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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!

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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.