For several months now we have been exploring the importance of being "transformed by the renewing of our minds." (Romans 12:1-2) We have probed into what exactly our minds are, what mind renewal really means, and why mind renewal is so vitally important.
We shared that we can be Christians all of our lives (with God's Life in our hearts), and yet because we continue to make choices to follow what we think, feel and desire over what God is prompting us to do, God's Life in us will be quenched. Thus, no one will ever see the difference between our life and the lives of our neighbors who don't even know God. This, we said, is called double-mindedness or "twice-souled," because two lives are being lived.
This is a believer who has God's Love, His Thoughts, and His Power in his heart (one Life), but because he has chosen to follow his own lusts, hurts, frustration, anger, guilt, etc., God's thoughts are blocked from coming forth, and thus self-centered life actions are produced instead.
Satan knows that double-mindedness will immediately quench God's Life in us and cause us to become "clogged" vessels showing forth "self-life" rather than God's Life. This is exactly what he wants. He wants us "living a lie" (where our words and our deeds don't match) because it not only causes us confusion and discouragement, but it also causes the enemies of God to blaspheme.
An Example: David
A Scriptural example of "double-mindedness" is David in 2 Samuel 11. David was on the roof of his house when he saw a beautiful woman bathing next door. Rather than catch those lustful thoughts when they first occurred, David allowed those thoughts to stir up his emotions, feed his desires and finally stimulate his sinful actions.
David sent his servants to inquire after the woman. They came back and reported that she was Bathsheba, the wife of the soldier Uriah. However, that didn't stop David. He chose to "act" upon his own lustful desires and he sent for Bathsheba and lay with her.
When David found out that Bathsheba was pregnant, he called Uriah home. Uriah, however, in deference to his men on the front lines of the war, didn't sleep with his wife, but rested on the porch of his house.
When David found out that his "cover-up" had not worked, he commanded that Uriah be put at the front lines of the battle and the troops pulled back from him. Just as David had hoped, Uriah was killed. David then took Bathsheba as his wife.
We haven't understood that by constantly renewing our minds, we can be "set free" from all the negative thoughts and emotions that block God's Life in our hearts.
The Lord adds a footnote to this story and in 2 Samuel 11:27 He says, "...but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord" and it caused "...the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme." (2 Samuel 12:14)
During this sequence of events, David offers a perfect example of a double-minded man, who, even though he had God's Life in his heart, chose to hang on to and follow the lusts of his flesh over what God was prompting him to do. Therefore, David, for this period of time, "lived a lie." His words ("I love God") and his deeds obviously did not match. People couldn't see God in David at this particular time, because he had totally given himself over to his own will and desires, rather than God's.
Simplicity in Christ
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warns us about double-mindedness. He says, "I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ!"
"Simplicity," here, does not mean ignorance, or naivete or being unschooled in the things of God. The Greek word for simplicity is haplous, which means "singleness of mind." It means something that is folded together, braided together or intertwined.
Simplicity in Christ means having our thinking "folded together" and intertwined with Christ. In other words, "simplicity in Christ" is the same thing as single-mindedness. It's having on the Mind of Christ.
Paul is saying that just as Satan deceived, seduced and tricked Eve in her thinking by deceit, so he fears that our own thinking can easily be corrupted from the simplicity (or the single-mindedness) that is in Christ. Paul is absolutely right. Look at what's happening in the body of Christ now. Many of us have become double-minded because of ignorance - ignorance not only as to what the Mind of Christ is, but also ignorance as to how, moment by moment, to renew our minds.
Since many of us have not really understood the authority and power we possess because of the Mind of Christ in us, we've not been equipped or prepared to stand in the battle against Satan. And as a result we've ended up "falling" before we have even begun.
Many of us haven't understood that by constantly re-newing our minds, we can be "set free" from our fears, hurts, doubts, lusts, memories, unforgiveness and all the other negative thoughts and emotions that block God's Life in our hearts. God will then replace these things with His Wisdom, His Counsel, His Strength and His Knowledge.
We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes... - Isaiah 59:10
An Example: A Precious Sister
Let me tell you an incredible example of a dear Christian sister who, in the worst of situations, recognized Satan's attempts to keep her double-minded, and by faith chose (in spite of everything) to renew her mind.
I started corresponding with Sara only a few years ago. She wrote that it was only through learning how to constantly renew her mind that she was set free from an incredible ordeal where her two small children, a four-month-old baby son and a four-year-old daughter, were kidnaped by her former husband and were missing for three and one-half years!
Sara was in the process of a divorce because of extreme physical abuse to her and her children. Many times her ex-husband had even threatened their lives. After separating from him, however, he wouldn't leave them alone, but kept following them everywhere.
One day he caught up with them and literally "stole" the children from a day-care center. The police became involved, but legally their hands were tied because there were no final custody papers yet.
Three Things Sara Had To Deal With
The first thing Sara said she had to deal with was DOUBT. She had been certain that God had told her to leave this crazy man and get the children away. "Why, now, had her husband won?" As she would "take those thoughts captive," however, and release her doubt to God, He would minister to her and give her peace.
Repeatedly, God gave her Psalm 71, which promises that He would restore her life and put to confusion those who wanted to harm her.
Then, she said, she had to deal with UNFORGIVENESS. By faith (not "feeling" a thing) she chose to unconditionally forgive her ex-husband over and over again. Pretty soon, however, she said she found herself releasing him to God and praying for his salvation. All the hate and bitterness just seemed to fade away.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place...but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. - Luke 11:33
Finally, there was the FEAR. Continually, she found herself in torment as she would think to herself, "Do my children have a place to sleep tonight? Are they eating right? Are they well?" But again, as she would give these things over to God, His voice would always come back and say, "Don't you think I love your children more than you do? Don't you think I can take care of them?"
She wrote that she had to give her fears, doubts and unforgiveness over to God about 50 times a day. And then she had to choose to trust and believe that God would be faithful to do what He had promised.
She wrote me that when she would make these faith choices, God was always faithful to take her emotions away, set her free, and give her the strength to go on. Her continual promise from God was that "...all things work together for good to them that love God (to those who totally give themselves over to Him)..." (Romans 8:28)
After three and a half years, a miracle happened. Through a series of events, she was able to locate her ex-husband and the children. At this point, the police took an active involvement in the case and the ex-husband was arrested. He is now in prison, not only for kidnaping but for many other charges as well.
Beautiful Sara is now married to a wonderful pastor back East and has an incredible ministry of her own to other "abused" women. Her children have grown into healthy, godly children who love Jesus and who are learning to forgive, love and pray for their real dad.
If Sara can be set free of her fears, doubts and unforgiveness, and learn to walk single-mindedly, reflecting God's Life in the midst of this situation, I believe any of us can! Sara is not a "super saint," she's just like you and me. She has learned however, that single-mindedness is the only thing that will free us from ourselves, our circumstances and Satan's schemes.
Again, it's a mind battle. If Satan can just direct our thinking without our even being aware of it, by our continuing on in our own natural emotional responses, he has us and he doesn't need to do anything more!
Be a Light
Luke 11:33-36 describes both single-mindedness and double-mindedness. "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single (single-minded), thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness (double-minded). Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light."
"Eye" in this Scripture, as we have shared before, is the same thing as mind or our total process of thinking (our mental vision). I believe "single eye" in this passage means single-mindedness and "evil eye" means double-mindedness.
Jesus' Life is the Light that Luke is talking about here. And, if we are believers, then He has put the "light of the knowledge of Christ in our hearts." Our goal and purpose should be not only to be filled with that Light, but also to let that Light out to others. Not to "hide that light under a bushel" (under a wall of hurts, doubts and fears), but to "put it on a lampstand so all can see it." In other words, be a genuine witness of Christ - show forth His Life.
This passage in Luke says that when we are single-minded we will have a "body full of light" (i.e., Jesus' Life will exude from us). Jesus' Life will be "on a lampstand where all can see it." This is a person who is being conformed into Jesus' Image and "living the truth."
Luke says, however, the result of double-mindedness is that we will have a "body full of darkness." Double-mindedness quenches ("greases over") God's Life in our hearts. As Isaiah 59:10 says, "We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes..." In other words, if we put Jesus' Life "under a bushel" (buried in our hearts by our "justified" hurts and unforgiveness, etc.), it forces us to "live a lie." We say (with our words) that we are Christians, and yet our lives don't prove it at all!
Therefore, my sisters and brothers, "...be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed [how?] by the renewing of your mind, so that ye may prove [in your lives] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)
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This article was excerpted from Nancy's book, Be Ye Transformed. Next month: "Different Ways Satan Tries to Keep Us Double-minded."