Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Right outside my bedroom window sits a light. Supposedly, it illuminates the apartment unit's walkway and deters would-be felons from walking off with my stuff. However, there's one minor problem: it doesn't. Whether a result of poor wiring or a manufacturing error, the bulb gradually grows brighter and brighter until it reaches full strength, then shuts off. This means that my bedroom also starts off dark, grows brighter and brighter, then becomes immediately dark again. Needless to say, it annoys me to no end. It makes it very difficult to go to sleep, and as far as my apartment's security goes, I can imagine a would-be thief behaving like a WWII prisoner of war trying to escape a German Stalag - timing the lights to know just how long he has to run in, grab my stuff, and run out.

I've been thinking lately, however, about double-mindedness. The malfunctioning light presents the perfect example of why trying to be two opposite things is ultimately worthless - you wind up failing at each. The light would be great for my sleeping environment if it were always off, and it would be great for my apartment's security if it were always on. As it now stands, though, it does neither job (and annoys me in the process).

The Bible has a lot to say about double-mindedness. Revelations 3 springs to mind, where the Lord calls out the church at Laeodicea for being lukewarm. The believers there didn't burn with passion for the Lord, but at the same time they didn't alienate themselves from Christ and His name, either. Instead, they played it right down the middle - being hypocritical and lukewarm; "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." If they lit up the skies with love for God, they'd warmly draw the world to Him. By their double-mindedness and fence-sitting, however, they both made His name odious to the unbelieving world (who can't stand hypocrites) and also discouraged other fiery Christians. God said they needed to get on fire or get out of the way, but since they continued to inhabit the middle He was going to vomit them up.

The Israelites play this part to a tee. I read this afternoon how God delivered them out of Egypt with so many signs and wonders, and for a time they truly rejoiced in Him. The song Moses and the people sing in Exodus 15 gets my blood pumping: "The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him." No less than three days later, they grumble and complain about not having any water. As I read it, I wanted to shout, "Hello?!? You're saying He can save you from the fiercest army in the world at the time (think of an army today with 600 elite armored tank units closing on a group of boy scouts) but you can't trust Him to save you from thirst? Do you really think the God who rolled back the waters of the Red Sea and produced dry ground will fail miserably when it comes to doing the opposite and providing you with water in the desert?" Ridiculous.

Yet for all my outrage, I'm guilty of doing the same thing. I believe God one day, and doubt Him the next. I find His strength in this area, but rely on myself in another situation. James addresses this in his discourse on trials:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
As much fun as riding roller coasters brings, we wouldn't want to ride them all day every day of our lives; we ultimately like firmness and stability. God seeks the same thing - He doesn't want a bride who can't make up her mind, or who plays daisy games--"I love Him, I love Him not; I trust Him, I trust Him not", or who runs back and forth constantly between His arms and the pigpen. Let's read His promises and remember that He's worthy of being trusted all the time. That He deserves all of our time, money, and talents. That He's the single Person in our lives who, just by knowing Him, brings us true joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Make Him our all, since He gave His all for us.