This week I’m excited to share Principle #5 We must have a singleness of mind.
If there is one thing in your life that will block or inhibit the blessings from flowing into your life it is being double minded, which leads to doubting, which is the opposite of faith.
Hebrews 11:6—“…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Since this entire series is how to be blessed this year, and we know that our Rewarder is God, then to please Him and put ourselves in the position to be blessed means that we never doubt or question His desire to bless us—which means we have a singleness of mind.
Take a look at this very powerful and insightful principle and promise:
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God,
who gives to all men generously and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith without any doubting,
for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
Double-mindedness is something very few people consider to be wrong, but those who know and study the Scriptures understand that you can be doing a lot of good things, yet as the verse above tells us, IF we are double-minded we should NOT expect to receive ANYTHING from the Lord. It is just like another one of my absolute FAVORITE chapters in the Bible, where it also says:
"I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Thy law." Psalm 119:113.
Double-mindedness: What is the root of this evil that will result in our not receiving blessings from God?
When I wrote this series in 2004, I said that there was one question that people ask me more often than any other question, and it still seems to "get under my skin" no matter how often I am asked. The question, that was so often posed, read something like this, "I read all the testimonies in your book and on your website, but none are exactly like mine..." Then they proceeded to tell me about their situation so that I will tell them whether I think their marriage will be restored.
To be perfectly honest, my first reaction is anger. I inevitably repent of my anger before responding, but maybe (just maybe) my anger could be a Godly anger? Maybe it is the spirit of God in me who is angered by those who claim to be Christian yet exhibit "little faith."
In my defense, let's remember that it says in Ps. 119:113 "I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Thy law." What I FELT like writing back to them was "Hey, you have ALL these testimonies of ‘seemingly’ hopeless marriages, you have MY testimony that I have been willing to share and make public to everyone around the world, and if that were not enough, you want ME to assure you?" I couldn’t help but think back to when I had never even HEARD of a marriage restored—not even ONE! When I was asked to begin my Restoration Journey I had NO marriage ministry (that I was aware of) who would help people like me: no books to wear out, nor any newsletters coming into my inbox (I didn’t have internet until 10 years after that).
Yet, with ALL of these "signs" for so many men and women, it is still not enough, and I have to admit, it angered me. I know that Jesus was angry, or a bit frustrated, with His disciples when time after time they doubted. Remember when they were concerned with the things of this world: food, clothing, etc., and Jesus told them in Matthew 6:30... will God "not MUCH MORE do so for you, O men of little faith?"
And then again when Jesus bade Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water in Matthew 14:31 it says when Peter began to sink, " And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'"
In Matthew 16:4 Jesus said it is, "An evil and adulterous generation who seeks after a sign..." Then goes onto to say in verse 8 "You men of little faith...."
What can we learn from these verses? That "without faith it is impossible to please God" and those who doubt will be tossed "to and fro" like someone who is standing on the shores of the ocean.
If you are often plagued with doubt, I will tell you as I have told so many others, "Either get back up on the sand or make a decision to get in water deep enough so you will need God to hold you up!" In other words, either turn and walk away from restoration or make a decision to get in water deep enough, by throwing yourself RADICALLY into the arms of the LORD and hold on to His principles, which will keep you afloat!
Double-mindedness can have other root causes. One is listening to those who tell you things that are "contrary" to restoration. How often do I read the confessions of those who write that they are "giving up," which inevitably stemmed from listening to something they should NOT have listened to or read! (This principle is in Chapter 1 of the RYM as most of you know.)
In addition, I have also noticed double-mindedness in those who are receiving help for their marriage from their pastor, from a counselor and also from other marriage ministries. Knowing and believing this very important principle about double-mindedness (with the very disastrous consequence of our "receiving nothing from God"), was why He led us to expound on these topics years later in our current lessons.
I challenge all of you who are currently receiving help from one of these other sources, which I have mentioned above, to seek God and ask Him where you are currently planted.
We know from the first lessons on "being blessed this year" that we are to be FIRMLY planted by streams of water. If we are not PLANTED (but hop from one source of water to the other), we will easily become double-minded.
Yet, maybe even before you plant yourself here, you need to make sure that you have "heard from God that He wants to restore YOUR marriage."
I must confess that this principle, which is so very important, has not been highlighted enough in our resources. It may only be those who are in a second or subsequent marriage who are really seeking God to see if it IS His desire to restore their marriage. These individuals often stop to seek God, to see if it IS His desire or will, after they have read the chapter of the RYM book that deals with divorce and remarriage. Maybe, due to this being neglected, up until now, these are who have had the advantage (because they were encouraged to seek out God's will) over those who are in a first marriage for both spouses.
I know now, that had I not KNOWN in my heart that God wanted to restore my marriage, I would not, could not, have made it through the last battles that needed to be won along my Restoration Journey. I believe that I would have given up had I believed that I was fighting the battle and not God.
However, when I FIRST went into this marriage restoration battle, I did NOT have that assurance. It wasn't until I learned more about who God was, learned the heart of Jesus, and hid enough of God's Word in my heart, that I really knew. Then that belief in God's ability and desire to restore MY marriage was solidified when I saw my friend's marriage restored, just a few weeks prior to my divorce date. Undoubtedly, I know that I sought God all along my Restoration Journey and knew that this restoration, MY restoration, was HIS plan for my life.
So, let me conclude with encouraging you to schedule a time to ask God what His plan is for your life. Trust me, and others who have a restored marriage; you will need His assurance, not ours, as the battles get stronger—especially when you are very close to the end.
Secondly, to avoid double-mindedness, seek the Lord to see WHERE He wants you to receive help. When you receive conflicting principles, it is so easy to be "tossed to and fro." Soon confusion sets in and you can't understand why. Doubt is then able to sneak in and, all too soon, you find yourself backslidden in restoration or in your relationship with the Lord (that was once so strong).
Here in Psalm 1:3 we see the contrasting verse to us "receiving nothing from God." "And he will be like a tree FIRMLY planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers."
And again we see it in Jeremiah 17:8 "For he will be like a tree PLANTED by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit."
There is a permanence that needs to be in place in the life of the Believer. That is why pastors discourage church hopping. It's not just that they want you to stay with THEM in THEIR church, it's because they know that to hop around is to be vulnerable to attacks. It creates shortened roots. It is ONLY the tree that is FIRMLY planted that can withstand the winds and tempest in the midst of the storms when (not if) they hit. It is the tree that is FIRMLY planted that can endure when temptations arise and the reason is simple—they are GROUNDED.
Back in 2004, whenever I mentioned choosing a marriage ministry, inevitably, people wanted me to tell them the differences between our ministry and other marriage ministries, but I never felt comfortable doing that, not until He led me to write a full chapter. The reason is God is not happy with disunity, but with the unity of His followers. In addition, God is MORE THAN ABLE to guide you "when you seek Him with your whole heart." The entire question can be summed up by asking "Where does GOD want you to be?"
In closing, we have seen in Scripture that double-mindedness is something we should be VERY careful to avoid; therefore, we should do everything we can to NOT succumb to its very subtle temptations, to be drawn into its path of destruction.
That means to avoid this common destruction, simply take time each day to: Ponder, meditate and seek the face of God and the heart of the Lord all this week. Be sure to ask Him if you have wandered into any form of double-mindedness. And for those of you who are still seeking restoration for your marriage—Settle this issue of restoration in your mind, heart and be sure to do that with the "Lover of your soul."
Seek the Lord and ask Him where HE wants you to be planted.
And if God is leading you elsewhere then I bid you a fond farewell.
If God is telling you to stay with us, then begin to get FIRMLY planted so that soon you can bear fruit to feed those whom God will be sending to us in greater numbers than ever before!