A TALE OF TWO SOULS
A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone about returning to church and recommitting to Christ. This person used to follow Jesus, but now has very little evidence of salvation. This person’s response to me was, “I admire that you’re staying faithful to Jesus; it’s difficult to do that in today’s world.” It hurt my heart to hear someone give up the faith so easily.
Yes, the Biblical worldview is under attack. Yes, the Gospel is under attack. Yes, Christians are now being ridiculed and mocked, and face hostility and condemnation in this nation that was once founded on Christian values. And yes, it is only going to get worse (2 Timothy 3:1-5, Matthew 24:1-51, Revelation 13:1-18, 1 Timothy 4:1). But isn’t your soul worth it?!?!
I’ve been praying hard this last year – for myself and interceding for others – for courage in the end days. Courage to endure faithfully until the end (Matthew 24:13). Courage to rejoice during the fiery trial (1 Peter 4:12). Courage to count all things but loss that we may win Christ (Philippians 3:8). While praying for the brethren to grow in our courage in Christ, Jesus has shown me what one of the roots of fear is. The root of fear stems from a tale of two souls…
The Apostle James tells us, “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. This verse teaches us that if we subject ourselves to the authority of God (i.e. we live according to His ways and walk according to His precepts), and we stand in opposition against the enemy, then the enemy will flee from us.
Furthermore, if we seek God, He will be near to us. Then in verse 8, James elaborates on how we draw near to God – we cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. Those with impure hearts are referred to as “double-minded.” What does it mean to be “double-minded?” According to Webster’s Dictionary, “double-minded” means “wavering or undecided.” But that doesn’t fully capture the true meaning of the word in the Greek language. The Greek word used in this verse is “dipsychos” – “dyo” meaning “two” and “psychi” meaning “souls.” So in the original Greek language the Apostle James warned Christians of being “two-souled.”
Being two-souled is the same as having a divided heart. You love SOME of the things of God – the friends you’ve made at church, the support you feel in prayer meetings, how good you feel from serving – BUT you still love some of the things of this world – partying with your nonChristian friends, fitting in with your nonChristian co-workers, or otherwise satisfying your fleshly desires. Such a heart is one that is divided between the things of God and the things of this world.
Wavering back-and-forth from Christ’s Kingdom and the world is just the symptom, but the sin illness is a divided heart. Are you wavering in your church attendance? Then I question if you love God with your whole heart. Are you wavering in your obedience to Scripture? Then I question if you love God with your whole heart. Are you wavering in your tithing to and serving in church? Then I question if you love God with your whole heart. Wavering is only the effect, but dipsychos is the cause.
But why will a divided heart also cause us to live in fear? Well, the reason the Bible tells us time and time again to love God with our whole heart (Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 13:3) is because if we put ANYTHING above our love for God, then fear of losing that thing will rule us. Love your family and friends more than you love God? Then fear of losing them will cause you to please them above obeying God. Love your secure and comfortable life more than you love God? Then fear of losing the latter will cause you to deny Jesus to avoid persecution. Love your health more than God? Then fear of getting sick will cause you to forsake the gathering of the brethren.
The root of fear is an impure, two-souled heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart today. Allow Him to reveal to you areas in your heart that are divided. Repent of exalting anything above the name of the Lord, and choose this day that you will love Him with your whole heart.