It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I just have to share what’s on my heart. May my words be graced with love and challenge from His Word and heart.
James 1:6-8, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
I don’t know about you, but that is a challenging passage for me. Too often, I find myself with divided loyalties or being “doubled-minded” as the King James Version puts it, and quite frankly, I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to do things on my own without the power of Holy Spirit. I’m tired of failing. I’m tired of playing games with my life in Jesus. I’m tired of knowing what I should do but just don’t “feel like it.” I’m tired of being the outward “good girl.” Many times, I can hide what’s going on in the deepest part of myself all the while putting on a good, clean show. Ever been there?
This passage says that people like me “should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” Ouch, right? While I’m totally convinced that God is sovereign and heals, protects, and is faithful no matter what we do, I’m sensing that He requires FULL loyalty. He requires a person to be completely in love with Him, trusting Him with their life, their kids’ lives, their futures.
Do you have divided loyalties? Maybe you think, well, I don’t have to go to church all the time, right?
OR, I can give a bit here and there, but 10% as a tithe, yeah right!
OR, I serve the church and community, but you can’t expect me to do it with a good attitude or with right motives while I’m at it!
OR, I’m not a “minister.” I can’t share Jesus with just anyone!
All of those answers are, I believe completely off-base and can indicate a heart with divided loyalties. If I care more about what other people think than I do about whether or not the Lord is pleased, my heart is divided. If I “serve” all the while grumbling in my heart of all the things I’d rather be doing, my heart is divided. If I give a token offering in the plate rather than sacrificially giving as the Lord has led me, my heart is divided.
And, when my heart is divided, the scripture is clear… I cannot expect to “receive anything from the Lord.” Do you feel like your prayers have fallen on deaf ears? Check your heart. Do you not see the breakthroughs you think you should? Check your heart. Do you not have peace? Check your heart. Remember He is not a God of the piece… He’s the God of the WHOLE. Our WHOLE heart. Our WHOLE soul. Our WHOLE mind. Our WHOLE strength.
This is not a one-time issue, though. I’m finding that because I am human, sinful, prone to temptation, I need to check myself pretty often. And, it’s not a guilt thing. It’s a LOVE thing. My husband wouldn’t be pleased if I only gave him some of or even most of my love in our marriage and shared it with other men. (He doesn’t share well… 😉 ) The same is true for the Lord. He so desires our WHOLE loyalty and devotion.
This struggle against a divided heart is real, especially in the world we live. Jobs, friends, family, social media, entertainment and such all aren’t inherently sinful or bad, but when they take us away from our love for Christ and His Word and ways, we need to take a step back and reevaluate our priorities. May we all have the same prayer, I know I sure do…
“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11