Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
The goal of life with God is more—more of His presence, more of His love, more of Him.
The antithesis of this goal is double-mindedness. At the heart of a double-minded person is a fragmented self—a self that is being pulled in all different directions. Such a person will often do many good and seemingly spiritual things while holding parts of their life in reserve, because there are things which they simply refuse to give up for God.
Basically, double-mindedness is the negotiated religion of the fragmented self—give a little to God, a little to others, and hold back the rest for yourself.
The problem with double-mindedness, of course, is that it belittles God and isolates us from others because it renders us incapable of real relationship.
You see, God is infinitely worthy of your best, your all—and by association so is His church. In the book of Malachi, God rebukes the priests for offering temple sacrifices that were unworthy of Him. He says, “Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations” (Mal. 1:14). It would seem that God is not interested in negotiating. He is insulted by double-mindedness among His royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9).
But isn’t this exactly what we so often do? We come to church on Sunday, and sing and pray and listen to the preaching of the Word, all the while God and His church do not have our all. The fragmented manner in which we conduct our time, money, energy, and relationships provides ample evidence that we are offering to our great King an unworthy sacrifice.
You will be spiritually and relationally stunted as long as double-mindedness remains, for it is the archenemy of life with God.
Thankfully, the book of James gives us a pattern by which our hearts can be made whole: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. That’s where cleansing from the sin of double-mindedness can always be found. Better yet, it is where we experience God Himself—more of life with Him.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- Life with God and life in the church are profoundly interrelated. The more fragmented you are, the more depleted you become, having little to give to those around you. This lack of self-giving is a common result of double-mindedness. Conversely, those who experience the “more” of life with God seem to always have more of themselves to give. Do you ever find yourself withdrawing and isolating yourself from God and from others? Do you ever resort to binging on entertainment when you should be engaging? Do you ever avoid church gatherings, serving opportunities, or Community Group because you feel depleted from giving yourself to other things?
- As you consider these questions, ask God to search you and expose any double-mindedness in your life. If or when He does, repent specifically, decisively, and thoroughly. Then prayerfully consider how the patterns of your life might change. For some of us, this may mean taking on more responsibility in the church, while for others it may mean doing the same things but differently—with a different perspective or attitude.
- Pray for LifePoint, that we would gather this Sunday ready and willing to give our all to Him. Ask that as we draw near to Him, He would draw near to us with grace to cleanse and renew us to worship Him wholeheartedly as a church.
Set List for Sunday, May 05, 2019:
- Kingdom Come (Lift Up Your Heads) (R. di Castiglione)
- In the Hands of Christ My King (C. Collins, M. Dawes, A. Ivey, B. Land)
- Worthy Of Your Name (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
- I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) (C. H. Gabriel, C. Tomlin)
- Yes And Amen (T. Brown, C. McClarney, N. Moore)