BY: TRISHIA WARRICK
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: James 1:5-8: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: No one was really paying attention to the road as we returned home from a wonderful family camping trip. We were traveling along a beautiful tree-lined road that would eventually connect to the interstate toward our home. All of a sudden, a rabbit ran out in front of our vehicle. Craig, startled, but anticipating the rate the rabbit was running as it darted across the road, slowed down just enough to allow the rabbit to cross safely. I know this sounds crazy, but I could actually see the moment the rabbit made its fatal mistake. Instead of following through its action as it had originally intended, it hesitated and turned to run back to the other side. At that juncture, nothing could be done to save the rabbit. Due to its indecisiveness and panic, the rabbit ran right under the wheels of our vehicle, killing it instantly.
The action of the rabbit made me ponder indecisiveness and the consequences of this thought process. Over and over, throughout my Christian walk, I have struggled with doubts as to which direction to take.
Proverbs 16:3 states, “Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.” (NLT) Another phrase for plan is a course of action. This scripture tells us we are proceeding in the right course of action if we are (1) in obedience to God’s word and (2) committing our work to Him.
So, where does the indecisiveness come into play if we are following the above scripture? James discusses this issue in his letter.
(James 1:5-8): (5) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (6) But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (7) That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Wow! An emotionally doubting person will be unstable in ALL he/she does! In the Greek translation, the word “double-minded” literally means “two-souled” — pulled apart in different directions, having divided loyalties.
What, then, causes these doubts? Charles Spurgeon stated, “It is the mind which is the main thing; it will bring thee daylight or midnight, wealth or poverty, peace or war.”
William James said, “The most miserable person in the world is the person who is habitually indecisive.” It causes unstable emotions.
Paul tells us, in Second Corinthians, we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” In the focus scripture (James 1:5-8), we find the absolute answer to taking control of fickle or fearful emotions that threaten our freedom to walk decisively in Christ. James tells us to “ask God” if we lack wisdom. Believe me, we all lack wisdom at times! God grants wisdom “generously.” How can we be doubtful when we walk in the light of His wisdom? In addition, God grants wisdom without “finding fault.” In other words, He desires us to look to Him. Calvin comments on this generosity in giving: “This is added, lest any one should fear to come too often to God . . . for he is ready ever to add new blessings to former ones, without any end or limitation.” (Calvin)
To avoid being the rabbit in my story, we must not be irresolute in the path God has pointed out to each of us individually. As we walk, we need to continually ask for the wisdom of God. We are not to be double-minded nor frozen in the middle of the road due to mental fears. Doubts lead to being tossed about by the wind. Not only is this treacherous, but the consequence of inaction and divided loyalties will be that we will not “receive anything from the Lord.”
PERSONAL APPLICATION: This past year, our family has come to several crossroads in our journey together. Ultimately, we have had to make many choices. Fretfulness and fear have had to be battled. Ultimately, we have chosen to move forward onto paths illuminated by the Lord. As we have walked and trials have arisen, we lift our prayers up for greater wisdom.
PRAYER: Dear Father, I believe. Help me in my unbelief! My loyalty lies with you. Help me to remember, “All the water in the sea will not hurt (my) vessel so long as (I) keep it outside; the danger begins when it gets inside the ship. So, it matters little what is outside you, if all is right within.” -Spurgeon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Trishia has been a homeschool mom for over 17 years, graduating two of her three students so far. She loves being with her family, especially if they are fishing or camping together. She is praying for wisdom as to where God wants to lead her next!