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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’


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)

– Though he (Jesus) were a Son, he learned obedience by the things he suffered.  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them who obey him. – Hebrews 5:8-9

– “Obedience is the virtue that determines whether a person is a servant or a rebel.  Life of integrity is built on obedience of God’s statutes – and nothing else.” – Israelmore Ayivor

Obedience to God is mandatory for the salvation of all people.  We either mind God, or we don’t.  If we say we love the Lord, we obey His voice always, no matter what may be going on in life (Jeremiah 42:6). Obedience to the Word is the way of our life; it is the length of our days (Deuteronomy 30:20).  Obedience to the world is the way of rebellion; the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).

Never again will God offer us another sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:12).  If we should willfully sin as Christians, we are being rebellious and disobedient (Hebrews 10:26).  We are offending God.  We have gone backwards towards behaving like our former self (Jeremiah 7:24).  We have said to God we can do what we want, because we’re believers (Romans 6:1, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16, Jude 1:4).

Yes, we are still going to slip up and sin because of our flawed flesh (Romans 7:18).  Just because the Spirit is dwelling in us by faith – doesn’t mean we won’t do things contrary to it (Romans 7:19-20, Galatians 5:17, 1 John 1:8,10).  We have to be extremely mindful when we do sin – and confess it to God.  So we can receive His forgiveness.  So He can cleanse us – and correct us (1 John 1:9).

So we learn to obey God, and not offend Him by repeating the same old sins over and over (Job 34:31).  Obedience means we repent from, and remit our sins.  Without zealously doing this daily, we’re disobeying God (Acts 17:30, Revelation 3:19).  Every disobedient act is a fall from repentance.  It is like hanging Christ back up on the Cross – and putting God to open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).

It’s hard to learn Jesus if we decide we can be disobedient whenever we want to (Ephesians 4:20-32).  How can we ever expect to follow the example of Christ’s steps (1 Peter 2:21), if we keep falling down – or stumbling on – the steps of the spiritual staircase to heaven through continued acts of rebellion?  Disobedience is rebellion.  It is not climbing the right way (John 10:1, 2 Peter 1:5-10).

God doesn’t need our help (Job 4:18, Isaiah 43:13). It is better to obey than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). No matter what works we are doing in His name – they mean nothing without obedience.  The reason for all our faith is the death and resurrection of Christ.  It is all vanity without this (1 Corinthians 15:13-17).  We are to make obedience of faith known to all nations first (Romans 16:25-26).

Edwin Cole once wrote, “Obedience is an act of faith; disobedience is the result of unbelief.”  If we say we believe in Jesus – then our obedience is not an option.  It is a demonstration of faith.  If we balk at having to behave the way we are commanded – then we do not have very much belief.  Any disobedience still signals ignorance and unbelief in us about the eternal wages of sin (Romans 6:23).

One obedient act shows belief.  One disobedient act doesn’t; it is a lack of discipline.  Abiding belief is required for God to do mighty works for us.  Jesus was rejected in Nazareth, and would not do mighty works there because of people’s unbelief (Matthew 13:53-58).  Also, if we ourselves want to work for God, we have to show belief in Christ first by obeying the truth (John 6:28-29, Galatians 3:1).

God warns us to take heed, lest there be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief as Christians (Hebrews 3:12).  We all came to the Cross with desperately wicked and deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) – and they stay that way if we keep disobeying.  God once winked at us in our times of ignorance about the disobedience of sin – but now commands all men to repent through obedience (Acts 17:30).

Obedience is the difference between our eternal deliverance and eternal damnation (lead verse). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  The salvation of our souls is the end result of it – not the start, or the mid-way point (1 Peter 1:9). We have to remain steadfast in our confidence (which means “with faith”) unto the end, to be made partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:14).

Hoping to that day for our Father’s grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:13).  Just like Jesus did, we have to remain as humble and obedient children unto death; no longer fashioning ourselves to former lusts in ignorance (Philippians 2:8, 1 Peter 1:14).  We all once walked this way sometimes – but we can’t anymore without consequences (Colossians 3:7).

Obedience means we put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy; and all filthy talk.  We are not to lie, one to another anymore (Colossians 3;8-9).  We are not to let ourselves be deceived by man’s vain words.  All for which things’ sake God’s wrath comes on the children of unbelief and disobedience – prayerfully not forever (Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, Jude 1:3-7, Revelation 21:8).

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– Now to him that works is the reward – not reckoned of grace – but of debt. – Romans 4:4

“So likewise you – when you have done all those things which are commanded you – say, ‘We are unprofitable servants – we have done that which was our duty to do’ (Luke 17:10).”  As Christians, we should never expect nor make it our motivation – to receive heavenly blessings or rewards down here on earth for every single thing we do for and in His name.  This is nothing more than conditional obedience.

It’s saying to the Almighty that we will “do something for Him” – but only if we receive something back in this world from our Lord.  Even if we are giving everyone else an outward appearance of total servitude and submissiveness – God always knows the imagination of our hearts and thoughts – He discerns our every intent and motivation for doing anything in this life (Ezekiel 11:5, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).

If our internal desires are of fleeting and worldly fame, fortune, and riches – even within any ministry – these are all temporal. They may be highly esteemed among man – but they are an abomination to God (Luke 16:15).  We brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7). What does it profit any of us if we gain the whole world – even as Christians – and lose our soul (Matthew 16:26)?

In Luke 17, Jesus used the parable of the unprofitable servant (Luke 17:7-10) to show the disciples that any laboring for the Lord is a duty – not a profitable profession (Job 21:15, Job 35:3, Ecclesiastes 3:9, Malachi 3;14).  Desires for worldly goods will make us go after worldly gods and other vain things that cannot profit us and deliver us in the end (1 Samuel 12:21).  It can be very damaging, dangerous, and deceitful to us and others if we ever start comparing and equating rewards and benefits that typically result from a corporate work ethic – with those of a Christian one.  They are not the same.

Any labor we do for the Lord above is our reward – not a means to get one down below (Romans 4:4).  God does not “owe” anybody anything – He gave us everything He could ever possibly give us with the birth, life, death, and resurrection of His only Son (John 3:16).  It is the only hope any of us have of eternal life – and overcoming the corruption and pollution of a world that will one day be remembered no more.  This was all promised to us by God before this earth was ever created (Isaiah 65:17, Titus 1:2, 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Peter 2:20, 2 Peter 3:13, 1 John 5;4-10)

We have a debt we can never repay (Romans 4:4)  The entire earth could toil in His name around the clock for the next 1,000 years – and it would be nothing more than a vain show in comparison to what was accomplished in one day at Calvary (Psalm 39:5) .  Christians have an incorruptible inheritance reserved in heaven (2 Peter 1:4).   Any rewards for any work done in His name here on earth – await us in heaven – where neither moth nor rust corrupt (Matthew 6:20).   We toil to obtain an eternal crown of glory above (1 Corinthians 9:25),   The sweetest words we can ever hear will be when God smiles at us on that day and says “Well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21).”

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