Skip to content

1

Lusts of the flesh food vs weightloss

I began to experiment with bulimia

For most of my life I had struggled with a love for food. I remember being a teenager and buying several Mars bars and going into the school bathroom to hide while I ate them. I knew that eating Mars bars was not wrong and no one would condemn me for eating them. It was how many I ate and how badly I wanted them that was the problem. I had certain friends that I could eat with who did not mind me pounding back a huge bag of chips, old-fashioned donuts, and chocolate. In fact, they were happy to enjoy those treats with me. But I often felt guilty or uncomfortable with myself after.

For years, I would be confused when I would offer people a brownie or some other snack and they would say, “No, thank you. I’m not hungry.” I can honestly remember the day I thought “What does that have to do with anything?” It did not matter to me if I was hungry or not. It was the pleasure, enjoyment, and satisfaction that food offered that drew me, not the hunger. My weight would go up and down. I spent a great deal of time thinking about food—planning what I was going to eat, longing for food, and thinking of my next meal. This continued for years.

I couldn’t understand what was happening and found myself continually questioning God.

I began to experiment with bulimia, making myself sick after eating to get rid of the food—but I felt terrible after doing this, too. It was at this point I began to sense something was wrong. I remember praying and asking God for help but did not sense any freedom. I phoned my father and confessed what was happening. He prayed with me, but again I did not sense any freedom. It was as if there was a noose around my neck, not tight enough to choke the life out of me, but tight enough that I could not get free.

I had always enjoyed God’s presence and my prayer times were filled with joy, love, and tears that came in intimate and close moments. What moved His heart moved mine and I enjoyed Him. But I had hit a wall and I could not grow closer to Him. It was as though my prayers went up to heaven, hit a brass ceiling, and fell back to the earth. I couldn’t understand what was happening and found myself continually questioning God.

As my questioning continued, I decided to go down to the local Christian bookstore. I enjoyed the sense of God’s presence that rested in the store as I wandered through the aisles. I found a book for a friend that was going through a devastating time. But beside that book was another book by John Bevere . I pulled the book off the shelf and flipped it over to read the back cover, only to find the question: “Do the heavens feel like brass?”  It was the exact phrase that had been filling my mind! I quickly paid for the book with the expectation that through its pages God would reveal the mystery of His distance.

That night I took my book to bed and began to read. After only a few pages the Lord released an understanding into my mind and my heart. His distance was because of my love for food. I had no idea the two were related! I had wounded Him and myself, and the realization made me cry. My heart agreed with His word.  I repented and confessed to God with a complete brokenness, “I love food more than You.” I rolled onto my side, wept, and fell asleep.

It was three days before I realized there had been a change: I had not thought about food for three days. I had a new clarity and quietness of mind.  I had only eaten when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. By the time Sunday rolled around, as I dressed for church, I realized I had already lost weight and it had not even been on my mind. A new joy welled up inside me. My love for Jesus had returned and we were in great communication. The joy was so vast that I stood up to testify at church what God had done in my life. The joy of Jesus’ love went through our congregation with celebration. Within two-and-a-half months, I lost fifty pounds.

Some may call that much weight loss in such little time unhealthy, but I simply ate when my body called for fuel and stopped when I felt the first bite or two of fullness.  This is God’s glorious mechanism for the human body to manage and fuel itself. God builds everything well, including the human body. His yoke was easy for me, and His burden was light. The truth is simple, but people complicate it with divided loyalties; they don’t see the benefit of living in the truth when they want something else more. My heart had been divided, my loyalty split between God and food. But God healed my divided heart and brought me to victory through repentance and eating His way. 

Indulgence in the flesh begins after the point of “enough.” It will start small and seem harmless at first but will begin to divide your heart just a little. But Jesus is not content to have part of your heart. He wants your whole heart and will pursue it. Satan knows He needs only a bit to divide and compromise your faith and create doubt in God, which could prevent you from fulfilling your God-given assignments with peace, confidence and joy.

Would I have crucified my Son if I did not truly want to forgive and restore my children?

Love and Adultery

The Lord has given all of Himself in an unfathomable way. He withheld nothing, including His Son, who also holds nothing back from those He loves. When a person enters a relationship with Jesus, he or she enters a relationship with someone whose love cannot be measured because it is eternal. The one who loves more is wounded more when that love is shared with an outside third party. I was looking to a third party named “food” for fulfillment, pleasure, joy, and satisfaction—the definition of adultery. Like Eve, I had been tempted with the promise of something I already had, and away from pure and simple devotion to Christ. However, only in God’s presence did I find fullness of joy.

The Word of God works the same for believers today as it did with Jesus in the first century. Satan may tempt a person to enjoy one more helping of food, one extra glass of wine, or one little look at that good-looking person. He may entice someone to view just a little bit of sex, take that pain killer to relax, or spend extra time sleeping beyond what is needed. He will lure people to make a little more money or tell a small lie to reach a goal. He will even use things like video streaming services and social media to lure people into laziness.

Satan’s best tactic is making a person think something is good and will satisfy his or her desires. In reality, God says:

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

— James 1:16-17, ESV
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Resist the lies of the enemy. God’s plan and the joy of peace that comes from trusting Him are better than anything Satan can offer. Satan’s lies are insidious traps constructed to sabotage every incredible opportunity God gives you to be an answer to the lost people in this world. 

God is Ready to Unite Your Heart

One day I was listening to the Lord and He told me something: “Would I have crucified my Son if I did not truly want to forgive and restore my children? Was I only half-hearted in my desire and my decision? Yet my children are afraid to come. They think I won’t want to forgive them, that they must wrestle it out of me. I delight to forgive them and renew a right and steadfast spirit within them.”

Perhaps, like my experience with food, you can no longer continue down the path of sin. Your Savior is mighty to save; He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:18). If it’s tough right now, you are a perfect candidate for the goodness of God in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to break that loyalty to the lust of the flesh in your life. The Holy Spirit is with you, ready to highlight sin to confess. Let Him come and speak,unite your heart and make it one again. He takes no pleasure in making you feel condemned or miserable and unworthy. Rather, God’s Word says He will restore your soul and will lead you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). He longs to forgive . . . forgiveness is who He is.

You are here to change the landscape of this world to match the landscape of heaven—and there is no greater joy in life! However, it will take undivided faith from an undivided heart to jump into the unknown. If you are ready to jump, know that in the invisible spiritual realm, the arms of your trustworthy Father are waiting to catch you as you believe with a fidelity. Do not share your heart with His enemy. Keep it for Jesus alone.  Wholeheartedly His!

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. Lord, how are You pursuing my whole heart right now?
  2. How is the enemy pursuing even a small bit of my heart?
  3. What words or sword of the Spirit do I need to use to cut off the second head?
  4. When I cut off the second head, what does this do to Your heart as my God and my first love?

Next week we are talking about stability! You can have the best of intentions in remaining steadfast in the Lord, but whether you are able to stand firm or not depends on what you are standing on and its stability. Standing on a surfboard in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with waves swelling up and down will make standing firm more difficult. Conversely, standing on the Great Wall of China in a windstorm will not be a problem. What is the difference? The stability of what you are standing on.  Will it be the pride of life, fear of man and navigating that ocean? Or the stability of Christ and His God-ordained mission and opinion of you? Stay tuned!

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.

1

Cutting off the second head of double-mindedness

During one season, I was experiencing an intense doubt in believing God and that His promises and leadings would come to pass in my life. I was afraid to step into my calling due to the fear of man.  Finally, one day it came to a head. I was in the dumps, miserable, unbelieving, and untrusting—and there is no joy or peace when choosing not to trust God, I’ll tell you that! On this day, the battle was thick.

Double-mindedness will always pull you away from your loyalty to God

I probably should have sought God more personally, but instead, I took the easy way out and called my aunt. She and Jesus are very close; she submits her whole life to Him. Well, God knew I would fail in my faith, and “The Great Set Up” was about to begin. She answered after a few rings, but before I could say a word, my aunt relayed an intense dream she had the night before. In her dream, she had two heads. She had to take a sword and cut off one of the heads. It was gruesome. My aunt is sweet and kind and cutting anything but chicken for dinner is horrific for her!  This was a prophetic picture of double-mindedness and was a modern-day parable, sent by God, to set me free. I was going to need to cut off the second head in the next season of my life if I wanted that freedom! And so will you!

James wrote that those who doubt are like “a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind,” and they are “double-minded” and “unstable.” The word “double-minded” comes from the Greek word dipsuchos (Strong’s G1364, G5590) and means, “to be two-souled or two-headed and two-minded, wavering, uncertain, or having a divided interest/loyalty.” In short, to doubt or be double-minded is to have two minds on a matter, two loyalties and to waver between two opinions.

Double-Minded Definition greek word dipsuchos

I think of Elijah who said to Israel, "How long will you waver between two opinions. If the Lord is God serve Him. If Baal is God serve Him." (1 Kings 18:21) It was an appeal to the undecided; to those who were invested in both gods but loyal to neither.

What are some common examples of double-mindedness?  Perhaps you want to move forward in your dreams but are afraid of numerous unknowns.  You may want to get out of debt and make commitments to do so, but then overspend repeatedly because items you wanted are now on sale.  You daily commit to losing weight but then binge before the day is out. You decide you want to be a better parent but keep picking up your phone and extensively view your social media.  Maybe you are feeling to go into ministry but you are afraid that God won’t provide. Or you have a dream on your heart but you poll others around you because you are full of doubt and crave safety or have a man-pleasing mindset.

Double-mindedness will always pull you away from your loyalty to God and cause you to waver regarding the right actions you want to take in life.  It can cause you to feel confusion, anxiety, discouragement, unbelief, and doubt in God. It is with the heart one believes, for the heart is where God places His gift of faith.  If Satan can divide your heart, he can divide your faith, cause you to waver in unbelief, and keep you out of your destiny.

James vividly describes the double-minded person using imagery of a surging wave, tossed back and forth by the wind. The person whose loyalty is divided both affirms and denies God’s truth. The New Bible Commentary calls this inner cleavage to two loyalties “doubt.” Those who doubt rise to the heavens to receive the promise—but they plunge to the depths, equally sure it will not be fulfilled. James taught that followers of Jesus should not be double-minded, believing God one minute and doubting Him the next and explained how double-mindedness creates instability in a person’s life.  He paints for us a strong word picture of this internal battle of divided loyalty:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

— James 1:5-8, NKJV

                                                                                                          

James explains to us that the root of double-mindedness is in the purity of the heart and that it is up to us to purify it:

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 — James 4:7-8, NKJV

                                                                                                    

James declared that if you, as a believer, resist Satan, he must leave. The best model for resisting the devil is Jesus. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He fought the battle with the Word of God. He puts His Father’s will and His people’s needs above His own desires by using the Word of God to cut off the second head, with its loyalties and temptations. The writer of Hebrews affirmed the power of the Word of God to fight the enemy:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

— Hebrews 4:12, NASB

                                                                                                   

Before you get discouraged about double-mindedness and purifying your heart, consider these delicious rewards the Lord has waiting for you.  

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

— Matt. 5:8, NASB

           

And again,

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!  

— John 1:47, AMP

Nathanael was pure in heart, no deceitfulness of sin and no duplicity.  Duplicity means two-faced, two-timing, playing both sides, and double-minded.  His purity of heart earned him a personal, one on one encounter with Jesus Christ.  Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. The Father showed Jesus Nathanael under a tree because before Nathanael had even heard of Jesus, the Father had already set up the reward; seeing God - The Son, Jesus Christ.  That’s quite a reward! God is no respecter of persons. What He does for one child, He will do for another. It is in the bible to show you what's available to you and His willingness to do it.

Here's a little link with Mark Virkler, international leader and influencer on hearing God's voice and receiving with ease. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8czdKN4U0hc&t=10s

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. Lord, am I trying to medicate doubt with constant encouragement?
  2. Lord, where is my heart obedient and soft to You?
  3. Tell me more about the race You have marked out for me.
  4. Am I willing to cut off any second head/ mistress wooing my away heart from You?  Even if it has had some benefits for a season? Your word says You put in us the will to do and to act according to Your good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).  I give you permission to put into me the will to do and the power to act!
  5. Lord Jesus, will you help me forgo all the benefits a mistress can bring and return to my pure and simple devotion to You, my First Love? Assure me and give me a confirmation of Your pleasure to do this in my life.

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.

Curious about next week's topic? Tyrelle will share how Jesus set her free from her an eating disorder and filled her life with freedom and new purpose and how He can do it for you!

2

Double Minded To Destiny Blog series Day 3

In this world there are countless people and social media messages that constantly encourage: “You can do it; God is with you. Follow your dreams; they are from God!” And they are right! Daily, I would seek this encouragement to medicate and treat the doubt I was facing.   This may be the case with you as well.  But if the challenge is rooted in divided loyalty, it cannot be fixed with constant encouragement. The problem that first brought the division is what must be fixed - the love of the world.  Once the problem is dealt with, it will be possible to stand firm, believe God, and accomplish God-given dreams and assignments.

What is the Love of the World? God defines the love of the world in 1 John, along with a caution for His children:

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.                                                                               

— 1 John 2:15–17, NLT

The love of the world is associated with an antichrist spirit or mindset. The term “anti” in the Greek (Strong’s G473) can mean both “against” and “in place of.” An antichrist spirit is opposite to Christ. It is self-seeking. When Satan wanted to usurp God’s throne, he did so out of selfish motive and ambition.  Jesus defined the greatest love as a person’s willingness to lay down his or her life for a friend. This is not the “gimme-gimme” attitude of Satan. Satan looked at what he could take, while Jesus looked for what He could give and how He could serve. 

The harm is not in the size of the fruit or sin, it’s in the luring away from God

Jesus did not look out for His own interests. He looked out for ours. He gave up His position and the pride of life to become a humble and obedient servant. No wonder God says that friendship with the world—the spirit of antichrist—is enmity with God, and that whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4). It’s because the heart behind it is so opposite to God’s. What fellowship has light with darkness? None at all. 

Satan tried this on both Eve and Jesus with different results. Remember that if Satan can divide your heart, then he can divide your faith and faith is needed to fulfill your destiny.  He doesn’t need a huge part of your heart, just a little of your loyalty, longing and devotion. There’s lots of fruit on a fruit tree, but he only had to get Eve to take a single bite of one puny little apple.  The harm is not in the size of the fruit or sin, it’s in the luring away from God by temptation. He tempted Eve to pursue her own sense of godhead and to be like God. Satan deceived her and she was led astray from her simple devotion to the Lord to a “gimme-gimme” mindset:

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

— 2 Corinthians 11:3, NIV

Eve was tempted in three ways. This temptation lured her away from loyalty to God to loyalty to herself. This is an antichrist mindset—Eve put things in God’s place within her heart. These methods of temptation are at work today and are the same temptations Jesus had to overcome. The website gotquestions.org succinctly explains: 

Eve was tempted by the serpent to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve perceived that the fruit was “good for food,” “pleasing to the eye,” and “desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6). She coveted the fruit in three ways. First, it was appealing to her appetite. John refers to this as the “lust of the flesh,” the desire for that which satisfies any of the physical needs. The fruit was also pleasing or delightful to the eye, that which we see and desire to own or possess. Here is the “lust of the eyes” John refers to. Finally, Eve somehow perceived that the fruit would make her wise, giving her a wisdom beyond her own. Part of Satan’s lie was that eating the fruit would make her “like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5).

Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh, bread for His hunger (Matt. 4:2–3), the lust of the eyes, “all the kingdoms of the world with their splendor” (Matt. 4:8–9), and the pride of life, daring Him to cast Himself from the roof of the Temple in order to prove that He was the Messiah by an ostentatious display of power that was not in the will of God or His plan for the redemption of mankind (Matt. 4:5–6). But Jesus, though He was “tempted in every way, just as we are” (Heb. 4:15), resisted the devil and used the Word of God to ensure victory over him.

God is committed to you

Christians have always been, and will always be, lured by the same three temptations Eve and Jesus experienced. Satan doesn’t change his methods; he doesn’t have to because they continue to be successful. He tempts us with the lust of the flesh—sexual gratification, gluttony, excessive alcohol consumption, and drugs, both legal and illegal, as well as the “deeds of the flesh” about which Paul warned the Galatians, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Gal. 5:19–21).[1]

TemptationsEveJesus
1 John 2:16Genesis 3Matthew 4
"lust of the flesh""good for food"(v6)"Command these stones to become bread" (v3)
"lust of the eyes""pleasing to the eye"(v6) "showed him all the kingdoms"(v8)
"The pride of life""desirable for wisdom" (v6)"throw yourself down" (v6)

Faith comes by hearing God.  This love of the world opposes the love of God; like a nattering mistress, it can drown out God’s voice, lure you away from fidelity to your God who gives you the faith in the first place, and cause you to become calloused to your first love: Jesus Christ. Just as a mistress hardens a man’s heart toward his wife and prevents him from fulfilling his marital commitment, so sin hardens our heart toward God, making it difficult for us to finish our commitment to Him.  

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

— Hebrews 12:1, NIV

This hardening or resistance can lead to rebellion that will hinder you from being obedient to God. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:

You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.  

— Hebrews 3:13, 18–19, NLT

But God is committed to you, and as you commit to Him, cast off the sin that entangles, you will finish the wonderful race marked out for you-your destiny.  Obedience keeps our hearts undivided and soft, beating in time with God’s heart. It enables you to fully access the incredible deposit of faith God has given you to live out your assignments—and to receive the blessings He is waiting to pour out. 

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. Lord, am I trying to medicate doubt with constant encouragement?
  2. Lord, where is my heart obedient and soft to You?
  3. Tell me more about the race You have marked out for me.
  4. Am I willing to cut off any second head/ mistress wooing my away heart from You?  Even if it has had some benefits for a season? Your word says You work in us the will to do and to act according to Your good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).  I give you permission to work and put into me the will to do and act!
  5. Lord Jesus, will you help me forgo all the benefits a mistress can bring and return to my pure and simple devotion to You, my First Love? Assure me and give me a confirmation of Your pleasure to do this in my life.

Next week, I will share the prophetic dream God used to launch a new life into single-mindedness. I think my fabulous auntie will be awfully surprised to see herself in next weeks blog.... shhhh! She's also in the BOOK! I'll give you a hint, it involves a sword and a wee bit of BLOOD! OK, a lot of blood! But that's wild, wonderful victory for ya. It's always on the other side of the battle. See ya next week!

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.


[1] GotQuestions.org. N.p., 26 May 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.

1

Have you ever watched a show where someone is in love with two people?  The producers of the show have developed the story line so well that you sit on the edge of your seat.  Tension builds inside you as you wonder who they will choose. From scene to scene, they are tossed back and forth in their emotions and just when they are about to choose, they begin to doubt, end up not deciding, then season two starts and the cycle begins all over again! Very disheartening! This back-n-forth cycle is common among Christians but God is both authoring and it's demise, not just in your life but throughout the nations of the earth. His children are about to go free!

Double-mindedness means: to be devoted to or love two people or two things. It’s like having both a spouse and a lover. When two people love each other so much that they desire to commit to each other in a deep, intimate, and exclusive way, marriage is the next step. When you come to Jesus, you are entering a covenant.  He is faithful to you and like any good husband, He is jealous for you, His bride. 

“physical adultery” is not where the adultery occurred.

Many new couples start strong, but soon life begins to impact their relationship; bills and responsibilities can affect the couple’s interactions. Marital love is meant to deepen beyond the early infatuation stage; commitment starts to take a bigger role than feelings as the couple faces obstacles. But sometimes something else happens. One person in the marriage may start to miss the “zing of the fling” from when they first met and become vulnerable to other affections. Soon another person may catch their interest and through various chats, smiles, and pleasant words. A shared attraction may be birthed. When that mutual attraction becomes more concrete, one person might take the leap and invite the other to deepen the connection through coffees, then lunches, and perhaps dinners—and soon they will cross the line into something physical. Their hearts may begin to develop an affection that creates a greater and greater attachment. However, “physical adultery” is not where the adultery occurred. The adultery occurred when the heart was led astray by its own desires for the “zing of the fling.” James put it this way:

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

— James 1:14, NLT

Does this person stop loving his or her spouse? Not usually. Often their love is still quite intense. But one spouse’s heart has become divided. This is where conflict, wavering doubts and instability take root within the adulterer.

A Picture of a Divided Heart

I remember when the Holy Spirit gave me a picture to understand the concept better. Imagine a man in the above scenario. He has a wife whom he loves standing on one side of him and his mistress on the other. Each woman is holding tightly to one of his arms. Each love is pulling him back and forth demanding his commitment and fidelity, making him literally unstable and unable to stand firm; he is at the mercy of both loves. He cannot decide which woman he wants more because he has given himself—his heart and loyalty—to each. He is invested in both.

This is a picture of double-mindedness.  The insecurity of not being able to decide between your loyalties may motivate you to poll others around you. But polling others will do nothing to safeguard your mind from the constant reasoning and doubt of deciding.  Your love for both loyalties will speak to your thoughts and pull you back and forth. The two loyalties will continually natter at you to choose. This can cause mental torment and obsessive thinking and exhaust you emotionally and physically. Making decisions based on your love for both will lead to confusion, and you will not feel at rest.

Think of it this way.  The Bible teaches that out of the abundance of a person’s heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). When your heart is divided between two loyalties, it is like having two mouths and thus two heads speaking two arguing viewpoints.  Imagine having two heads, one speaking the mind of Christ and the other nattering the desires of the world and of the enemy. To remain in a place of peace, there cannot be two nattering heads talking at the same time. 

It’s like soldiers fighting a war who are loyal to both sides; victory on the battlefield is impossible

One head speaks truth loyally for God, saying that with God all things are possible. He can be trusted, and He will do what He says. This head whispers for us to simply trust and obey God. The other head springs from a loyalty to the world rooted in selfish desires that has an antichrist spirit in nature; this head does not believe the things of God. It woos us to question God’s Word and draw us away from Jesus and into our own desires. Jesus warned against a split in devotion, saying, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). Jesus’ nature is giving, but the love of the world is selfish; because of this, they will always be at war within the person who is devoted to both. It’s like soldiers fighting a war who are loyal to both sides; victory on the battlefield is impossible.  If you want to win, you must commit to one and one only. God is ready to help you fully to Him.

Grab a coffee, a pen and some paper and treat yourself to some stillness. Listen quietly and just write.

Here is a link if this is new to you. Hearing God's voice 8 minute video. Mark Virkler has an international ministry that has taught on hearing God's voice for over 30 years. He is a tremendous blessing. Enjoy.

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. Lord Jesus, will You help me root out the sources of my double-mindedness?
  2. Lord, what mistresses do I have that pull me away from You?
  3. Where do I feel tossed about and unsettled?
  4. What area of my life do I experience the most doubt?
  5. Is doubt affecting my ability to commit? Am I stuck in a cycle of indecision or doubt?
  6. Ask the Lord to lead you from double-mindedness into your destiny.

Stay Tuned! Next Week we will be covering "The Love of the World and Cutting off the Second Head" It is a foundational teaching to prepare you to cut off the second head that leads you into double-mindedness. We aren't quite ready to pull out the swords just yet. But stick with me here and begin to pray daily that the Lord will prepare your heart and your mind for all of the next steps as you journey From Double-minded to Destiny! You are going to win!

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.

4

Day 1: A Nail in a Sure Place - The Faithfulness and Single-mindedness of God

Do you struggle with doubts, unbelief, and confusion?  Do fear and hesitancy inhibit your steps of faith? Do you feel like you waver back and forth on matters?  Do your thoughts race like a hamster on a wheel but leave you exhausted and no further ahead? Do you feel tossed to and fro or struggle to make decisions and then keep them?  These are symptoms of double-mindedness and you are not alone. Don’t worry! It is treatable and you can become single-minded and full of faith!

Now, here’s the truth-the real deal.  Everyone experiences doubt, but it’s possible to stop wavering and even grow strong and steadfast in your faith! Look at Abraham of whom it is said:

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God

—Rom. 4:20, ESV

He grew!  He grew! He grew!  He grew strong in his faith!  And so can you. Now that’s Good News! God desires His children be single-minded, unwavering, devoted to and loving Him with “all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  God uses Isaiah the prophet to illustrate what stability and single-mindedness look like saying, “I will make him like a nail in a sure place” (Is. 22:23). A nail in a sure place does not waver but remains both fixed and firm.

A Nail in a Sure Place

The phrase “a nail in a sure place” which is woven throughout this series comes from a beautiful passage written by the prophet Isaiah:

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.”

— Isaiah 22:22–24, KJV

The word “sure” in Isaiah 22:23 is the same word aman, meaning “to believe” is defined as: firm, fixed, committed, established, trust, trustworthy, and fidelity. Some translations use the words “firm" place, but it is still aman. It is God who drives the believer into a “sure” place. But what is that sure place? What is God driving or fastening in the believer into?

In the same way, God drives or fastens followers of Jesus like a nail in a sure place. The nail is strong, but it is what the nail is buried in that is more secure. What the nail is fastened to is what allows it to withstand great pressure and not break loose and drop what it is holding. The peg is useless unless it is fastened to something steadfast and immovable— something trustworthy. The Lord and His character is that sure place. The nail—the believer—does not need to do a thing but rest in the mortar or beam of God’s unfailing character and love.

On Display for the World to See

God used the word aman in Isaiah 22:22–24 as a word picture for His people. In ancient times, stakes were driven into the timbers or fastened and secured into the mortar/concrete of a home. These stakes were permanent, and they could not be moved. They were so steadfast and immovable that they could bear extreme burdens without budging or coming loose. A nail could possibly break off at the point where the wall was, but it could never come out of the wall. Those nails were used to glorify and beautify the house. From them, families would hang decorations, useful vessels, armor, shields, and swords from previous glorious battles.

Picture by @Glenda Frey

When God drives you into His character and you become steadfast, battle glories (the trophies & prizes of winning skirmishes in the battle for your faith and destiny) and other evidence of His goodness and faithfulness will be displayed in your life for all to see. The glory of your Father’s house can “hang” off you as you rest in the powerful beam of His character. That word “glory” is Hebrew for kabowd (Strong’s H3519). Kabowd means, “goodness and excellence of character splendor, weighty and honor.” The more God “hangs” off you, the more people will see His goodness and be drawn to His mercy. He wants to fasten or drive you into the revelation of His character so that no matter how weighty the things are that God hangs from you; you will be able to display them. He longs to drive you into Him so that you are not tossed about by every circumstance, wind, or doctrine that blows.

As you believe His promises, you can step out confidently and obey whatever He prompts you to do. As you do, the weighty glory and splendor of the spoils will be hung on you for the world to see. It may be that book He told you to write that becomes a bestseller. Maybe it’s obeying Him and sharing Jesus with people who need salvation. Perhaps it means starting that business your faith is prompting you to start. As you rest, fastened into His character, the spoils of obedience and the goodness of God’s character will be hung on you.

Trusting God’s incredible character will bring inner stillness and peace. Those internal arguments between faith and unbelief will be silenced as you fully rely on God who is committed to bringing His promises in your life to pass. 

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

— Isaiah 26:3, NKJV

Look at this incredible verse declaring the single-mindedness of God.  When He speaks something to your heart, He means it:

God is not a man that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

— Numbers 23:19, NLT

I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.

— Isaiah 45:19, NLT

Think on each of these verses.  Meditate on them. Meditate means to mumble the words over and over as the words and their meaning take depth inside of you.  It’s like swishing them around in your mouth and your mind until the magnitude of the flavors are released into a full and satisfying experience.  Savor the depths of what it means to become a nail in the “sure” of God, who loves you and is driving you into Himself- The Single-minded, All-Loving, Almighty and Unfailing Father who cannot lie.  Those who know God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits for God (Dan. 11:32, AMPC). And, my friend, you are about to know your God!  Let Him drive you into Himself.

Grab a coffee my friend, and don't forget your favorite pen, and a journal. Ask the Holy Spirit walk through these questions, they are the foundation to our journey From Double-minded To Destiny!

Reflect with the Holy Spirit

  1. No doubt made Abraham waver at the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.  What thoughts do I have about this verse? What feelings do I have? Lord, what do You want to say to me about this verse and how does it apply to me?
  2. God, do You want to drive me into Your good character?  What do You want to say about being at rest in You? What “emblems” of battle glories are You wanting to hang off of me as I walk out of double-mindedness into my destiny?  What “emblems” am I hoping You will hang on me for Your glory?
  3. By trusting in You, what area of my life am I hoping to gain peace in?  What areas are You longing to bring peace to?
  4. What areas of “wavering” can I expect to change as You “drive” me into Your unfailing love and character?
  5. God, is there anything else You want to say to me?

This teaching devotional is part of a series based on Tyrelle Smith's book: From Double-Minded To Destiny. Each week we will publish more on how you can remove doubts and insecurities and fulfill God's plan for your life in a greater way.