Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Unstable in All His Ways"


I am studying the book of James and as with any book of the bible I believe that each has a distinct message in which the writer is trying to convey to the reader..I know that we should take in to account geography, time frame, audience, etc when trying to interpret the meaning of what is said...however I think an awful lot can be learned by just taking the words for what they are..I am not of the position that God requires you to be a scholar to understand His word. His word is meant and written for all people, regardless of the educational background we might come from..and so if we are truly desiring to read and understand His word, then the Holy Spirit will certainly help us translate what that meaning is and how it is meant for our life.. I noted in an earlier blog that the more time you spend in the word the deeper more transformative meaning you can glean from it...and that in no way contradicts what I am saying here..There are times in our life and spiritual growth we can handle the deeper meanings of God's word and there are other times that just below the surface is a mind full.. So as I was studying James Chapter 1:5-8, I found myself having one of this days where the meaning was very clear to me, sorta of enlightening if you will..I always love these days because I am inspired to take what I have learned and place it into application in my life and to share..This is usually when I would write Nicki and share with her the great truth and revelation I learned today...because it is exciting for me to feel engrossed with the Word and to have been given a mind able to understand enough to write it down in retrospect...


First let me share the actual passage and then allow me to offer up my understanding as it came to me today..


James 1:5-8 (English Standard Version)
5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways


I have written in previous blogs about Wisdom and what it means to apprehend it..This verse further expounds on the idea..See wisdom is not something that can be learned or is innate. It can not be acquired through patient hard work, utilizing careful observation and self discipline. Wisdom is a supernatural gift from God..It comes only by God..We need to first understand this.. If you look back thru the book of 1 Kings you will see a passage where Solomon had an encounter with God over this issue..and little did I know in my infantile state of biblical understanding that the reason we Christians consider Solomon the wisest of all is because he asked for wisdom and God granted it.. I always knew Solomon was considered the wisest, but never understood the reason why..I guess I just attributed it to his writings or the belief of others telling me he was..but in verses 9-12 Solomon as God for an understanding mind to govern God's people, to be able to discern between good and evil and this pleased God so much that he granted this to him..God was delighted that Solomon wasn't looking out for himself and did not ask for untold riches (although we know that later God also entrusted Solomon with wealth unimaginable)..God said " Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before and none like you shall rise after you". So here we can see Solomon seeking wisdom and God granting wisdom...wisdom of the ages in this case..

What this told me is no amount of education, studying God's word or piety will bring about wisdom in terms of how God sees it..It is a gift from God to those who ask for it. This knowledge is possible only because the Lord gives it to the upright. Thus, while wisdom is to be sought diligently and cultivated in practice, it is not something merited by the actions of an individual. According to scripture the first result in heeding wisdom is one will understand the fear of the Lord and that is necessary in order to have the proper perspective and motive as you move forward in your walk. Without a proper fear of the Lord, then you have not the foundation needed in order to build your faith..

Notice it says "it will be given him"...not probably, not if you ask it the right way, it will be..and also see he says without reproach.. God is not going to scold you for coming to him and asking for this..without reproach means without blame or disgrace..God does not want anyone to hesitate to come before Him...hence without reproach..


Now this is where I began to have the word come alive to me and speak to me directly and this can have the ability to get all up in your kitchen..so beware..

He says "let him ask in faith with no doubting.....for he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways"

Ok this is where the rubber meets the road...Either we believe in God's goodness and power or we don't..Doubt is simply another expression of disbelief in God...so when we doubt God will do as He says He will, we are being double-minded...that is to be believing in both God and the world(ourselves)..We waver back and forth..Somethings we believe God is capable and cares and somethings we believe He is incapable(or doesn't bother) and doesn't care...This is a VERY DANGEROUS place to be..The term that comes to my mind when reading this is Christian term called "lukewarm". Where we are sorta half in half out..Not totally sold out to God and His ways..still holding onto the world with some parts of ourselves being in control and not surrendered to Him..This can arise out of pure or impure thinking..meaning some of this wavering comes from a true disbelief and some comes from a "distorted truth". See in today's modern world, Truth is no longer truth..Truth is different for everyone and that kind of irrational thinking is exactly what James is warning against..We must be Solid in our understanding of Christian Doctrine, otherwise we are like gullible children tossed helplessly in waves and wind of cunning and deceitful schemes of false teachers..See some of us want God to be OK with certain parts of our life and not Ok with other parts..We want God on our terms and not His..that means we make God into whatever sort of fits our lifestyle and we reject the God of the bible..Let me provide an example or two..If we are a homosexual, then we might reject a God who condemns such behavior...Or say we lust with our eyes and commit adultery in our heart but think as long we did not touch, we are OK...I have heard many a men say something like this " We can read from the menu as long we don't order"..meaning we can look at other women as much as we want as long as that is as far as it goes..NO..that is a distorted view of God and his view of things.. God searches the heart not the actions per say..He is very concerned with what goes on in your inner being..This sort of manipulation of who God is is not only dangerous, but also deadly..We are not to be double-minded..We have a path in which we are to follow and narrow is its way..

Let me bring this home now.. James ends this verse by saying "unstable in all his ways." Now when I first read over this, I wasn't really sure what to make of it and almost concluded my study with some shallow understanding of that last phrase such as someone who just doesn't get it and will never fully understand God in all His glory..but just as I was about to conclude, I decided to dig a little deeper at the request of the Holy Spirit I can only presume and this is where I was able to truly make this fit my life and draw a real application from the study..


So I looked to see where this "unstable in all his ways" was further explained and I ran across

2 Peter 2:14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!

Their eyes desire adultery with virtually every woman they meet. insatiable for sin. Their appetite for sin is never satisfied. Even worse, they entice (Gk. deleaz┼Ź, “lure with bait”) unsteady people to join them in their debauchery. Sexual sin and greed characterize these false teachers (double-minded, Vending machine style God where you can choose the God to fit your lifestyle) Accursed children! Peter assures his readers that the heretics will face God's curse.

Those who operate on a loose truth of who God is and how He desires for us to live and act, are operating on a false teaching..Those who waver back and forth on God and the world(ourselves, man) are vulnerable to instability in their ways.. You will have an appetite for sin that is never satisfied..Sin is hard enough to deal with, but those who are lukewarm, double-minded are sinking their own ship..Those who are kind of Christian and kind of not, depending on what day it is and who they around are the ones who will be insatiable for sin, eyes full of adultery, unsteady souls.. Here is the point..Either you are for God or you are NOT.. There is no in between..You can't have it both ways because the only way is God's way..and anything short of that leads to "unstable in all his ways". If you are a man and you struggle with lustful eyes, then ask yourself if you are lukewarm for God..Is God the most important thing in your life or does He take a backseat to ballgames and work..If He is not priority #1, then you are unstable in all your ways..not some of your ways.....ALL OF YOUR WAYS..Man that is huge..Get your life right with God and allow Him to steady your life..to remove the insatiable desire for sin.. If you are a woman and struggle with submission...ask yourself is God my focus always all day..Do you place God on the back burner when you have those little itty bitty gossip sessions with your girlfriends about your undeserving husband or that friend whom you ridicule behind her back and would be hurt if she/he were to be present.. God is all knowing and all things are visible to Him..maybe not to us..so when we choose to place God second or third in our life and our desire to follow him is diminished or rejected because we feel like no one will know or God will be OK with this because He is a loving God and not a jealous or just God, then understand that you are living a double minded life and that is a life subject to God's judgement. If you want to be free from the bondage of Sin, you must commit fully and totally to Him, the Creator and Sustainer of Life..There are no shortcuts..and God is NOT a vending machine suitable only when we deem so and need Him or don't need Him


God I pray that you alone will rule and reign in my heart, and that you alone are glorified and lifted up, rightfully so, deservedly so..Lord may I be of one mind with you and may the fruit of my life be representative of the flowing waters of your grace and mercy...and let there be no doubt as to my allegiance and my love for You..Lord I ask for the wisdom that can only come from you and that any doubt I have about Your Goodness or Your Power will be removed forever more so that I can stand firm, knowing and trusting in you with ALL things.

In Christ's name I pray

Amen


EB
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