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Words of Faith 4-7-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 1:7-8

     That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.


       I love the scene in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, where the pirate is weighed down with treasure with one foot in the boat and one foot on the dock.  He teeters back and forth precariously.  Each time he almost gets onshore, the weight of the treasure he clings to threatens to plunge him over the edge.   It is evident that at some point, he will have to make a choice: boat or shore-- treasure or safety.

        For many people, the journey with God is much like that.  Some like to have God in their life as a kind of safety net while clinging to the world and its ways.  We can look like the pirate-- clinging to a heap of the world while trying to keep one foot in the Kingdom.  James calls this “double-minded," and he describes it as "unstable.”

         The term double-minded describes the way we sometimes try to live both of the Kingdom and of the world.  We ask for wisdom and guidance and then do as we please.  We seek for truth and then return to walking in a lie.  Double-minded may describe the energy we pour into hiding secret sin or defending our private rebellion. At the same time, we try to keep up a good religious front.  The result is a life that is unstable all its ways. 

        The truth is that we are kidding ourselves if we think we can cling to the world and walk in the Kingdom.  Such a walk is, above all, unstable.  The word means to "stagger like a drunk.” James is clear that such a man will not receive anything from the Lord-- wisdom, knowledge, guidance, or blessing.  He will be unstable and staggering.

        Kierkegaard said that purity of heart is to will one thing.  How hard that can be.  It may take years to find complete purity of heart, but it begins in the simplest of matters.  General H.Norman Schwarzkopf once said: "The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."

         How about you?  Have you been standing in between?  Have you been teetering between the boat the shore?  Have you known the right things but lingered in double-minded hesitation?  Why not let go of all that other stuff and step onto the solid shore of walking with Jesus?


     Lord, focus me upon You today.  Lead me to single-minded obedience that I may seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Give me grace to know Your ways and courage let go of this world.   Amen.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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