heart of unbelief that cannot save, and puts one on perdition’s perilous and unrighteous road (Hebrews 3:12-19, 10:38-39).

We are not to cast away our confidence, for it has a great recompense of reward (i.e. heaven).  We have need of patience, that after having done God’s will, we might receive this promise (Hebrews 10:36-37). Confidence comes from the Latin “con fidentia.”  It means firmly trusting.  When people start losing it, they can get washed away in a tidal wave of doubt.

They might start questioning aspects of their life in the world, or in the Word.  They may begin opposing or disputing some of God’s truths, even if it’s silently inside the soul (Philippians 2:14).  Objections may be raised and dangerous aspersions could be cast upon Him.  In time, one can get to where they don’t know what or who to believe; a perfect double mind recipe.

Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:24).”  However, double-minded believers pray in doubt (1 Timothy 2:8).  Still uncertain and confused as to what being a Christian is all about, their loyalty stays divided between world and Word, usually based upon which one is working out the best.

God won’t tolerate such split service and devotion (1 Corinthians 10:21).  Deviating from the Word in any way, is in err from God’s ways, and our Father warns us many times not to (e.g. James 1:16).  A double mind can be masked with a lot of righteous words in front of the masses for years, but it’s always manifest and naked before the Almighty (Hebrews 4:12-13).

A double-mind exists when God is not in all one’s thoughts – and He knows every one (Ezekiel 11:5). God is fully aware if any person is wavering, slipping, or backsliding in spirit, despite what they declare with their lips (Mark 7:6).  If one is ever like this, it gives place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27), always ready, able, and willing to lead a soul away in err (2 Peter 3:17).

So are mortal men and women disguised as believers following Christ, but who are false teachers lying in wait to deceive us with their cunning craftiness and sleight (Ephesians 4:14).  Hiding immoral, misguided, and ungodly agendas in dissembled hearts.  Grievous wolves trying to draw disciples away after them, and not sparing the flock in the process (Acts 20:29-30).

Satan and false prophets operate slowly and subtly. Because double-minded souls don’t have complete allegiance to God, they fall prey to these pernicious ways (2 Peter 2:1-2).  Then, as the certainty of God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:20) are questioned more and more because they’re not coming true, their ears get turned to unsound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Hearing swelling words of vanity sounding good at first, but they fizzle out quickly when the double minded soul realizes they were exactly that – vain. Meaning wasted time because they didn’t produce promised results if one bought a Christian product, read a devotional, followed a prayer plan, etc.  Still, they keep looking for something new to tell or hear.

A very accurate description of a double-minded and divided soul comes from the Scriptural sound website Got Questions as follows (with a couple of personal additions): “They are unsteady and wavering in both character and feelings.  They are quite restless and confused in thoughts, actions, and behavior.  They are always in some sort of conflict with themselves.

Those torn by this type of inner dissension can never lean with any confidence on God and His gracious promises.  They slowly become convinced they are never going to be granted.  Correspondingly, the term unstable is analogous to a drunk unable to walk a straight line, swaying one way – then another.  With no defined direction, they never progress spiritually.

God cannot grant His blessings on the double-minded. Those who mind earthly matters one day (Philippians 3:19), then mind Christ the next.  As Jesus said “No man can serve two masters, for he will hate the one and love the other – or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).” (end Got Questions)

Mammon is wealth considered as an evil influence, or a false object of worship and devotion.  Pursuing it debases God.  It is a destabilizing factor causing faith to fluctuate.  Serving Mammon at any time shows Him where affections are really focused.  It tells God one believes there is still a better country down here, than what awaits up above (Hebrews 11:13-17).

We either love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37) or we do not.  There is no middle ground.  As Edwin Chapin once said, “neutral men are the devil’s allies.”  Our Father always knows if He is the only master of anyone’s life.  If not, it puts one on a very dangerous and disastrous path.  It is the broad one leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13).

It is a direction that has to be corrected before it’s too late.  We are to present a singleness of heart towards all people no matter what the situation might be, with one totally undivided soul unto Christ and fearing God always (Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22).  The way to do this is doing what He tells us to do.  This does not mean obedience is easy, but it keeps us out of the pit.

God’s commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3). They are meant to grow us in grace (2 Peter 3:18).  A single heart cannot keep gravitating back to the world (Philippians 1:23).  Some ways to help stay stable are to meditate on the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8), keeping affections set on things above (Colossians 3:2), and thinking right thoughts (Philippians 4:8-9).

Lastly and most importantly, a double mind is a tell-tale sign of being a false convert or nominal believer. This is a person who’s convinced they are a Christian, but became one by external means.  An example is creating their own criteria based on self-perceptions of goodness (Proverbs 20:6, Mark 10:18), and using a willingness to love and lend as some of the qualifiers.

Instead of the only way by being born again of the Spirit within (John 3:5).  This is when God convicts one with His sorrow about their sin, when there isn’t any doubt in His mind they are ready to repent unto salvation (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).  This is one becomes rooted and grounded in His love (Ephesians 3:16-17) and receives an anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:19).

Because false converts and nominal believers have not received the gift of the Holy Ghost from God, they cannot say Jesus is Lord of their life (1 Corinthians 12:3).  They have not been returned to the Shepherd of their soul (1 Peter 2:25).  They do not have Christ inside their heart to pull them back into the fold if they begin wavering and straying from the flock.

As Watchman Nee once wrote,, “People with mixed motives, those of a double mind, shall not be able to receive the baptism in the Spirit.”  Their heart is not right with God, and He knows it.  Just like it was with Simon, the sorcerer who said he believed, who’d been baptized in physical water, but who thought the Holy Ghost could be bought with money (Acts 8:13-21).

In closing, regardless of what creates a double mind and keeps it in an unsettled and wavering state of spiritual instability, there is always hope.  It is what faith and salvation are all about (Romans 8:24-25, Hebrews 11:1).  However, only God can balance and steady spiritual ships (like worship) – and keep them moving straight ahead on salvation’s narrow road.

Our Father does not do this automatically as it would negate His free will.  It takes a lot on our part, such as mutually abiding side by side with God every day, and humbly obeying Him unto death just like Jesus (John 15:1-6, Philippians 2:8).  It takes repenting of worldly ways so one does not keep repeating them. Again, this all can’t be done unless one is born again.

Even still, God says “Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners – and purify your hearts, you double minded (James 4:8).” Only He can draw any lost and alienated spirit to the Cross (John 6:44).  When this occurs, He begins the inner renewal and regeneration of the soul, cleansing sins and purifying hearts continually unto salvation.

To paraphrase Matthew Henry, “Wavering faiths and spirits have bad influences on communications.  When they rise and fall, filled with secondary causes, there’ll be unsteadiness in all behavior.  If having one God to trust, love, and be governed by doesn’t keep a person steady at all times, a double mind exists in a divided soul heading down a very perilous path to damnation.

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; for He is faithful as promised. – Hebrews 10:23

– That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.  By the trickery of man, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14

The phrase “hold fast” means to remain tightly and firmly secured to something or someone.  With God, it means the ability to stay steadfast and stable in spirit throughout every day, regardless of the situation or circumstance.  It means not letting go of heavenly instructions, for they are our life (Proverbs 4:13).

If you are a true Christian, then you have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  When this happened, you were returned to the Shepherd of your soul (1 Peter 2:25).  An anchor of hope was placed in you with Christ (Hebrews 6:19).  Tightly securing you to Jesus, so you don’t keep wavering in faith and belief.

When physical ships encounter stormy seas, anything not securely fastened to the deck gets tossed around. Essential items to the voyage get badly damaged or destroyed.  Some of these vessels can veer off course in wild weather without seasoned captains and crews, proper ballast, and functional navigational systems.

The same goes for spiritual ships (e.g. discipleship, fellowship, worship, etc.).  However, our spirits are irreplaceable.  If they are not securely tied to Christ inside us at all times, they get tossed around in the storms life can often bring without warning.  Satan is always waiting with open arms during such occasions.

This is why we must keep in memory everything we hear from God.  So we don’t get deceived by the devil or mortal men (Revelation 12:9, Mark 13:5) and led away in err (2 Peter 3:17, James 1:16).  If they steer us to unsalvageable faith shipwrecks, our belief ends up in vain (1 Timothy 1:191 Corinthians 15:2).

Any time we let go of Jesus, we start to list in spirit and begin tilting in belief.  If this continues, we can swerve away from truth (1 Timothy 1:6).  If we look away from Christ for a second, we can start getting frightened by all that is happening in life, and begin sinking in our littleness of faith (Matthew 14:28-31).

Wavering walks with God aren’t the way to steadfastly travel down heaven’s narrow path few will find.  To enter in at the straight gate, and be made partakers of Christ at the end (Matthew 7:14, Hebrews 3:14). This, after enduring everything God commands us to along the way (Hebrews 12:20, Matthew 24:13).

Christians with any selfish and/or worldly focuses to their walk, generally find a solid faith and balanced belief only when self is being served (Matthew 16:24), or lusts are regularly being satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). Otherwise, spiritual wavering enters.  Then, drifting between world and Word starts (1 Corinthians 10:21).

Salvation is a hope and promise no man has seen.  If Christians think they have been saved already (as so many seem to believe), why would they still have to hope for it (Romans 8:24-25)?  Salvation is the end result of our faith – not the beginning of it, or at any other point somewhere along the path (1 Peter 1:9).

Faith is something we contend for, just like the kind delivered to the saints of yore (Jude 1:3).  If we claim hope in Jesus, we hold fast to this profession without wavering (lead verse).  Girding up our loins, being sober, and hoping to the end for God’s saving grace to be brought at Christ’s revelation (1 Peter 1:13).

Faith is a race and a fight that not everybody wins (1 Corinthians 9:24, 1 Timothy 6:12).  Only Christ waits at the finish line and we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus at all times to win our crown of glory there (1 Corinthians 9:25).  Growing up in grace and running patiently all the way (2 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Holding fast to Christ inside us prevents a falling away from repentance, from which it is impossible for God to renew us to (Hebrews 6:4-6).  It makes us able to retain the faithful Word we have been taught.  In turn, it helps us present sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers (2 Timothy 1:13, Titus 1:9).

This is so we can prove all things and hold fast to all that’s good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  It is so we don’t backslide by holding firm to the deceit of our heart (Jeremiah 8:5).  One cannot expect victory running every way but straight in any race   Moving steadily ahead in one direction wins, but fast and foolish loses.

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.  By the sleight of man, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14

– Do not be carried about with many and strange doctrines.  For it is good that the heart be established with grace. – Hebrews 13:9

Did you ever stand along the shore and watch a boat on the water sail by?  Was it tilting and listing?  Was it zigzagging or wavering to the left and right?  If the water was a little bit wild or choppy, did it look like the vessel was getting tossed all over the place, and could no longer move straight ahead in the storm?

I would hope not, for it would not be long before something bad happened.  The boat could sink, or veer drastically off course, and dangerously towards ragged rocks along the shore.  If the ship had been built properly, it should keep moving straight ahead no matter what weather or wave conditions existed.

The purpose of building any boat is not just so it can float, but is able to sail from a port of departure to a destination point.  This applies to physical ships and spiritual ones (e.g. fellowship, worship, discipleship). However, all of these boats require a pilot, ballast, a steering mechanism, and a navigational system.

Otherwise, they’ll be adrift, with no way of getting to where they are supposed to.  They will just meander along in whatever direction gentler waves move, or get tossed all over the water when any storms strike. Physical vessels can shipwreck, and so can spiritual ones sailing to salvation’s shore (1 Timothy 1:19).

To prevent such a disaster, one must first be born again (John 3:5).  This is when we are returned to the Shepherd of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).  We are given an anchor of hope in Christ (Hebrews 6:19).  From there, faith and belief must maintain an unwavering, eternal focus (Matthew 6:19-20, Colossians 3:2).

Faith and belief in God and Jesus with any selfish or worldly focus will waver; and sometimes wildly.  This type of attention to truth indicates spiritual infancy, immaturity, ignorance, or any mixture of them.  Faith and belief slowly drift, or fluctuate rapidly depending on whether life is going how you want it to or not.

Spirits soar when it is, and Christians tend to say or think, “I am so blessed” when problems do not exist. Spirits dip when it is not – and Christians tend to say or think, “Why is God messing with me?  I don’t get this” – when problems persist.  This is how confusion God never authors is birthed (1 Corinthians 14:33).

This isn’t the way to walk confidently, patiently, and steadfastly on heaven’s narrow path.  It’s not how to be made partakers of Christ at the end after enduring all God commands to be saved (Hebrews 10:35-36, Hebrews 3:14, Matthew 7:14, Mark 13:13, Hebrews 12:20).  Spiritual shakiness isn’t the way to do this.

All unbalanced walks with God are dangerous (e.g. Proverbs 5:6, lead verse, 2 Peter 3:17, Hebrews 10:23).  Spiritual instability means one has a double mind (James 1:6-8).  Restless or confused thoughts, actions, or behavior exist and persist as one drifts between Word and world (1 Corinthians 10:21).

Christians can’t waver “from “doubt” to “certainty”, then back to “doubt” about anything.  If one part of the mind is sure about something in relation to a walk with God, and the other part isn’t – it gives place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27).  Satan is always waiting to lead unsteady believers away in err (2 Peter 3:17).

God will not tolerate divided attention or focus with Satan at any time.  Christians can’t serve two masters (Luke 16:13).  Loving God and loving worldly things are such polar opposites of each other, it’s impossible to follow both and be steady in spirit (1 John 2:15-16).  Trying to creates a deadly conflict of interest.

Christians attempting any split service between their Saviour and Satan will find firm faith and balanced belief, only when life in the world and Word suits them to a tee.  This is selfishness – a concentration on personal advantage, pleasure, or welfare.  Unless others contribute to this end, they are disregarded.

This is not having Christ’s mind (Philippians 2:3-5). Contrary to a dangerous belief created by truncating Romans 8:1, there is condemnation to Christians who walk after the flesh, because the Spirit cannot lead them at the same time.  The flesh is weak, but when people seek to satisfy its lusts, the Spirit is left out.

Selfish is an anagram of “is flesh.”  A selfish Christian cannot be an unprofitable servant of God (Luke 17:7-10), because they are spending time attempting to get profit they think is deserved from Him.  When this happens, they set a course for worldly wealth and gain again, and swerve from truth (1 Timothy 1:6).

Jesus said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34).”  If hearts stay set on fleeting things of the world that can’t be taken out (1 Timothy 6:7), it is not the truth, but sin.  This is how wavering walks start, it is why prayers go unanswered (James 4:3), and it’s where problems with God begin.

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

–  I charge you before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality – 1 Timothy 5:21

True faith in Jesus is impartial (James 2:1).  Our Father does not play favorites and neither must we (Romans 2:11).  We are partial if we’re attempting to be people-pleasers for worldly reasons (Galatians 1:10) such as preserving the praise, admiration, or respect of others.  Or trying to gain or maintain some type of favor or advantage (Jude 1:16) – maybe in regards to career concerns or money matters.  

If we are showing preference to any person more than another – are we not then partial to ourselves and the judge of evil thoughts (James 2:2-4)?  Just like Jesus did, we are to esteem all others better than ourselves, not just those we think we may be able to get future favors out (Philippians 2:3-5).  God is well-pleased when we do good, but not if we hold people hostage with it later (Hebrews 13:16).

We’re to love our enemies, do good, lend – and hope for nothing again while here on earth.  It does not matter if others appear to be unappreciative or evil. For as God is kind to such people – we must be the same (Matthew 6:20, Hebrews 11:14-16Luke 6:35). Otherwise our intentions are worldly and misguided, arising out of selfish or prideful minds.  God always knows such thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Playing favorites in this life is a harbinger of hate. Joseph’s brothers could no longer speak peaceably with him after they saw how much more their father favored and preferred Joseph than them.  It created hatred inside their hearts (Genesis 37:3-4).  Showing partiality like this, is being a part-time Christian.  We are only playing the part when we think there might be something “in it” for us (Luke 17:7-10).

True Christians have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We are all one body in Jesus (Romans 12:5, Galatians 3:28).  If we should have respect to persons, we commit sin (James 2:9).  It means we’re not following the example of Christ’s steps (1 Peter 2:21).  We’re still playing favorites – flattering others with insincere praise to further our personal interests. God shall cut off all such lips (Psalm 12:2-3).

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– See then that you walk circumspectly – not as fools, but as wise.  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:15-17

– Things never go wrong at the moment you expect them to.  When you are completely relaxed – totally oblivious to any potential danger – that’s when things go wrong. – C.K. Martin

Did you ever have a chore, job, or task – either where you worked or while at home – requiring your utmost concentration and focus throughout?  Maybe it was a major project necessitating continual communication between two or more people … perhaps pertaining to the construction of something.  Regardless of what it was, you knew that a steady hand, keen eye, and an attentive mind were called for at all times.

Whatever the nature, you knew one false move, any failure to follow a single step in a set of instructions – such as forgetting to turn something on or off at a precise time – could have catastrophic results.  One little slip – one bit of sloppiness could spell disaster. You knew you had to be alert and aware, carefully operating without haste – to keep something from falling down or apart – now or in the future.

All of this wariness described above fits the definition of being circumspect.  It is a word derived from both the Latin “circumspectus” – meaning to be cautious – and “circumspicere” – meaning to look around.  It is how all believers are to walk and follow Jesus – so we are not seen as fools in God’s eyes.  Our days on this earth are evil, and we must do everything we can to evade it (Matthew 6:34, lead passage).

In the classic country tune “I Walk the Line” sung by Johnny Cash, we hear these words: “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine – I keep my eyes wide open all the time.”  Lyrics like these could fit quite nicely into Proverbs.  Why?  God tells us to keep our heart with all diligence (constant care); for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).  The substance of a diligent man is precious (Proverbs 12:27).

God also tell us to keep our eyes wide open – always watching what’s going on around us.  Staying sober and vigilant as the devil roars around like a starving lion daily trying to devour even the most steadfast Christians (1 Peter 5:8-9).  We’re also to watch as we don’t know what hour Jesus is returning – and we don’t want to be found doing something other than His will (Matthew 24:42, Luke 12:43, Revelation 3:3).

Therefore, Christian circumspection is the quality of always being alert, wary, and on guard against things going wrong.  Unwilling to take any risks without thinking prudently beforehand about all possible consequences, prior to doing or saying anything.  It requires daily submission and humble obedience to God, persisting in prayer, and resisting Satan (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11-18).

It is a daily walk of weighing all possible outcomes against each other.  It is asking ourselves questions such as “Is this going to give an appearance of evil to another (1 Thessalonians 5:22)?”  Or, “Is this going to cause a brother or sister to stumble in their walk with God (Romans 14:21)?”  Just like Uzza, people we don’t even know can die if we fail to circumspectly seek His counsel first (1 Chronicles 13:3-11).

Circumspection means taking heed unto ourselves – diligently keeping our soul and God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 4:9, Joshua 22:5).  Continuing in His sound doctrine and speaking words becoming such – so we do not start doing things to the contrary (1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Timothy 4:16, Titus 2:1).  So we don’t get tossed to and fro – or get moved away to another gospel (Ephesians 4:14, Galatians 1:6)

Therefore, we are well-advised to take fast hold of God’s instructions, for such is our life (Proverbs 4:13, Proverbs 13:10).  If we do not, we will die, going astray in our greatness of our folly (Proverbs 5:23). Folly means lacking normal prudence or foresight.  If we are hasty in our spirit, we exalt this folly.  If we are circumspect, we are slow to wrath and of great understanding (Proverbs 14:29).

In today’s Christianity, any church presenting an image to their members of having fun, entertainment, and excitement with their faith, will likely find few circumspect Christians in their pews.  Circumspect believers are ready to hear God’s Word – not have a good time with it (Ecclesiastes 5:1).  A rocking, rowdy service is not their idea of church; much preferring a house of mourning – not mirth (Ecclesiastes 7:4).

Words such as fun, entertainment, and excitement don’t appear anywhere in the KJV.  Sober, vigilant, diligence, and watch are found several times.  Our Father warns us all against being spiritually asleep throughout Scripture.  For there is a sinister spirit by the name of Satan who must delight in sneaking up on snoozing or unrepentant saints to take captive at will (2 Timothy 2:25-26, Revelation 3:2-3).

Christians are to be children of the light – and of the day; not of the nighttime or darkness.  We are not to slumber spiritually – but to stay sober and watchful. Putting on our breastplate of faith and love, and salvation’s hope as a helmet (Ephesians 6:13-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).  Girding up the loins of our mind and staying sober to the very end in hopes of receiving His grace (Ephesians 2:8, 1 Peter 1:13).

The more we learn circumspection in our Christian life, the more it should reflect in what comes out of our mouths.  We have had our conversation in this world (2 Corinthians 1:12).  If our talk remains centered on worldly things, full of idle or idol words, we’re still minding earthly matters (Matthew 12:36, Philippians 3:19).  We’re still entangled with affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4).  Our walk will follow.

We cannot do this and be circumspect in all things as God commands according to His Word – for we are still talking about worldly gods such as favorite movie stars or pro athletes (Exodus 23:13).  We are still freely and foolishly following idolatry – not keeping ourselves from it by fleeing (1 John 5:21).  Far from circumspection, for we haven’t separated from such yet (1 Corinthians 10:14-15, 2 Corinthians 6:16-17).

Although God does not respect any person (Romans 2:11), it seems quite certain He is well-pleased when we have learned how to be circumspect.  Carefully walking around soberly and wide-awake daily (Titus 2:12) as we grow in His grace (2 Peter 3:18).  Not giving any place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27), and thoroughly thinking through all we say and do in keeping with His truth – ready to redeem our time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. – Proverbs 14:14

– Return, you backsliding children, and I (God) will heal your backslidings. – Jeremiah 3:22

Backsliding as a believer is never a positive thing – for it indicates still being filled with one’s own ways (lead verse).  It is slipping in personal faith – marking a heart, mind, and soul no longer earnestly heeding things first heard (Hebrews 2:1).  It feels like moving forward a few steps in faith some days, and tumbling backwards on others.  To and fro it goes – and it can become a perpetual path (Jeremiah 8:5).

Steady backsliding is caused by gravitating towards loving this world and its things again (1 John 2:15), or wavering back and forth between the world and Word (1 Corinthians 10:21).  It is not moving straight ahead towards salvation.  Traveling as such isn’t in accordance with God’s truth.  It signifies a moveable mind, a heart not set aright, and a spirit not steadfast with Him (Psalm 78:8, 1 Corinthians 15:58).

Such a course at any time demands a correction in direction.  A total turn-around towards God without shifting into reverse again somewhere down the road. It is an about-face setting affections on things above once again (Colossians 3:2).  Refusing to accept His assistance in healing any backsliding, or failure to heed instructions how to – is in err (second lead verse, Proverbs 10:17, Hebrews 12:25)

Backsliding indicates several undesirable attributes in a Christian.  It means one is relapsing into old and bad behavior (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It is losing resolve and giving into temptations – causing one to err once again against God’s ways (Psalm 95:10, James 1:14-16).  It’s an eternally dangerous departure from the narrow path to heaven, keeping one walking down the wide highway to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

The wicked one is always lying in wait for us when we slip.  Ready and willing to lead wavering, wandering, or backsliding believers away towards a shipwrecked faith (Ephesians 4:14, 2 Peter 3:17, 1 Timothy 1:19). Physical or spiritual, it is very difficult to salvage any vessel in such a state.  It’s hard to stand fast and live in the Lord if we’re ever spiritually drifting, slipping or falling away from God (1 Thessalonians 3:8).

God’s soul takes no pleasure in anyone drawing back from their faith (Hebrews 10:38, 11:6).  It signals falling for things of this world again, and fading away from the Word (1 John 2:15).  It is being unrepentant (Acts 17:30).  Walking with God in such a manner creates uncircumspect steps of stumbling and tripping along with the truth, paving a trail of much confusion (Ephesians 5:15, 1 Peter 2:6-8, 1 Corinthians 14:33).

Left continually unconfessed and unaddressed before God (1 John 1:9), backsliding makes us hold fast to our heart’s deceit from the womb (Jeremiah 8:5, Jeremiah 17:9) – refusing to search our ways and return to Him (Lamentations 3:40).  Sadly, some will still declare their salvation certain, despite walking so contrary to God; and constantly experiencing the pain of falling down a lot (Leviticus 26:23-24).

There really is a spiritual stairway with specific steps leading up heaven.  As the famous song mentions – there is still time to change the road we’re on – if it’s the wrong one.  If we should be sliding backwards more than moving ahead much, it can certainly feel like we are traveling along to the words of another old popular song by Paul Simon – “You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip, sliding away.”

However, if we follow these steps God’s way, He promises we will never fall, and an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into heaven (2 Peter 1:3-11).  It is why we must give diligence to make our calling and election as Christians sure (2 Peter 1:10).  Jesus warns we will be called robbers and thieves if we climb up any other way than God’s (John 10:1, Galatians 1:6).  Backsliding isn’t the right way.

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