By Dan Delzell
A double-minded believer is someone who is constantly living in a state of compromise. Half of you lives for God, while the other half lives for your bad habit. Hence, you are “double-minded.”
As you consider whether or not that experience describes your current situation, here are 7 characteristics of a double-minded believer:
1) There are two major influences which fuel your thought life.
A double-minded Christian is always being torn in two directions. He has a relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, but he also has a relationship with a particular sinful obsession. It is a mental obsession and distraction, and it may even have a physical aspect. But it’s a miserable way to attempt to live the Christian life.
2) You have a history with both of your major influences.
No Christian becomes double-minded overnight. It takes some time to develop an unrelenting desire to pursue a particular course. But make no mistake about it. History has a way of repeating itself. Until we part ways with that thing which is “stabbing at Jesus” all the time, we continually find ourselves in a state of inner turmoil.
Even if you have walked with the Lord for years, a double-minded life will circumvent much of the good which the Holy Spirit wants to work in you and through you. What every believer desperately needs is to fully surrender their heart and mind to the Lord.
3) You find yourself compromising your thought life in one primary area.
Satan has been at his craft for many centuries. And just as he knew what “triggers” to employ with Adam and Eve, he has discovered a variety of enticements that are intended to lead believers to become double-minded. Satan hates to see believers fully surrendered to the Lord. The devil knows from past experience that when a Christian is fully surrendered, God works even more miracles in the lives of His people.
Jesus has never compromised even one time. The same cannot be said about us. Our challenge as sinful human beings is to say “no” to sin and “yes” to righteous living. And it’s not like this challenge only confronts us once or twice a week. The temptations for compromise are going on around us all the time.
4) You are led by the Holy Spirit, except when that other issue is driving your thinking.
The Spirit-led Christian is not giving into compromise. Instead, he or she is focused, filled, and flowing in the living water of the Holy Spirit. It is a wonderful way to go through life. It provides peace, power and purpose.
Sin, on the other hand, increases the desire to give into temptation again and again. You never get enough. And so you end up double-minded, at least until you repent and “come clean” before the Lord and His cross.
5) You only experience real peace in your heart when your mind is under God’s control.
There is no peace for the believer who is going against his conscience and against the Word of God. You feel out of control. You feel pulled in the direction of your obsession, rather than gently led down the flowing river of God’s grace and peace.
Most of us who have known the Lord for awhile have come to experience the vast difference between the peace of God and the turmoil of our sinful desires. They truly are in conflict with each other. (see Gal. 5:16,17) And it’s a battle that doesn’t stop until our soul leaves our body at the point of physical death. At that moment, we will be immediately ushered into heaven.
6) You find yourself giving into old habits very easily.
A double-minded believer finds it next to impossible to stay away from the danger zone. He or she moves quickly in that direction at the slightest impulse. The longer a person refrains from that bad habit, the easier it gets to stay away from it. But the more you “cut corners,” the more you find yourself locked into a double-minded quagmire of your own making.
God’s Word says that a double-minded man is “unstable in all he does.” (James 1:8) No wonder old habits seem to hang on indefinitely in the life of a double-minded believer. Those old habits are simply the fruit of an unstable heart and mind.
7) You would love to only be drawn to the things of God.
Deep within the soul of every believer is the desire to live fully for God. That desire was planted inside us when we were converted through faith in Christ. At that moment, the Holy Spirit took up residence within our body. And we immediately began to experience this righteous desire to do things God’s way.
That desire will always be there within the soul of a Christian, even if you are double-minded. But the only way to experience the joy and peace God intends for us is to get back to a single-minded approach to Christian living.
You know, just like when you first came to know Christ. By His grace, you can get back there. After all, it was only His grace that brought you into this relationship in the first place.