Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Dear Colleagues,

DOUBLE-MINDED: Vacillating. Indecisive. Uncertain. Wavering. Double-dealing. Insincere. Hypocritical.

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Could this be usWhat I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  (Rom. 7:15, 19, 20 Msg.)

The Israelites had the same problem:  First Samuel, chapters seven and eight portray a nation that appeared to be passionate about the things of God: Samuel said to all the people of Israel, If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines. So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord. (I Sam. 7:3, 4 NLT)

Yet, their desire to conform to the surrounding nations over rode their passion for God: "Give us a king to lead usThen we will be like all the other nationswith a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."  (I Sam. 8:6b, 19, 20) Psalm 106: 34-36 reflects back on Israel s failure:  They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. (See Jos. 24:19, 20; I Kin. 18:2; Matt. 6:24)

Tragically, they chose to place their destiny in the hands of man rather than God in order to insure their future security.  Observe the Scriptures clear warning against such thinking: Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.  (Psa. 146:3; Jer. 17:5)  (See Psa. 118:8)

James cautions us that the man who trusts God but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next.  That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from the Lord, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.  (Jms. 1:6-8 Philips Trans.)

CHALLENGEIn an age of weak-kneed Christianity, with which group do you choose to line up:

 The men of Pauls admonition? Let us be Christs men from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling. (Rom 13:14 Philips Trans.) or

  The double-minded men of Ephraim who turned tail when the time came for fighting? (Psa. 78:9 b) (See Heb. 10:38, 39)

This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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